Short Course B: Introduction to Data Analysis Using Mplus

Lecturers: Dr. Matthias Blümke, Dr. Clemens Lechner, Dr. Daniel Danner

Date: 2-3 August 2018
Time: 09:00-13:00, 14:00-16:00

Short Course Description:

This short course introduces the statistical software Mplus and demonstrates the basic programming skills for analyzing multivariate statistical problems such as structural equation models (SEM) with Mplus. Mplus is one of the most widely used software packages for analysing such latent variable models. The main objective of this course is to understand the basic features of Mplus, the syntax of its code, and the appropriate work flow. Participants will learn how to prepare and load their data, become familiar with the structure of Mplus input and output files, and learn how to write Mplus syntax of simple and more complex latent variable models.  Rather than introducing specific statistical models, the course will focus on the more general task of handling the Mplus software and equip participants with the skills needed to implement their own statistical models. The participants are expected to be familiar with the general idea of statistical analysis, regression models, and sound knowlegde about factor analysis. Basic knowledge about latent variable modeling and structural equation modeling is helpful. Aspects such as specifying models, choosing appropriate estimation methods, and handling missing data will be covered.  

Course Prerequisites:

  • Good knowledge of basic uni- and multivariate statistics (especially regression and factor analysis)
  • At least basic understanding of latent variables and structural equation modeling (SEM)
  • No previous experience with Mplus required

Target Group:

Participants will find the course useful if:

  •  they want to use latent variables or apply structural equation modelling
  •  they are interested in extending their technical/programming skills and are curious about a powerful statistical software
  •  they attend the course “Introduction to Structural Equation Modelling” in week 1 of the summer school

Course and Learning Objectives:

By the end of the course participants will:

  • know how to prepare data for Mplus analysis
  • be able to understand and write Mplus syntax for basic and more advanced (latent variable) models
  • be able to interpret Mplus output
  • be able to translate fundamental statistical aspects of SEM into Mplus code

Organizational Structure of the Course:

This short course consists of about 6 hours of instruction per day. The course work is spilt into lectures and exercises. Special attention is given to the hands-on training. The instructors will be available for individual consultation during the exercises and after the lecture.

Software and Hardware Requirements:

None. GESIS will provide participants with access to soft- and hardware.