S3E11: The Cons and the Cons of Median Splits


Greg and Patrick talk about median splits and other ways that continuous variables might be categorized to simplify analyses, and the often very high cost of doing so. Along the way they also mention Never Have I Ever, hand cuffs, gold hoop earrings, bungee jumping, Erik, Henry and Penny, having a mini, chug jugs, Hill Street Blues, med kits and bandages, Patrick’s mind’s eye, Isn’t It Ironic, leveling up, asteroids, and gophmunks.

Additional Show Notes

Cohen, J. (1983). The cost of dichotomization. Applied Psychological Measurement7, 249-253.

MacCallum, R. C., Zhang, S., Preacher, K. J., & Rucker, D. D. (2002). On the practice of dichotomization of quantitative variables. Psychological Methods7, 19-40.

Olsson, U. (1979). Maximum likelihood estimation of the polychoric correlation coefficient. Psychometrika, 44, 443-460.

Preacher, K. J., Rucker, D. D., MacCallum, R. C., & Nicewander, W. A. (2005). Use of the extreme groups approach: a critical reexamination and new recommendations. Psychological Methods10, 178-192.

Rucker, D. D., McShane, B. B., & Preacher, K. J. (2015). A researcher’s guide to regression, discretization, and median splits of continuous variables. Journal of Consumer Psychology25(4), 666-678.

Taylor, A. B., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2006). Loss of power in logistic, ordinal logistic, and probit regression when an outcome variable is coarsely categorized. Educational and Psychological Measurement66, 228-239.


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