Statistical power and cost in training evaluation: Some new considerations

Hyuckseung Yang, Paul R. Sackett, Richard D. Arvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Two ways to reduce the costs of training evaluation are examined. First, we examine the potential for reducing the costs of training evaluation by assigning different numbers of subjects into training and control groups. Given a total N of subjects, statistical power to detect the effectiveness of a training program can be maximized by assigning the subjects equally to training and control groups. If we take into account the costs of training evaluation, however, an unequal-group-size design with a larger total N may achieve the same level of statistical power at lower cost. We derive formulas for the optimal ratios of the control group size to the training group size for both ANOVA and ANCOVA designs, incorporating the differential costs of training and control group participation. Second, we examine the possibility that using a less expensive proxy criterion measure in place of the target criterion measure of interest when evaluating the training effectiveness can pay off. We show that using a proxy criterion increases the sample size needed to achieve a given level of statistical power, and then we describe procedures for examining the tradeoff between the costs saved by using the less expensive proxy criterion and the costs incurred by the larger sample size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-668
Number of pages18
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


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