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Date:   Thu, 22 May 1997 07:35:53 -0500
Reply-To:   "Scheltema, Karen" <Karen.Scheltema@STATE.MN.US>
Sender:   "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From:   "Scheltema, Karen" <Karen.Scheltema@STATE.MN.US>
Subject:   Re: breakpoints

I would also add that categorizing continuous data can be an effective way of dealing with grossly non-normal distributions.

Karen Scheltema, MA MS Statistician State of Minnesota Department of Human Services Division of Performance Measurement and Quality Improvement 444 Lafayette Road St. Paul, MN 55155-3865 (612) 296-4339 fax (612)215-5754

---------- From: R. Allan Reese To: SPSSX(r) Discussion Subject: Re: breakpoints Date: Thursday, May 22, 1997 6:26AM

On Wed, 21 May 1997, William B. Ware wrote:

> I have to ask why you want to "categorize" a continuous variable. So much > information is lost...

Nothing has to be lost. The original values remain in the data file, and probably in the active data since the procedure is to create a set of dummies that cover the range of interest. Why do it? To get round some of the assumptions of parametric analysis. For example, you can replace linear regressions by the equivalent analysis of covariance and fit piecewise models. It promotes thinking about your data - go do it!

R. Allan Reese Email: Head of Applications Direct voice: +44 1482 465296 Academic Services Computing Voice messages: +44 1482 465685 Hull University, Hull HU6 7RX, UK. Fax: +44 1482 466441

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