Logistic regression - overview

This page offers structured overviews of one or more selected methods. Add additional methods for comparisons by clicking on the dropdown button in the right-hand column. To practice with a specific method click the button at the bottom row of the table

Logistic regression
Two sample $t$ test - equal variances not assumed
$z$ test for a single proportion
Independent variablesIndependent variableIndependent variable
One or more quantitative of interval or ratio level and/or one or more categorical with independent groups, transformed into code variablesOne categorical with 2 independent groupsNone
Dependent variableDependent variableDependent variable
One categorical with 2 independent groupsOne quantitative of interval or ratio levelOne categorical with 2 independent groups
Null hypothesisNull hypothesisNull hypothesis
Model chi-squared test for the complete regression model:
  • $\beta_1 = \beta_2 = \ldots = \beta_K = 0$
Wald test for individual regression coefficient $\beta_k$:
  • $\beta_k = 0$
    or in terms of odds ratio:
  • $e^{\beta_k} = 1$
Likelihood ratio chi-squared test for individual regression coefficient $\beta_k$:
  • $\beta_k = 0$
    or in terms of odds ratio:
  • $e^{\beta_k} = 1$
in the regression equation $ \ln \big(\frac{\pi_{y = 1}}{1 - \pi_{y = 1}} \big) = \beta_0 + \beta_1 \times x_1 + \beta_2 \times x_2 + \ldots + \beta_K \times x_K $
$\mu_1 = \mu_2$
$\mu_1$ is the unknown mean in population 1, $\mu_2$ is the unknown mean in population 2
$\pi = \pi_0$
$\pi$ is the population proportion of "successes"; $\pi_0$ is the population proportion of successes according to the null hypothesis
Alternative hypothesisAlternative hypothesisAlternative hypothesis
Model chi-squared test for the complete regression model:
  • not all population regression coefficients are 0
Wald test for individual $\beta_k$:
  • $\beta_k \neq 0$
    or in terms of odds ratio:
  • $e^{\beta_k} \neq 1$
    If defined as Wald $ = \dfrac{b_k}{SE_{b_k}}$ (see 'Test statistic'), also one sided alternatives can be tested:
  • right sided: $\beta_k > 0$
  • left sided: $\beta_k < 0$
Likelihood ratio chi-squared test for individual $\beta_k$:
  • $\beta_k \neq 0$
    or in terms of odds ratio:
  • $e^{\beta_k} \neq 1$
Two sided: $\mu_1 \neq \mu_2$
Right sided: $\mu_1 > \mu_2$
Left sided: $\mu_1 < \mu_2$
Two sided: $\pi \neq \pi_0$
Right sided: $\pi > \pi_0$
Left sided: $\pi < \pi_0$
AssumptionsAssumptionsAssumptions
  • In the population, the relationship between the independent variables and the log odds $\ln (\frac{\pi_{y=1}}{1 - \pi_{y=1}})$ is linear
  • The residuals are independent of one another
Often ignored additional assumption:
  • Variables are measured without error
Also pay attention to:
  • Multicollinearity
  • Outliers
  • Within each population, the scores on the dependent variable are normally distributed
  • Group 1 sample is a simple random sample (SRS) from population 1, group 2 sample is an independent SRS from population 2. That is, within and between groups, observations are independent of one another
  • Sample size is large enough for $z$ to be approximately normally distributed. Rule of thumb:
    • Significance test: $N \times \pi_0$ and $N \times (1 - \pi_0)$ are each larger than 10
    • Regular (large sample) 90%, 95%, or 99% confidence interval: number of successes and number of failures in sample are each 15 or more
    • Plus four 90%, 95%, or 99% confidence interval: total sample size is 10 or more
  • Sample is a simple random sample from the population. That is, observations are independent of one another
If the sample size is too small for $z$ to be approximately normally distributed, the binomial test for a single proportion should be used.
Test statisticTest statisticTest statistic
Model chi-squared test for the complete regression model:
  • $X^2 = D_{null} - D_K = \mbox{null deviance} - \mbox{model deviance} $
    $D_{null}$, the null deviance, is conceptually similar to the total variance of the dependent variable in OLS regression analysis. $D_K$, the model deviance, is conceptually similar to the residual variance in OLS regression analysis.
Wald test for individual $\beta_k$:
The wald statistic can be defined in two ways:
  • Wald $ = \dfrac{b_k^2}{SE^2_{b_k}}$
  • Wald $ = \dfrac{b_k}{SE_{b_k}}$
SPSS uses the first definition

