Causal Models and Structural Equations with MPLUS 7
Prof. Peter Schmidt, University of Giessen
21 July - 1 August (two week course / 35 hrs)
Peter Schmidt is Professor emeritus at the University of Giessen. His research interests are the foundations and applications of structural equations models, methods for cross-cultural analysis, analysis of panel data, and empirically testing wide versions of rational choice theory. Applications include studies of national identity, inter-ethnic relations, values and environmental behaviour. He has published several books and many papers on these topics in the European Sociological Review, Social Science Research, International Journal of Cross-Cultural Sociology, Journal for Cross-Cultural Psychology, International Journal of Conflict and Violence Research, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Social Issues, Methodology, Political Psychology ,Psychological Methods, Public Opinion Quarterly, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Quality and Quantity, Rationality and Society, Sociological Methods and Research, and Environment and Behaviour.
- The course shows how a social science theory can be translated into a structural equation model, and how the model can be estimated and tested with the MPLUS 7 computer program. In the first part, we deal with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) relating single or multiple indicators to one (CFA) or several latent variables(Simultaneous Confirmatory Factor Analysis and second order confirmatory factor analysis). Different specifications of measurement models are tested via confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) as a special case of a structural equation model (SEM). Special emphasis is given to the topic of measurement invariance. We will deal with the cross cultural analysis of multiple groups (MGCFA) for comparisons within and between societies including intercepts of observed variables and latent means. The second part comprises both the structural model and the measurement model. Topics include recursive vs. non-recursive models for the structural part of the model, Moderation (Interaction effects) and mediation, missing data and the use of formative vs. reflective indicators in MIMIC Models. Special emphasis is directed toward the use of the multiple-group option, for cross-national comparisons of both the measurement and the structural model. A major focus will be the process of model modification and alternative model testing using adequate fit measures and how to report CFA and SEM results. All examples are based on the value instrument and additional data from the European Social Survey(ESS).
- The objectives of this course are to show how confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling can be used to develop and/or test both measurement models and causal theories with latent variables especially for cross cultural comparisons. A further important aim is to familiarize participants with the MPLUS 7 program to handle the most important standard models especially for comparisons within and between societies. The program will be run mainly by syntax.
- Participants are expected to have extensive familiarity with Windows applications, good knowledge of exploratory factor analysis and regression analysis is required. The course is mainly suited for those, who want to apply CFA and SEM within the next six months.
- T.Brown (2006) Confirmatory Factor Analysis for Applied Research, Guilford Press
- B.Byrne(2012) Structural Equation Modeling with MPLUS, Routledge
- E.Davidov/P.Schmidt/J.Billiet(eds.)(2011) Cross Cultural Analysis: Methods and Applications, Routledge
- B.Muthen/L.Muthen (2012) Mplus 7 manual available from the MPLUS Website
- R.B.Kline(2011) Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling, third edition, Guilford Press
Representative Backround Reading
- E.Davidov/P.Schmidt/S.Schwartz(2008): Bringing values back in. The adequacy of the European Social Survey to measure values in 20 countries. Public Opinion Quarterly 72,3, 420-445.
- E.Davidov/B.Meuleman/J.Billiet/P.Schmidt(2008) Values and the Support for immigration: A Cross Country Comparison, European Sociological Review,24,5,583-599.
- E.Davidov/B.Meuleman/J.Ciecuch/P.Schmidt/J.Blliet(2014) Measurement Invariance in cross- national research, Annual Review of Sociology, in print.