How to correctly interpret interaction effects has been largely discussed in scientific literature. Nevertheless, misinterpretations are still frequently observed, and neuroscience is not exempt from this trend. We reviewed 645 papers published from 2019 to 2020 and found that, in the 93.2% of studies reporting a statistically significant interaction effect (N = 221), post-hoc pairwise comparisons were the designated method adopted to interpret its results. Given the widespread use of this approach, we aim to: (1) highlight its limitations and how it can lead to misinterpretations of the interaction effect; (2) discuss more effective and powerful ways to correctly interpret interaction effects, including both explorative and model selection procedures. The paper provides practical examples and freely accessible online materials to reproduce all analyses.

Interaction effect: Are you doing the right thing?

Garofalo, Sara
Primo
;
Giovagnoli, Sara;Orsoni, Matteo;Starita, Francesca;Benassi, Mariagrazia
2022

Abstract

How to correctly interpret interaction effects has been largely discussed in scientific literature. Nevertheless, misinterpretations are still frequently observed, and neuroscience is not exempt from this trend. We reviewed 645 papers published from 2019 to 2020 and found that, in the 93.2% of studies reporting a statistically significant interaction effect (N = 221), post-hoc pairwise comparisons were the designated method adopted to interpret its results. Given the widespread use of this approach, we aim to: (1) highlight its limitations and how it can lead to misinterpretations of the interaction effect; (2) discuss more effective and powerful ways to correctly interpret interaction effects, including both explorative and model selection procedures. The paper provides practical examples and freely accessible online materials to reproduce all analyses.
Garofalo, Sara; Giovagnoli, Sara; Orsoni, Matteo; Starita, Francesca; Benassi, Mariagrazia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/899807
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