What is Regression Analysis? « phd monkey

phd monkey An expedition through the forest of academia.

26Jul/11

What is Regression Analysis?

Don’t be fooled by his name.. “Regression”, or Mr. Regression as he prefers it. Mr. Regression “has nothing to do with the common meaning of returning to an earlier or a lower stage or declining to a previous level”, “such as a 10-year-old who starts wetting the bed and sucking his thumb” (Vogt, 2007, p. 145). What Mr. Regression tries to do is predict and explain. For this reason he might be better called Mr. Predictor or Mr. Explainer.

Mr. Regression’s analysis is by far “the most widely employed method for studying quantitative evidence” (Vogt, 2007, p. 145). Some of the progressive forms of Mr. Regression’s analysis are highly technical and complex.

According to Vogt (2007), even the most advanced and complex forms of Mr. Regression’s analysis always ask some version of one basic question:
How much better can I predict (or explain) a dependent variable (Y) if I know an independent variable (X)?” (p. 146)

The objective of Mr. Regression’s analysis is always to answer a form of, or an expansion on Vogt’s question.

Vogt, P.W., (2007). Quantitative research methods for professionals. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

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