Logistic Regression

Logistic regression is useful for situations in which you want to be able to predict the presence or absence of a characteristic or outcome based on values of a set of predictor variables. It is similar to a linear regression model but is suited to models where the dependent variable is dichotomous. Logistic regression coefficients can be used to estimate odds ratios for each of the independent variables in the model. Logistic regression is applicable to a broader range of research situations than discriminant analysis.

Example. What lifestyle characteristics are risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD)? Given a sample of patients measured on smoking status, diet, exercise, alcohol use, and CHD status, you could build a model using the four lifestyle variables to predict the presence or absence of CHD in a sample of patients. The model can then be used to derive estimates of the odds ratios for each factor to tell you, for example, how much more likely smokers are to develop CHD than nonsmokers.

Statistics. For each analysis: total cases, selected cases, valid cases. For each categorical variable: parameter coding. For each step: variable(s) entered or removed, iteration history, –2 log-likelihood, goodness of fit, Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit statistic, model chi-square, improvement chi-square, classification table, correlations between variables, observed groups and predicted probabilities chart, residual chi-square. For each variable in the equation: coefficient (B), standard error of B, Wald statistic, estimated odds ratio (exp(B)), confidence interval for exp(B), log-likelihood if term removed from model. For each variable not in the equation: score statistic. For each case: observed group, predicted probability, predicted group, residual, standardized residual.

Methods. You can estimate models using block entry of variables or any of the following stepwise methods: forward conditional, forward LR, forward Wald, backward conditional, backward LR, or backward Wald.

Logistic Regression Data Considerations

Data. The dependent variable should be dichotomous. Independent variables can be interval level or categorical; if categorical, they should be dummy or indicator coded (there is an option in the procedure to recode categorical variables automatically).

Assumptions. Logistic regression does not rely on distributional assumptions in the same sense that discriminant analysis does. However, your solution may be more stable if your predictors have a multivariate normal distribution. Additionally, as with other forms of regression, multicollinearity among the predictors can lead to biased estimates and inflated standard errors. The procedure is most effective when group membership is a truly categorical variable; if group membership is based on values of a continuous variable (for example, "high IQ" versus "low IQ"), you should consider using linear regression to take advantage of the richer information offered by the continuous variable itself.

Related procedures. Use the Scatterplot procedure to screen your data for multicollinearity. If assumptions of multivariate normality and equal variance-covariance matrices are met, you may be able to get a quicker solution using the Discriminant Analysis procedure. If all of your predictor variables are categorical, you can also use the Loglinear procedure. If your dependent variable is continuous, use the Linear Regression procedure. You can use the ROC Curve procedure to plot probabilities saved with the Logistic Regression procedure.

Obtaining a Logistic Regression Analysis

This feature requires the Regression option.

  1. From the menus choose:

    Analyze > Regression > Binary Logistic...

  2. Select one dichotomous dependent variable. This variable may be numeric or string.
  3. Select one or more covariates. To include interaction terms, select all of the variables involved in the interaction and then select >a*b>.

To enter variables in groups (blocks), select the covariates for a block, and click Next to specify a new block. Repeat until all blocks have been specified.

Optionally, you can select cases for analysis. Choose a selection variable, and click Rule.

This procedure pastes LOGISTIC REGRESSION command syntax.