A Primer on Regression Artifacts

A Primer on Regression Artifacts

by Donald T. Campbell, David A. Kenny, Charles S. Reichardt, David A. Kenny
     
 

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Regression toward the mean is a complex statistical principle that plays a crucial role in any research involving the measurement of change. This primer is designed to help researchers more fully understand this phenomenon and avoid common errors in interpretation. The book presents new methods of graphing regression toward the mean, facilitating comprehension with a

Overview

Regression toward the mean is a complex statistical principle that plays a crucial role in any research involving the measurement of change. This primer is designed to help researchers more fully understand this phenomenon and avoid common errors in interpretation. The book presents new methods of graphing regression toward the mean, facilitating comprehension with a wealth of figures and diagrams. Special attention is given to applications related to program or treatment evaluation. Numerous concrete examples illustrate the ways researchers all too often attribute effects to an intervention or other causal variable without considering regression artifacts as an alternative explanation for change. Also discussed are instances when problems are actually created, instead of solved, by "correction" for regression toward the mean. Throughout, the authors strive to use nontechnical language and to keep simulations and formulas as accessible as possible.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In a world that calls attention to extremes, both good and bad, it is critical that social scientists fully understand regression effects. Campbell and Kenny have produced a book on this topic that is destined to be a classic. Ideally suited for graduate students in the social sciences and for nonexperimental researchers, the book is comprehensive and accessible. These well known methodologists tell us how regression effects have fooled experts in psychology, education, and biology, and they explain clearly how the effects can be identified using graphical and statistical tools. Producers as well as critical consumers of empirical information will want this text on their shelves." —Patrick E. Shrout, PhD, Professor of Psychology, New York University

"Elegant and concise....If you are a novice in the topic, you will become an expert by reading A Primer on Regression Artifacts. If you are already an expert, you will learn things you will be surprised you did not already know. In either case, you will find that the authors meet you more than halfway; they guide your inquiry with ample encouragement, engaging illustrations, and good humor....It is hard to imagine a duo that is more capable of making comprehensible a challenging methodological topic." —From the Foreword by Charles S. Reichardt, PhD, University of Denver

"A Primer on Regression Artifacts is a valuable addition to the literature. The volume not only lays bare most of the secrets of regression toward the mean; it also explores correlation in general with great enthusiasm. In a most appropriate arena, this book further extends the vast legacy of the inimitable Donald T. Campbell. I will recommend it to advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and, most certainly, to my faculty colleagues in the behavioral and social sciences." —John R. Nesselroade, PhD, Hugh Scott Hamilton Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia

"This important and useful volume brings together two of our greatest methodologists to tackle one of the thorniest methodological problems in the behavioral sciences. Using interesting examples from research and everyday life, Campbell and Kenny illustrate the diverse contexts in which regression to the mean can arise, and offer suggestions for minimizing its occurrence. Graduate students will find that the book's liberal use of new graphical illustrations makes this normally difficult material wonderfully accessible; established researchers will gain a new and deeper understanding of this classic problem in the study of change." —Stephen G. West, PhD, Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Readings
"All mental health researchers must read this book, which definitely explores a vital topic. It is a magnificent concluding collaboration between Kenny and the late Campbell, the 20th century's foremost behavioral science methodologist."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781572304826
Publisher:
Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
08/05/1999
Series:
Methodology In The Social Sciences Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
202
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)

Meet the Author

Donald T. Campbell, PhD, before his death in 1996 was University Professor of Social Relations, Psychology, and Education at Lehigh University. He had previously taught at Ohio State University, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Syracuse University. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a President of the American Psychological Association. He was the recipient of 9 honorary doctorates.

David A. Kenny, PhD, is Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Connecticut. He has been a visiting professor at Oxford University and Arizona State University, and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

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