Novometric vs. Recursive Causal Analysis: The effect of Age, Education, and Region on Support of Civil Liberties

Paul R. Yarnold

Optimal Data Analysis, LLC

Prior research modeled support of another person’s civil liberties (“voted to disallow a Communist speaker”=0; “voted to allow the speaker”=1) as a function of arbitrarily parsed age (39 years=1); education (no college=0; college=1); and region (South, defined as all states in Census South and Border States=1; non-South=0) via log-linear analysis. Results revealed: “The recursive causal model which best represents the data… is the sum of the models for the successive two-, three-, and four-way crosstabulations. The model fits the marginal tables {A}{R}{AR}{RE}{AE}{RS} {AS}{ES} and has L2=3.71 with df=6. …Thus we can see that older persons tend to have lower education, while those living outside the South have a greater chance of some college experience. Odds on holding a tolerant civil liberties attitude are raised by college education and living outside the South but are lower among older persons” (p. 45). Exploratory novometric analysis is used to model support of another’s civil liberties (binary class variable) as a function of region (a categorical at¬tribute), education and age (both treated as ordered attributes measured on categorical ordinal scales).

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