Interpreting effect size

One of the most widely used interpretation of effect size is Cohen’s d, as follows:

  • <.10: trivial
  • [.10,.30]: small to medium
  • [.30,.50]: medium to large
  • >.50: large to very large

This appears to be the standard in psychology.

I am wondering if there is such a standard in sociology or social science in general?

I know the size of effect is best interpreted in the context of the research!


These "standards" in psychology are an unfortunate consequence of poor statistics training. Don't look for such standards in an entire field. At best they could be found within a particular subject matter. Cohen never intended these to be standards and just suggested them as a starting point for interpretation based on a prior analysis of social science effect sizes and intuition. We were supposed to grow beyond that suggestion, not turn it into doctrine.

Source : Link , Question Author : Amarald , Answer Author : John

Leave a Comment