Likelihood ratio chi-squared test for individual $\beta_k$:
  • $X^2 = D_{K-1} - D_K$
    $D_{K-1}$ is the model deviance, where independent variable $k$ is excluded from the model. $D_{K}$ is the model deviance, where independent variable $k$ is included in the model.
$t = \dfrac{(\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2) - 0}{\sqrt{\dfrac{s^2_1}{n_1} + \dfrac{s^2_2}{n_2}}} = \dfrac{\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2}{\sqrt{\dfrac{s^2_1}{n_1} + \dfrac{s^2_2}{n_2}}}$
$\bar{y}_1$ is the sample mean in group 1, $\bar{y}_2$ is the sample mean in group 2, $s^2_1$ is the sample variance in group 1, $s^2_2$ is the sample variance in group 2, $n_1$ is the sample size of group 1, $n_2$ is the sample size of group 2. The 0 represents the difference in population means according to H0.

The denominator $\sqrt{\frac{s^2_1}{n_1} + \frac{s^2_2}{n_2}}$ is the standard error of the sampling distribution of $\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2$. The $t$ value indicates how many standard errors $\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2$ is removed from 0.

Note: we could just as well compute $\bar{y}_2 - \bar{y}_1$ in the numerator, but then the left sided alternative becomes $\mu_2 < \mu_1$, and the right sided alternative becomes $\mu_2 > \mu_1$
$z = \dfrac{p - \pi_0}{\sqrt{\dfrac{\pi_0(1 - \pi_0)}{N}}}$
$p$ is the sample proportion of successes: $\dfrac{X}{N}$, $N$ is the sample size
Sampling distribution of $X^2$ and of the Wald statistic if H0 were trueSampling distribution of $t$ if H0 were trueSampling distribution of $z$ if H0 were true
Sampling distribution of $X^2$, as computed in the model chi-squared test for the complete model:
  • chi-squared distribution with $K$ (number of independent variables) degrees of freedom
Sampling distribution of the Wald statistic:
  • If defined as Wald $ = \dfrac{b_k^2}{SE^2_{b_k}}$: approximately a chi-squared distribution with 1 degree of freedom
  • If defined as Wald $ = \dfrac{b_k}{SE_{b_k}}$: approximately a standard normal distribution
Sampling distribution of $X^2$, as computed in the likelihood ratio chi-squared test for individual $\beta_k$:
  • chi-squared distribution with 1 degree of freedom
Approximately a $t$ distribution with $k$ degrees of freedom, with $k$ equal to
$k = \dfrac{\Bigg(\dfrac{s^2_1}{n_1} + \dfrac{s^2_2}{n_2}\Bigg)^2}{\dfrac{1}{n_1 - 1} \Bigg(\dfrac{s^2_1}{n_1}\Bigg)^2 + \dfrac{1}{n_2 - 1} \Bigg(\dfrac{s^2_2}{n_2}\Bigg)^2}$
or
$k$ = the smaller of $n_1$ - 1 and $n_2$ - 1

First definition of $k$ is used by computer programs, second definition is often used for hand calculations
Approximately standard normal
Significant?Significant?Significant?
For the model chi-squared test for the complete regression model and likelihood ratio chi-squared test for individual $\beta_k$:
  • Check if $X^2$ observed in sample is equal to or larger than critical value $X^{2*}$ or
  • Find $p$ value corresponding to observed $X^2$ and check if it is equal to or smaller than $\alpha$
For the Wald test:
  • If defined as Wald $ = \dfrac{b_k^2}{SE^2_{b_k}}$: same procedure as for the chi-squared tests. Wald can be interpret as $X^2$
  • If defined as Wald $ = \dfrac{b_k}{SE_{b_k}}$: same procedure as for any $z$ test. Wald can be interpreted as $z$.
Two sided: Right sided: Left sided: Two sided: Right sided: Left sided:
Wald-type approximate $C\%$ confidence interval for $\beta_k$Approximate $C\%$ confidence interval for $\mu_1 - \mu_2$Approximate $C\%$ confidence interval for $\pi$
$b_k \pm z^* \times SE_{b_k}$
where $z^*$ is the value under the normal curve with the area $C / 100$ between $-z^*$ and $z^*$ (e.g. $z^*$ = 1.96 for a 95% confidence interval)
$(\bar{y}_1 - \bar{y}_2) \pm t^* \times \sqrt{\dfrac{s^2_1}{n_1} + \dfrac{s^2_2}{n_2}}$
where the critical value $t^*$ is the value under the $t_{k}$ distribution with the area $C / 100$ between $-t^*$ and $t^*$ (e.g. $t^*$ = 2.086 for a 95% confidence interval when df = 20)

