The power of analysis: Statistical perspectives. Part 1

Ann E. Pulver, John J. Bartko, John A. McGrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Failure to consider statistical power when achieving apparently "negative" results prevents accurate interpretation of the results. A nonsignificant result can be obtained when one includes an insufficient number of subjects to permit observation of a true effect (low power to detect an effect), or when one has an adequate number of subjects, but a meaningful effect does not exist (high power, no effect); one can also have a situation of lower power and no real effect. Without considering power, one is unable to distinguish a "negative" experiment from an inadequate one. This article examines 154 published nonsignificant t-test results. When power is calculated with an effect size equal to a standardized difference of unity, over 50% of the tests have inadequate power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-299
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Statistical methods
  • Type II error
  • power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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