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Discriminant Analysis

Discriminant analysis, more commonly discriminant function analysis, is a multivariate statistical technique used to parse out variables that distinguish particular groups. In other words, this analysis identifies which variables discriminate between mutually exclusive, categorical groups. It is often used in communication research to identify the variables that can predict who might belong to a particular naturally occurring group (e.g., classroom, gender) or assigned research group (e.g., control, treatment). This entry summarizes the development and utility of the discriminant function analysis, its assumptions, analysis options, and data interpretation.

This is a useful statistical analysis in cases in which being able to predict one’s group membership is important. For example, imagine that a researcher has developed a costly intervention for public speaking anxiety. When this intervention works for ...

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