- A Comparison of Inverse-Wishart Prior Specifications for Covariance Matrices in Multilevel Autoregressive Models
- Multivariate Behavioral Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 51 | 2-3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Multilevel autoregressive models are especially suited for modeling between-person differences in within-person processes. Fitting these models with Bayesian techniques requires the specification of prior distributions for all parameters. Often it is desirable to specify prior distributions that have negligible effects on the resulting parameter estimates. However, the conjugate prior distribution for covariance matrices—the Inverse-Wishart distribution—tends to be informative when variances are close to zero. This is problematic for multilevel autoregressive models, because autoregressive parameters are usually small for each individual, so that the variance of these parameters will be small. We performed a simulation study to compare the performance of three Inverse-Wishart prior specifications suggested in the literature, when one or more variances for the random effects in the multilevel autoregressive model are small. Our results show that the prior specification that uses plug-in ML estimates of the variances performs best. We advise to always include a sensitivity analysis for the prior specification for covariance matrices of random parameters, especially in autoregressive models, and to include a data-based prior specification in this analysis. We illustrate such an analysis by means of an empirical application on repeated measures data on worrying and positive affect.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.