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Re: st: Interpting Dichotomous


From   Richard Williams <Richard.A.Williams.5@nd.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: Interpting Dichotomous
Date   Mon, 23 Aug 2004 00:46:31 -0500

At 02:45 PM 8/22/2004 -0700, Syed O Masood wrote:
In regression analysis, how do we interpret dichotomus
variables...How would I know if it is male or female which accounts
for decrease in blood flow.
It is not an either/or question. The coefficient for a dummy variable shows you the status of one group relative to the other. In your case, one gender scores 1.67 points lower than the other (or, if you prefer, one gender scores 1.67 points higher than the other). Which one is higher/lower depends on how gender is coded.

To put it another way, it wouldn't make any sense to talk about an effect of gender if your sample only had one gender. If males have higher scores it automatically follows that females have lower scores. You don't say that one gender has an effect on blood flow while the other does not.

For brief discussions of dummy variables, see pp. 10-12 of

http://www.nd.edu/~rwilliam/stats2/l02.pdf

Or (see especially pp. 8-9)

http://www.nd.edu/~rwilliam/stats2/l51.pdf


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Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
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