Discriminant Function Analysis

Discriminant function analysis is used to determine which variables discriminate between two or more naturally occurring groups (it is used as either a hypothesis testing or exploratory method). For example, an educational researcher may want to investigate which variables discriminate between high school graduates who decide (1) to go to college, (2) to attend a trade or professional school, or (3) to seek no further training or education. For that purpose the researcher could collect data on numerous variables prior to students' graduation. After graduation, most students will naturally fall into one of the three categories. Discriminant Analysis could then be used to determine which variable(s) are the best predictors of students' subsequent educational choice (e.g., IQ, GPA, SAT).

For more information on Discriminant Function Analysis, see the Discriminant Function Analysis Introductory Overview; see also Classification Trees.