DTC Quantitative
Research Methods
Regression I: (Correlation and)
Linear Regression
Thursday 3rd March 2016
The Correlation Coefficient (r)
This shows the strength/closeness of a relationship
Age at First
Childbirth
r = 0.5
(or perhaps less…)
Age at First Cohabitation
r = -1
r=+1
r=0
Correlation… and Regression
• r measures correlation in a linear way
• … and is connected to linear regression
• More precisely, it is r2 (r-squared) that is of
relevance
• It is the ‘variation explained’ by the
regression line
• … and is sometimes referred to as the
‘coefficient of determination’
y
The arrows show the overall variation
(variation from the mean of y)
Mean
x
y
Some of the overall variation is explained by the
regression line (i.e. the arrows tend to be shorter than
the dashed lines, because the regression line is
closer to the points than the mean line is)
Mean
x
Value
As an aside, it is worth noting that the logic of Analysis of
Variance is in essence the same, the difference being that
the group means, rather than a regression line, are used to
‘explain’ some of the variation (‘Between-groups’ variation).
Line and arrow are
differences from
group mean and
overall mean
Overall mean
Group
1
2
3
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA): Decomposing variance
into Between-Groups and Within-Group
Outlier
Length of
Residence (y)
B
1
ε
C
Age (x)
0
y = Bx + C + ε
Regression
line (+ ε)
Slope
Error term
(Residual)
Constant
Choosing the line that best explains the data
• Some variation is explained by the regression line
• The residuals constitute the unexplained variation
• The regression line is chosen so as to minimise the
sum of the squared residuals
• i.e. to minimise Σε2 (Σ means ‘sum of’)
• The full/specific name for this technique is
Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) linear regression
Regression assumptions #1 and #2
Frequency
ε
0
#1: Residuals have the usual symmetric, ‘bell-shaped’ normal distribution
#2: Residuals are independent of each other
y
Regression assumption #3
Homoscedasticity
Spread of residuals (ε)
stays consistent in size
(range) as x increases
x
y
Heteroscedasticity
Spread of residuals (ε)
increases as x increases (or
varies in some other way)
Use Weighted Least Squares
x
Regression assumption #4
• Linearity! (We’ve
already assumed
this…)
• In the case of a nonlinear relationship,
one may be able to
use a non-linear
regression equation,
such as:
y = B1x + B2x2 + c
Another problem: Multicollinearity
• If two ‘independent variables’, x and z, are
perfectly correlated (i.e. identical), it is
impossible to tell what the B values
corresponding to each should be
• e.g. if y = 2x + c, and we add z, should we get:
• y = 1.0x + 1.0z + c, or
• y = 0.5x + 1.5z + c, or
• y = -5001.0x + 5003.0z + c ?
• The problem applies if two variables are highly
(but not perfectly) correlated too…
Example of Regression
(from Pole and Lampard, 2002, Ch. 9)
• GHQ = (-0.69 x INCOME) + 4.94
• Is -0.69 significantly different from 0 (zero)?
• A test statistic that takes account of the
‘accuracy’ of the B of -0.69 (by dividing it by
its standard error) is t = -2.142
• For this value of t in this example, the
significance value is p = 0.038 < 0.05
• r-squared here is (-0.321)2 = 0.103 = 10.3%
B’s and Multivariate Regression Analysis
• The impact of an independent variable on
a dependent variable is B
• But how and why does the value of B
change when we introduce another
independent variable?
• If the effects of the two independent are
inter-related in the sense that they interact
(i.e. the effect of one depends on the value
of the other), how does B vary?
Multiple Regression
• GHQ = (-0.47 x INCOME)
+ (-1.95 x HOUSING) + 5.74
• For B = 0.47, t = -1.51 (& p = 0.139 > 0.05)
• For B = -1.95, t = -2.60 (& p = 0.013 < 0.05)
• The r-squared value for this regression is
0.236 (23.6%)
Interaction effects…
Length
of
residence
Women
All
Men
Age
In this situation there is an interaction between the effects of age and of
gender, so B (the slope) varies according to gender and is greater for women
Dummy variables
• Categorical variables can be included in
regression analyses via the use of one or
more dummy variables (two-category
variables with values of 0 and 1).
• In the case of a comparison of men and
women, a dummy variable could compare
men (coded 1) with women (coded 0).
• In general, a variable with n categories can
be represented using (n-1) dummy variables.
Creating a variable to check for an
interaction effect
• We may want to see whether an effect
varies according to the level of another
variable.
• Multiplying the values of two independent
variables together, and including this third
variable alongside the other two allows us
to do this.
Interaction effects (continued)
Length
of
residence
Women
Slope of line
for women
= BAGE
All
Men
Slope of line for
men =
BAGE+BAGESEXD
SEXDUMMY = 1 for men & 0 for women
AGESEXD = AGE x SEXDUMMY
For men AGESEXD = AGE & For women AGESEXD = 0
Age
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DTC Quantitative Research Methods Regression I: (Correlation and) Linear Regression