Rethinking observed power: Concept, practice and implications.

Journal Article (Academic article)

Observed power analysis is recommended by many scholarly journal editors and reviewers, especially for studies with statistically nonsignificant test results. However, researchers may not fully realize that blind observance of this recommendation could lead to an unfruitful effort, despite the repeated warnings from methodologists. Through both a review of 14 published empirical studies and a Monte Carlo simulation study, the present study demonstrates that observed power is usually not as informative or helpful as we think because (a) observed power for a nonsignificant test is generally low and, therefore, does not provide additional information to the test; and (b) a low observed power does not always indicate that the test is underpowered. Implications and suggestions of statistical power analysis for quantitative researchers are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sun, S; Pan, W; Wang, L

Published Date

  • January 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 81 - 87

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1614-1881

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1027/1614-2241/a000025