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On the use of predictive discriminant analysis in academic prediction


A. Iduseria; J. E. Osemwenkhae

JOURNAL: Journal of the Nigerian Statistical Association Vol. 29, 2017
YEAR: 2017


Selection of key predictor variables in classical statistical procedures such as predictive discriminant analysis (PDA) not only leads to the identification of key predictor variables which separate the groups well but also improves prediction or classification accuracy. Because the dependent variable in PDA is categorical, the technique lends itself to various uses in higher education predictions. But the predictive validity of the predictive discriminant function (PDF), in the context of academic prediction, can best be evaluated based on the relevance of the selected key predictor variables to the PDF underlying construct when compared to what the PDF solution is intended to measure. This is not provided for by existing variable selection procedures used in PDA. Hence, final key predictor variables obtained by PDA in the context of academic prediction often lack the basic quality desired in a criterion measure such as 'relevance'. A simple approach that will validate the relevance of the key predictors to the PDF underlying construct when compared to what the PDF solution is intended to measure is proposed. The approach is based on modified splitting of historical sample and profiling of the selected key predictors. In application to four training samples from the same population, the final selected subset of key predictors' description was relevant when compared to what the PDF solution is intended to measure.


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