• Note: This question is heavy on R programming, but it was recommended that I post it here after I posted an almost identical question in StackOverflow

Main Question

I'm looking for help correctly setting up a one-way within subjects MANOVA in R for a data-set that has no between-subject factors.

Detailed Question

I'm trying to figure out how to setup a one-way within-subjects MANOVA in R, where my design has a single within-subjects IV (with 2 levels), and 3 DVs. It has come down to a question of whether or not this is best done with the standard manova() function, or using Anova() from the car package. Using a toy example (replicated below), I have done both but get different results, and these differences seem to be associated with how each function is figuring out the appropriate degrees of freedom for the ultimate F-test.


To demonstrate the problem, I'll use a subset of the OBrienKaiser data set, and I'll assume that each of the levels of the Hours within-subjects factor instead represents the measurement of a different dependent variable. I'll then take the pre and post conditions to be the two levels of my single within-subjects independent variable. To keep things concise, I'll only look at the first three levels from Hours.

So what I have for my data set is 16 subjects measured in two different conditions (pre and post) on 3 different dependent variables (1,2, and 3).

data <- subset(OBrienKaiser,select=c(pre.1,pre.2,pre.3,post.1,post.2,post.3))

car::Anova( )

To perform this analysis with Anova(), I have primarily relied on a combination of the documentation provided with car, and the slightly more detailed examples found here...


First, define the within-subjects factor and create the data structure for the linear model.

condition <- as.factor(rep(c('pre','post'),each=3))
idata <- data.frame(condition)
data.model <- with(data,cbind(pre.1,pre.2,pre.3,post.1,post.2,post.3))

Next, define the multivariate-linear model.

mod.mlm <- lm(data.model ~ 1)

Finally, perform the MANOVA using a call to Anova() and print the results

mav.car <- Anova(mod.mlm,idata=idata,idesign=~condition,type=3)

The output is...

Type III Repeated Measures MANOVA Tests: Pillai test statistic
            Df test stat approx F num Df den Df   Pr(>F)    
(Intercept)  1   0.91438  160.189      1     15 2.08e-09 ***
condition    1   0.37062    8.833      1     15 0.009498 ** 
Signif. codes:  0 ‘***’ 0.001 ‘**’ 0.01 ‘*’ 0.05 ‘.’ 0.1 ‘ ’ 1

My issue here is that I don't think the DF have been properly calculated. I remember learning something about MANOVAs losing DF for each DV included in the analysis, but the DF here seem to be typical for a univariate-ANOVA of the same design (i.e., if I didn't have multiple DVs). However, in trying to answer this question myself, I came across a pdf of a user manual for STATA (http://www.stata.com/manuals13/mvmanova.pdf). It presents a problem of measuring 4 DVs for each of 8 trees from 6 different root stocks (i.e., N=48, one between-factor with 6 levels, & DVs=4). They state that for the one-way MANOVA, the DF...

are just as they would be for an ANOVA. Because there are six rootstocks, we have 5 degrees of freedom for the hypothesis. There > are 42 residual degrees of freedom and 47 total degrees of freedom.

stats::manova( )

This method actually comes from the answer to this posted question...

What is the best approach for this set-up: RM ANOVA / MANOVA / Mixed-Models?

...given by @Chris Novak. For demonstration, I'll use the same dataset, but cast it to a long-format to accommodate the requirements of the stats::manova() function and rename it data2. I'll omit the actual casting, but the result looks like this...

   Subject Condition V1 V2 V3
3        3       pre  5  6  5
16      16       pre  4  5  7
23       7      post  7  7  8
25       9      post  4  5  6

Setting up the MANOVA using stats::manova() is very similar to setting up a typical repeated-measures anova with that function.

mav.stat <- with(data2,manova(cbind(V1,V2,V3) ~ Condition + Error(Subject/Condition)))

The output looks like this:

Error: Subject
           Df Pillai approx F num Df den Df Pr(>F)
Residuals 15                                     

Error: Subject:Condition
          Df  Pillai approx F num Df den Df  Pr(>F)  
Condition  1 0.40717   2.9762      3     13 0.07066 .
Residuals 15                                         
Signif. codes:  0 ‘***’ 0.001 ‘**’ 0.01 ‘*’ 0.05 ‘.’ 0.1 ‘ ’ 1

The P-Values are clearly different, as are the numDf and denDf used in the calculations. While I'm inclined to think that this is the correct way of performing the within-subjects MANOVA, I'd like to know what I'm doing wrong in car::Anova() and how to correctly perform the MANOVA with car::Anova(). I'd also like to understand how the DF get treated/calculated in the computation of a within-subjects MANOVA. Thanks so much for the guidance.

  • $\begingroup$ See here stats.stackexchange.com/questions/11127 on some of the differences between car::Anova and manova. Not sure yet if it answers your question though, but that thread is a must read. $\endgroup$
    – amoeba
    Nov 24, 2015 at 23:19
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent reading, thanks for the link @amoeba. My understanding is that the type of SS used (Type I,II,III) for model comparison only really has an impact when you have multiple predictors, as the order in which the model is built determines how much weight each predictor has in the fitting process. With only one predictor, I'm not sure how that would apply in my above case. An excellent resource though, I really appreciate it. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2015 at 1:28


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