StatLab Articles

Interpreting Log Transformations in a Linear Model

Log transformations are often recommended for skewed data, such as monetary measures or certain biological and demographic measures. Log transforming data usually has the effect of spreading out clumps of data and bringing together spread-out data. For example, below is a histogram of the areas of all 50 US states. It is skewed to the […]

Getting Started with Matching Methods

A frequent research question is whether or not some “treatment” causes an effect. For example, does taking aspirin daily reduce the chance of a heart attack? Does more sleep lead to better academic performance for teenagers? Does smoking increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)? To truly answer such questions, we need a […]

Getting Started with Moderated Mediation

In a previous post we demonstrated how to perform a basic mediation analysis. In this post we look at performing a moderated mediation analysis. The basic idea is that a mediator may depend on another variable called a “moderator”. For example, in our mediation analysis post we hypothesized that self-esteem was a mediator of student […]

Getting started with Multivariate Multiple Regression

Multivariate Multiple Regression is the method of modeling multiple responses, or dependent variables, with a single set of predictor variables. For example, we might want to model both math and reading SAT scores as a function of gender, race, parent income, and so forth. This allows us to evaluate the relationship of, say, gender with […]

Visualizing the Effects of Proportional-Odds Logistic Regression

Proportional-odds logistic regression is often used to model an ordered categorical response. By “ordered”, we mean categories that have a natural ordering, such as “Disagree”, “Neutral”, “Agree”, or “Everyday”, “Some days”, “Rarely”, “Never”. For a primer on proportional-odds logistic regression, see our post, Fitting and Interpreting a Proportional Odds Model. In this post we demonstrate […]

Getting started with the purrr package in R

If you’re wondering what exactly the purrr package does, then this blog post is for you. Before we get started, we should mention the Iteration chapter in R for Data Science by Garrett Grolemund and Hadley Wickham. We think this is the most thorough and extensive introduction to the purrr package currently available (at least […]

Working with dates and time in R using the lubridate package

Sometimes we have data with dates and/or times that we want to manipulate or summarize. A common example in the health sciences is time-in-study. A subject may enter a study on Feb 12, 2008 and exit on November 4, 2009. How many days was the person in the study? (Don’t forget 2008 was a leap […]

The Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test

The Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test is often described as the non-parametric version of the two-sample t-test. You sometimes see it in analysis flowcharts after a question such as “is your data normal?” A “no” branch off this question will recommend a Wilcoxon test if you’re comparing two groups of continuous measures. So what is this […]

Pairwise comparisons of proportions

Pairwise comparison means comparing all pairs of something. If I have three items A, B and C, that means comparing A to B, A to C, and B to C. Given n items, I can determine the number of possible pairs using the binomial coefficient: $$ \frac{n!}{2!(n – 2)!} = \binom {n}{2}$$ Using the R […]

Stata Basics: foreach and forvalues

There are times we need to do some repetitive tasks in the process of data preparation, analysis or presentation, for instance, computing a set of variables in a same manner, rename or create a series of variables, or repetitively recode values of a number of variables. In this post, I show a few of simple […]