# How to interpret the overall statistically significant effect of a MANOVA (In words)?

I have the following analysis: I ran a MANOVA with two DVs (both empathy scales) and an IV (gender). Now the $p$-value (.03) tells me that there is a significant difference between men and women. However, I do not know which is higher on which variable. When I then look at the ANOVA table (given with SPSS) output, it tells me that there is no significant difference (all $p$-values larger than .05). How do I interpret this? Had men and women score differently or not?

Also, my supervisor asked me to look at the means, however they are only different by maybe one point, so I cannot see there which one should be larger (and the MANOVA only tells me the joint effect of the two DVs together).

When I ran a t-test to have a look at the individual means, they were also non-significant. I am a bit lost what to do with this and would highly appreciate some help in regards how to put this interpretation into words.

• What have you looked at? I searched the obvious on Google and the first link seemed pretty straightforward (it had errors but at least it would put you on the right track). Two things could improve your question. The first is to provide clarification on what all your p-values come from specifically (i.e. what test is 0.03?); and the second is to explain what you have looked at and ask for clarification where you were stuck.
– John
Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 17:01