What is Structural Equation Modeling?

par marketingthema

Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is an extremely broad and flexible framework for data analysis, perhaps better thought of as a family of related methods rather than as a single technique. What is its relevance to Marketing Research?


Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is an extremely broad and flexible framework for data analysis, perhaps better thought of as a family of related methods rather than as a single technique. Its origins can be traced back to Psychologist Charles Spearman at the turn of the 20th century and Geneticist Sewall Wright in the immediate aftermath of WWI. Many others have had a hand in its development, notably Karl Jöreskog and Peter Bentler. Covariance Structure Analysis and LISREL, the name of a program Jöreskog co-developed, are other terms occasionally used interchangeably with Structural Equation Modeling.

What is its relevance to Marketing Research? Attitudes, opinions and personality traits are important drivers of consumer behavior, but they are latent constructs and marketing researchers cannot actually observe them or measure them directly. We can only make inferences about them from what we can observe, responses to questionnaire items, for example. Measuring latent constructs is challenging and we must also incorporate estimates of measurement error into our models. SEM excels at both of these tasks.

By Kevin Gray, President of Cannon Gray.

Read full paper here

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