Misunderstandings of Effect Sizes in Message Effects Research

Daniel J. O’Keefe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Widespread acknowledgement of the weaknesses of null hypothesis significance testing has led to correspondingly greater appreciation of the central role of effect size estimation in social-scientific research. But in the context of message effects research, it is easy to confuse an effect size—a quantitative representation of the effect of a variable on an outcome—with the size of the effect of a message on an outcome. Illustrations of this misunderstanding are offered, its unhappy consequences specified, and remedies discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-219
Number of pages10
JournalCommunication Methods and Measures
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017


  • Effect sizes
  • message effects
  • meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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