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Behav Res Methods. 2011 Mar;43(1):18-36. doi: 10.3758/s13428-010-0040-1.

Selecting the best unbalanced repeated measures model.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Oviedo, Plaza de Benito Feijóo, s/n 33003, Oviedo, Spain. gvallejo@uniovi.es


This study examined the performance of selection criteria available in the major statistical packages for both mean model and covariance structure. Unbalanced designs due to missing data involving both a moderate and large number of repeated measurements and varying total sample sizes were investigated. The study also investigated the impact of using different estimation strategies for information criteria, the impact of different adjustments for calculating the criteria, and the impact of different distribution shapes. Overall, we found that the ability of consistent criteria in any of the their examined forms to select the correct model was superior under simple covariance patterns than under complex covariance patterns, and vice versa for the efficient criteria. The simulation studies covered in this paper also revealed that, regardless of method of estimation used, the consistent criteria based on number of subjects were more effective than the consistent criteria based on total number of observations, and vice versa for the efficient criteria. Furthermore, results indicated that, given a dataset with missing values, the efficient criteria were more affected than the consistent criteria by the lack of normality.

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