- A tutorial on Bayes factor estimation with the product space method
- Journal of Mathematical Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 55 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The Bayes factor is an intuitive and principled model selection tool from Bayesian statistics. The Bayes factor quantifies the relative likelihood of the observed data under two competing models, and as such, it measures the evidence that the data provides for one model versus the other. Unfortunately, computation of the Bayes factor often requires sampling-based procedures that are not trivial to implement. In this tutorial, we explain and illustrate the use of one such procedure, known as the product space method (Carlin & Chib, 1995). This is a transdimensional Markov chain Monte Carlo method requiring the construction of a "supermodel" encompassing the models under consideration. A model index measures the proportion of times that either model is visited to account for the observed data. This proportion can then be transformed to yield a Bayes factor. We discuss the theory behind the product space method and illustrate, by means of applied examples from psychological research, how the method can be implemented in practice.
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