Factorial design and covariance in the study of individual educational development
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This is the report of the application of the principles of factorial design to an investigation of individual educational development. The specific type of factorial design formulated was a 2 × 3 × 3 × 3 arrangement, that is, the effect of sex, grade location, scholastic standing, and individual order, singly and in all possible combinations was studied in relation to educational development as measured by theIowa Tests of Educational Development. An application of the covariance method was introduced which resulted in increased precision of this type of experimental design by significantly reducing experimental error. The two concomitant measures used to increase the sensitiveness of the experiment were initial status of individual development and mental age. Without these statistical controls all main effects and two first-order interactions would have been accepted as significant. With their use only sex (doubtful), scholastic standing, and individual order demonstrated significant effects. The chief beauty of the analysis of variance and covariance as an integral part of a self-contained experiment is demonstrated in the complete single analysis of the data. The statistical utilization of the experimental results has also been developed for purposes of estimation and prediction. The mathematical statistician is being continuously required to develop and analyze experimental designs of increasing complexity since the introduction of the analysis of variance and covariance. The mathematical formulation and solution of the problem of this investigation is carried out. The methods illustrated and explained in this study, and modifications and extensions of them are capable of very wide application. The general principles can be used to various degrees and in a number of ways.
KeywordsCovariance Public Policy Experimental Error Factorial Design Statistical Theory
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