“Because mixed models are more complex and more flexible than the general linear model, the potential for confusion and errors is higher.”
– Hamer & Simpson (2005)
Linear Mixed Models, as implemented in SAS’s Proc Mixed, SPSS Mixed, R’s LMER, and Stata’s xtmixed, are an extension of the general linear model. They use more sophisticated techniques for estimation of parameters (means, variances, regression coefficients, and standard errors), and as the quotation says, are much more flexible.
Here’s one example of the flexibility of mixed models, and its resulting potential for confusion and error. (more…)