ERIC Number: EJ934366
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Differentiating Categorical and Dimensional Data with Taxometric Analysis: Are Two Variables Better than None?
Ruscio, John; Walters, Glenn D.
Psychological Assessment, v23 n2 p287-299 Jun 2011
Taxometric analyses have proven helpful for distinguishing categorical and dimensional data. Many taxometric procedures require at least 3 variables for analysis. What if a construct is defined by only 2 conceptually nonredundant characteristics or a data set contains only 2 empirically nonredundant variables? In Study 1, we performed extensive simulations to determine whether informative results can be obtained when only 2 variables are available for taxometric analysis. The mean above minus below a cut (MAMBAC) and maximum slope (MAXSLOPE) procedures, used with parallel analyses of comparison data, successfully differentiated categorical and dimensional structure. With just 2 variables, it seems especially important that indicators vary across as many distinct values as possible and that investigators obtain as large a sample as possible. Additional findings address questions about the most effective way to implement taxometric analyses. In Study 2, the potential utility of 2-variable taxometric analysis is illustrated using data on proactive and reactive childhood aggression, where the results provided strong support for dimensional structure. As long as high-quality data are available, it appears that one can have confidence in the results of taxometric analyses performed with only 2 variables. (Contains 5 figures, 1 table and 2 footnotes.)
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Classification, Child Behavior, Elementary School Students, Measurement, Measurement Techniques, Psychometrics, Psychological Characteristics, Psychological Studies, Rating Scales, Monte Carlo Methods, Predictor Variables
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel