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LIFESPAN: A tool for the computer-aided design of longitudinal studies

Brandmaier, Andreas M.
von Oertzen, Timo
Hertzog, Christopher
Lindenberger, Ulman
Published in Frontiers in Psychology. 2015, vol. 6, no. 272
Abstract Researchers planning a longitudinal study typically search, more or lessi nformally, a multivariate space of possible study designs that include dimensions such as the hypothesized true variance in change, indicator reliability, the number and spacing of measurement occasions, total study time, and sample size. The main search goal is to select a research design that best addresses the guiding questions and hypotheses of the planned study while heeding applicable external conditions and constraints, including time, money, feasibility, and ethical considerations. Because longitudinal study selection ultimately requires optimization under constraints, it is amenable to the general operating principles of optimization in computer-aided design. Based on power equivalence theory (MacCallumetal., 2010; vonOertzen, 2010), we propose a computational framework to promote more systematic searches within the study design space. Starting with an initial design, the proposed framework generates a set of alternative models with equal statistical power to detect hypothesized effects, and delineates trade-off relations among relevant parameters, such as total study time and the number of measurement occasions. We present LIFESPAN (Longitudinal Interactive Front End Study Planner), which implements this framework. LIFESPAN boosts the efficiency, breadth, and precision of the search for optimal longitudinal designs. Its initial version, which is freely available at http://www.brandmaier.de/lifespan, is geared toward the power to detect variance in change as specified in a linear latent growth curve model.
Keywords Statistical powerStructural equation modelingLatent growth curve modelingOptimal designPower equivalence theoryEffective error
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Research group Méthodologie et analyse des données (MAD)
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BRANDMAIER, Andreas M. et al. LIFESPAN: A tool for the computer-aided design of longitudinal studies. In: Frontiers in Psychology, 2015, vol. 6, n° 272. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00272 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:86129

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Deposited on : 2016-08-17

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