When your dependent variable is not continuous, unbounded, and measured on an interval or ratio scale, linear models don’t fit. The data just will not meet the assumptions of linear models. But there’s good news, other models exist for many types of dependent variables.
Today I’m going to go into more detail about 6 common types of dependent variables that are either discrete, bounded, or measured on a nominal or ordinal scale and the tests that work for them instead. Some are all of these.
Learning statistics is difficult enough; throw in some especially confusing terminology and it can feel impossible! There are many ways that statistical language can be confusing.
Some terms mean one thing in the English language, but have another (usually more specific) meaning in statistics. (more…)
by Christos Giannoulis
Many data sets contain well over a thousand variables. Such complexity, the speed of contemporary desktop computers, and the ease of use of statistical analysis packages can encourage ill-directed analysis.
It is easy to generate a vast array of poor ‘results’ by throwing everything into your software and waiting to see what turns up. (more…)
One important yet difficult skill in statistics is choosing a type model for different data situations. One key consideration is the dependent variable.
For linear models, the dependent variable doesn’t have to be normally distributed, but it does have to be continuous, unbounded, and measured on an interval or ratio scale.
Percentages don’t fit these criteria. Yes, they’re continuous and ratio scale. The issue is the (more…)
When you put a continuous predictor into a linear regression model, you assume it has a constant relationship with the dependent variable along the predictor’s range. But how can you be certain? What is the best way to measure this?
And most important, what should you do if it clearly isn’t the case?
Let’s explore a few options for capturing a non-linear relationship between X and Y within a linear regression (yes, really). (more…)
The assumptions of normality and constant variance in a linear model (both OLS regression and ANOVA) are quite robust to departures. That means that even if the assumptions aren’t met perfectly, the resulting p-values will still be reasonable estimates.
But you need to check the assumptions anyway, because some departures are so far off that the p-values become inaccurate. And in many cases there are remedial measures you can take to turn non-normal residuals into normal ones.
But sometimes you can’t.
Sometimes it’s because the dependent variable just isn’t appropriate for a linear model. The (more…)