The Life of a Wannabe Academic

Detail of the life a new academic. The progress from graduate training to professor. Includes reflections on the job hunting process, research in technology and education, and what it is like to be a new college professor.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Why is stats so darned difficult

I am currently trying to re-analyze my thesis data. In my original thesis I had conducted a path analysis to help describe the relationships between a set a variables. With my last review of the ms I submitted on this research, the reviewer basically stated that the path analysis and the conclusions made from this analysis were not correct. I have a nagging feeling though, that they were correct, at least on some level.

I am now trying to get into the nitty gritty of path analysis and I am finding that it is a very difficult type of analysis to interpret because of the possiblity of needing to conduct several different analyses on several different models. Now I have tried to find a way to evaluate the fit of the model to my data and invested hard drive space into a trial version of Lisrel (a commonly used program for SEM and path analysis), but I cannot figure out how to use it! How much time should I spend learning this new software versus using an alternate, yet time consuming technique of decomposing my paths by hand.

Just frustrated with how completcated things can get when you really start to think deeply about them. Perhaps I wonder if I am thinking too deeply and getting to complicated. Parsimony is valued in our profession, perhaps I need to just try a simpler technique.


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