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 […]

# statistical methods

## 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 […]

## 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 […]

## Getting Started with Factor Analysis

Take a look at the following correlation matrix for Olympic decathlon data calculated from 280 scores from 1960 through 2004 (Johnson and Wichern, p. 499): 100m LJ SP HJ 400m 100mH DS PV JV 1500m 100m 1.0000 0.6386 0.4752 0.3227 0.5520 0.3262 0.3509 0.4008 0.1821 -0.0352 LJ 0.6386 1.0000 0.4953 0.5668 0.4706 0.3520 0.3998 0.5167 […]

## An Introduction to Loglinear Models

Loglinear models model cell counts in contingency tables. They’re a little different from other modeling methods in that they don’t distinguish between response and explanatory variables. All variables in a loglinear model are essentially “responses”. To learn more about loglinear models, we’ll explore the following data from Agresti (1996, Table 6.3). It summarizes responses from […]

## Getting Started with Hurdle Models

Hurdle Models are a class of models for count data that help handle excess zeros and overdispersion. To motivate their use, let’s look at some data in R. The following data come with the AER package. It is a sample of 4,406 individuals, aged 66 and over, who were covered by Medicare in 1988. One […]

## Hierarchical Linear Regression

This post is NOT about Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM; multilevel modeling). The hierarchical regression is model comparison of nested regression models. When do I want to perform hierarchical regression analysis? Hierarchical regression is a way to show if variables of your interest explain a statistically significant amount of variance in your Dependent Variable (DV) after […]

## Getting started with Negative Binomial Regression Modeling

When it comes to modeling counts (ie, whole numbers greater than or equal to 0), we often start with Poisson regression. This is a generalized linear model where a response is assumed to have a Poisson distribution conditional on a weighted sum of predictors. For example, we might model the number of documented concussions to […]