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multi-level modelling

  A method of statistical analysis developed by educational researchers for examining the nature of a relationship at several spatial scales. In educational work, for example, children\'s examination performance within a town may be related to: (a) their personal and home characteristics (level 1); (b) the class they are taught in (level 2); (c) the school which they attend (level 3); (d) the neighbourhood within which the school is located (level 4); and (e) the territory of the education authority which funds and directs the school (level 5). Area, school and classroom contexts are all presented as important influences on performance, in addition to individual ability (Goldstein, 1987).

The multi-level modelling strategy has many potential applications in geography, reflecting the contention that there are neighbourhood and contextual effects operating on individuals. The strategy is much superior to conventional ecological analyses using regression methods to investigate the conjoint influences of individual and areal characteristics. (See also ecological fallacy; modifiable areal unit problem.) (RJJ)

References and Suggested Reading Goldstein, H. 1987: Multilevel models in educational and social research. London: Charles Griffin. Jones, K. 1991: Multi-level models for geographical research. Concepts and techniques in modern geography 54. Norwich: Environmental Publications; Theme issue on Multilevel modelling, 1997: Environment and Planning A, 29: 581-658.



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multi-dimensional scaling (MDS)


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