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Dictionary

Statistical interaction

ROBERT MILLER

In quantitative data analysis a statistical interaction can be defined as an expression of the linkage or association between two or more independent/causal variables. This linkage or association is beyond what would be expected by chance and means that one cannot just add together the effects of each independent variable upon a dependent variable; if an interaction is present the effect of each independent variable varies depending upon the other independent variable(s). Understanding what interactions are and being able to distinguish them from the simple combined effects of two or more independent/causal variables is important for understanding multivariate analysis. First, let us examine a bad taste non-statistical example of an interaction. Suppose we have three Hollywood stars, all of whom go out for a wild night on the town. Star A drinks prodigious amounts of alcohol. Late the next day, she wakes up with a hangover. Star B does Safe ...

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