The author then introduces a new concept into this model, the focal relationship. This concept is the one cause-and-effect type of relationship of primary significance that is indispensable to the entire theory. Building upon the focal relationship as the cornerstone for all subsequent analysis, two analytic strategies are developed to establish its internal validity:
- An exclusionary strategy to eliminate alternative explanations for the focal relationship using control and other independent variables to rule out spuriousness and redundancy, respectively; and,
- An inclusive strategy to demonstrate that the focal relationship fits within an interconnected set of relationships predicted by theory using antecedent, intervening and consequent variables.
Using real examples of social research, the author demonstrates the use of this approach for two common forms of analysis, multiple linear regression and logistic regression.
Whether learning data analysis for the first time or adding new techniques to your repertoire, this book provides an excellent basis for theory-based data analysis.