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Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis

Psychology is not just the study of one moment in time. The internal illness suffered by a person or group of people develops over a lifetime and continues to the last time breath in some cases. There has to be a way to study and know about trends over a period of years. The need to view a timeline is also important for sociology. The ability to span the years in analysis is possible with the proper use of statistics. Longitudinal data analysis is intended to do this.

statistical data analysis schema

The Workings of Longitudinal Data Analysis

Other types of analysis for example categorical data analysis will view of one category of data at a moment in time and then draw conclusions from that. Longitudinal data analysis operates on a tracking system that studies a category of individuals over time. The environment is not manipulated so that these studies are observational, and differences may not be the result of culture. Longitudinal studies will make use of cohorts (groups of people who are experiencing a given event is selected), and will review them at intervals over time. Another form of longitudinal study are panel studies, which will take a look at a cross-section and review it at regular intervals.

Applied Data Analysis and Longitudinal Studies

The applied data analysis uses instruments that account for repeated measurements within a certain individual are to be correlated. Generalized estimating equations and random coefficient analysis are two such tools. Individual growth modeling and survival analysis are also put into use. The former will do analyzing data of continuous outcomes such as standardized testing scores and time is used to predict. The latter permits the review of occurrence of a specific event such as dropping out of high school. In this case, time is not the predictor and can be used as an outcome.

The Value of Longitudinal Analysis

The academic use of longitudinal analysis is important. It permits researchers to view how a given continuous outcome or event impacts on a group of people. Longitudinal studies have been used to identify the effects of poverty and how certain events can alter the poverty spiral. Being able to study over time will make it easier to identify trends, since one episode in a given year may not mean anything in the final analysis. The trend review of longitudinal studies, can better help determine at what point in a mentally challenged person’s life intervention can make a serious difference.

An enormous impact of longitudinal study results is the development of public policy. Decision-makers at the task of allocating millions if not billions of dollars on an annual basis. These have to have an impact that is beneficial, or it is a waste of dollars. Longitudinal studies can give an idea of what to expect if certain interventions are used. This can allow for better allocation of public funds.

Longitudinal studies can be a little bit more expensive because the time factor. Researchers have to be involved for years and not weeks. Still, the results from such analysis have found the rock solid and accurate. The benefit in the social sciences in particular are impressive.

Learn more about longitudinal data analysis today!