Multivariate analysis of survey data

Date of publication: September 1, 1998

Author: Ken Baker


A chapter such as this can only scratch the surface in terms of informing the reader what techniques are available, what they do, how they do it, and what are the pitfalls, so it must be seen as purely introductory. Nevertheless, it attempts to introduce the subject in as undemanding a way as possible, using verbal rather than mathematical descriptions of the techniques wherever possible. Complex mathematical descriptions are, we hope, kept to a minimum. Multivariate analysis is broadly concerned with the relationships between a set of variables. How similar are they? Are they correlated? Can they be summarised effectively? Are they predictive of outcomes in any sense? Are there groups of respondents with similar behavioural or attitudinal patterns as measured by these variables? Multivariate techniques attempt to answer questions such as these.

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