The confidence interval for $\mu_1 - \mu_2$ can also be used as significance test.
Regular (large sample):
  • $p \pm z^* \times \sqrt{\dfrac{p(1 - p)}{N}}$
    where $z^*$ is the value under the normal curve with the area $C / 100$ between $-z^*$ and $z^*$ (e.g. $z^*$ = 1.96 for a 95% confidence interval)
With plus four method:
  • $p_{plus} \pm z^* \times \sqrt{\dfrac{p_{plus}(1 - p_{plus})}{N + 4}}$
    where $p_{plus} = \dfrac{X + 2}{N + 4}$ and $z^*$ is the value under the normal curve with the area $C / 100$ between $-z^*$ and $z^*$ (e.g. $z^*$ = 1.96 for a 95% confidence interval)
Goodness of fit measure $R^2_L$n.a.n.a.
$R^2_L = \dfrac{D_{null} - D_K}{D_{null}}$
There are several other goodness of fit measures in logistic regression. In logistic regression, there is no single agreed upon measure of goodness of fit.
--
n.a.Visual representationn.a.
-
Two sample t test - equal variances not assumed
-
n.a.n.a.Equivalent to
--
  • When testing two sided: goodness of fit test, with categorical variable with 2 levels
  • When $N$ is large, the $p$ value from the $z$ test for a single proportion approaches the $p$ value from the binomial test for a single proportion. The $z$ test for a single proportion is just a large sample approximation of the binomial test for a single proportion.
Example contextExample contextExample context
Can body mass index, stress level, and gender predict whether people get diagnosed with diabetes?Is the average mental health score different between men and women?Is the proportion smokers amongst office workers different from $\pi_0 = .2$? Use the normal approximation for the sampling distribution of the test statistic.
SPSSSPSSSPSS
Analyze > Regression > Binary Logistic...
  • Put your dependent variable in the box below Dependent and your independent (predictor) variables in the box below Covariate(s)
Analyze > Compare Means > Independent-Samples T Test...
  • Put your dependent (quantitative) variable in the box below Test Variable(s) and your independent (grouping) variable in the box below Grouping Variable
  • Click on the Define Groups... button. If you can't click on it, first click on the grouping variable so its background turns yellow
  • Fill in the value you have used to indicate your first group in the box next to Group 1, and the value you have used to indicate your second group in the box next to Group 2
  • Continue and click OK
Analyze > Nonparametric Tests > Legacy Dialogs > Binomial...
  • Put your dichotomous variable in the box below Test Variable List
  • Fill in the value for $\pi_0$ in the box next to Test Proportion
If computation time allows, SPSS will give you the exact $p$ value based on the binomial distribution, rather than the approximate $p$ value based on the normal distribution
JamoviJamoviJamovi
Regression > 2 Outcomes - Binomial
  • Put your dependent variable in the box below Dependent Variable and your independent variables of interval/ratio level in the box below Covariates
  • If you also have code (dummy) variables as independent variables, you can put these in the box below Covariates as well
  • Instead of transforming your categorical independent variable(s) into code variables, you can also put the untransformed categorical independent variables in the box below Factors. Jamovi will then make the code variables for you 'behind the scenes'
T-Tests > Independent Samples T-Test
  • Put your dependent (quantitative) variable in the box below Dependent Variables and your independent (grouping) variable in the box below Grouping Variable
  • Under Tests, select Welch's
  • Under Hypothesis, select your alternative hypothesis
Frequencies > 2 Outcomes - Binomial test
  • Put your dichotomous variable in the white box at the right
  • Fill in the value for $\pi_0$ in the box next to Test value
  • Under Hypothesis, select your alternative hypothesis
Jamovi will give you the exact $p$ value based on the binomial distribution, rather than the approximate $p$ value based on the normal distribution
Practice questionsPractice questionsPractice questions