# Is a planned contrast significant if p is lower than .05 with no correction for multiple comparisons but higher than .05 with the correction?

I conducted a 2 x 4 within-subjects design experiment. I presented participants with unpleasant and neutral pictures and asked them to cope with their emotions in four different ways. Therefore, the first independent variable refers to picture valence (unpleasant vs. neutral pictures) and has two levels while the other one refers to emotion regulation (ER) and has four levels (1, 2, 3, 4, where 1 is a control condition). I measured various things which resulted in a few dependent variables. My a priori hypotheses where that for every dependent variable I will find differences between a control condition and any other condition (1 vs. 2; 1 vs. 3; 1 vs. 4) only for unpleasant images. That is why I decided to run planned contrasts for these comparisons.The overall ANOVA is not significant (p = .081) but one of the contrasts is (p = .049). I know that I can find significant differences when comparing two conditions at a time even if the overall ANOVA is not significant. However, there seems to be no agreement on whether it is ok to look at the contrasts when ANOVA is not significant. What is more, there seems to be a disagreement on whether a correction for multiple comparisons should be applied when running planned contrasts. My question is if I should say that I found a significant result between the two conditions? I have doubts about it because the overall ANOVA is not significant and the difference between the two conditions is found only when no correction for multiple comparisons is applied. On the other hand, I am not running any other comparisons and I predicted this difference in advance. Thanks

• If ANOVA is nsig the (rare occasional) sig pairwise subtest should not be honoured. (Else why do ANOVA at all?: if you do it, it means you respect its null hypothesis worth to be tested and respect its assumptions). Oct 5 '16 at 10:55
• Hi, thank you for the answer. To be honest I looked at the overall Anova just because it pops up when you run contrasts. I didn't actually mean to interpret it if interpreting contrasts exclusively was possible. Oct 5 '16 at 11:57