Post Hoc Tests

Post hoc (“after this” in Latin) tests are used to uncover specific differences between three or more group means when an analysis of variance (ANOVA) F test is significant. Because the F test is “omnibus,” it will merely indicate to researchers that a difference does exist between the groups, but not between which groups specifically. Post hoc tests allow researchers to locate those specific differences and are calculated only if the omnibus F test is significant. If the overall F test is nonsignificant, then there is no need for the researcher to explore for any specific differences. Post hoc tests are only used in conjunction with tests of group difference, such as ANOVA, and are only necessary when the independent variable (sometimes called a “factor”) ...

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