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Date:         Thu, 3 Feb 2005 17:27:40 -0500
Reply-To:     "Luo, Peter" <>
Sender:       "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         "Luo, Peter" <>
Subject:      Over-fitting
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Hi list, I have a continuous predictor in my multivariate model. To make it work better, I could bin the variable in either way

categorize it into 5 or 10 groups of equal size


categorize it in a way that maximizes its effects on dependent variable (For example, use CHAID to determine the best split point)

then test this categorized variable in the model.

Well, I was 'criticized' that the second approach is trying to capitalize on chance, the variable thus transformed may not hold in reality. And I do remember reading somewhere a professor warned that you can transform the predictors in whatever ways, so long as the transformation is not related to the dependent variable.

I guess my question is: I understand the second categorization approach does have a danger to overfit the model; but won't that be the case for every other type of transformation, too? In other words, if the first approach turns out a significant predictor, then I was not banking on chance?

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