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Discriminant Analysis allows a researcher to study the difference between two or more groups of objects with respect to several variables simultaneously. These procedures, collectively known as discriminant analysis, allow a researcher to study the difference between two or more groups of objects with respect to. functions, classification functions and procedures. and various selection criteria for the inclusion of variables in discriminant analysis. Professor. Klecka derives.

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When incorrect degrees of freedom are used the results of statistical tests of significance are systematically biased in favor of spuriously high statistical significance Thompson, In discriminant analysis the anaalysis scores are the discriminant scores created with the discriminant function coefficients Pedhazur, The most basic question answered by PDA is ” given the individuals scores on several predictor variables, which group represents their true membership group? Therefore, the explanatory ability of variables Y 4 and Y 3 on the first function, and variables Y 1 and Y 2 on the second function, are very similar.

Why won ‘ t stepwise methods die? Snyder, have advanced discrimminant arguments against the use of stepwise methodologies.

Discriminant Analysis – William R. Klecka, William R.. Klecka – Google Books

In a stepwise analysis variables are entered one at a time within the context of previously entered variables, in a one-at-a-time fashion. Stepwise Methodology in Discriminant Analysis Huberty stated that discriminant analysis DA includes a set of response variables and a set of one or more grouping or nominally scaled variables.

In fact, anyone who is familiar with the basic goals and techniques of multiple disdriminant can easily understand the association between multiple regression and discriminant analysis. Despite the adamancy with which certain scholars caution the unwary researcher against using stepwise methods, their use continues unabated.

If the original number of predictor variables was ten than the correct ” charge ” is ten. According to Hubertyp.

Methodologists from Harvard University contributed much to the interest in application of discriminant analysis in education and psychology in the s and s Huberty, Table 5 presents standardized canonical discriminant function coefficients and Table 6 presents a structure matrix from a stepwise discriminant function naalysis. This capitalization on sampling error is possible because of the way in which stepwise analyses forward stepwise analyses choose variables.


An important aspect of any scientific endeavor is replication.

Potential improvements in typical practice. The statistical packages named above have stepwise discriminant analysis programs with built-in criteria for stepping that relate to group separation. Drop-outs Non-drop outs Totals.

Once the analysis changes to a DDA with more than 2-groups, the calculations become more complex and are no longer directly analogous riscriminant regression results. Problems with stepwise methods: Some alternatives to the present use of stepwise methods are discussed.

Stepwise regression and stepwise discriminant analysis need not apply here: The widely used computer packages do not have stepwise algorithms that do this. Again, Table 2 shows the relationship between DDA structure coefficients and regression structure coefficients for the above mentioned case. Although values are not identical and are arbitrarily scaled in the opposite direction, their relative magnitudes within each column are the same.


Lack discrominant generalizability pertains directly to the question of replicability. The linear composites linear discriminant functions, LDFs can be used to identify outcome variable ” constructs or latent variables that underlie the group differences, that is, that underlie the grouping variable effect ” Huberty,p.

Statistical methods for digital computers Vol. Stepwise methods do not necessarily identify the best predictor set of a given size Huberty, ; Thompson,even for the sample data being analyzed. The packages do not provide interpretation.

At kledka same time a cutoff score will be determined such that when the criterion groups are compared with respect to the discriminant scores the errors of classification are minimized Kachigan,p. Multiple regression in behavioral research 2nd ed. In predictive discriminant analysis each object will have a single score on the discriminant function in place of kleka scores on the various predictor variables.

In fact, these differences may be due only to sampling error and represent little, if any, true difference.

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However, Klecka presented a case that examined Senatorial factions and utilized both procedures. The use of structure coefficients in regression research. According to Jleckap” stepwise analytic methods may be among the most popular research practices employed in both substantive and validity research. If the variable that was ignored in the first step, V2 was more practical or economical, analyeis if its true population effect was even larger, V2 would still be ignored.


The use of stepwise methodologies has been sharply criticized by several researchers, yet their popularity, especially in educational and psychological research, continues unabated.

Because F critical at infinite and infinite degrees of freedom equals 1, an F calculated disxriminant than 1 cannot be statistically significant. These LDF-variable correlations are often called structurer’s ” p.

The purpose of the present paper is to familiarize the reader with the use of stepwise methodology in discriminant analysis. In the present example, Table 6, the structure matrix reveals that variable Y 3on function one, and variable Y 2on function two, also contain much explanatory ability, or ability to account for variance.

Issues in the use and interpretation of discriminant analysis.

The case against statistical significance testing. In any computerized stepwise procedure the pre-set degrees of freedom are ” one ” for each variable included in the analysis. Beyond the two disciplines of scientific psychology.

That is, the roles of the two types of variables involved in a multivariate, multigroup setting in DDA are reversed from the roles in PDA ” Huberty,p. He suggested that variables be discarded when they do not provide predictive validity, for example, those that have contributed little to predictive validity in previous studies, variables highly correlated with other variables, and variables that are judged not relevant to the present study.

Stepwise methods hold out the promise of assisting researchers with such important tasks as variable selection and variable ordering. On the two functions listed in Table 5, it appears that variable Y 4 provides the greatest amount of explanatory power on the first function and, correspondingly, variable Y 1 on the second function. As Thompson suggested, it is possible that otherwise worthy variables are often excluded from the analysis altogether and assumed to have no explanatory or predictive potential.

Stepwise methods are as bad in discriminant analysis as they are anywhere else.