Exercise 2.1, step 3: Specify the model

The graphic interface in AMOS includes a very user-friendly way of specifying models by making a drawing. You only have to specify one model that will be estimated in all 51 groups. Click on the ‘Draw latent variable tab’. Move your cursor into the square on the right, and draw an oval (first click, then drag). This oval represents the latent variable. Now click three times insides the oval to draw the three indicators that measure the latent variable. The resulting drawing is the backbone of our model.

Figure 2.4: Draw the model

Next, we assign names to the variables in the model. The rectangles refer to observed indicators that are present in the dataset. Click the ‘List variables in dataset’ tab. The ‘Variables in Dataset’ window pops up, providing you with a list of all variables present in the dataset. Drag each of the three anti-immigration items (IMSMETN, IMDFETN, IMPCNTR) into one of the rectangles. Now the variable labels will appear in the rectangles (although they are hard to read because of the overlap). Close the ‘Variables in Dataset’ window.

Figure 2.5: Add variables to the model

Now we still have to assign names to the latent variables (represented by circles or ovals) in the model. These latent variables are by definition unobserved, and thus do not correspond to specific items in the dataset. As a result, the names are arbitrary. AMOS contains a useful tool for naming all latent variables at once. Select ‘Plugins’ from the main toolbar, and then click ‘Name Unobserved Variables’. Amos automatically assigns name F1 to the latent factor (the oval), and e1-e3 to the error variances (the three circles).

Figure 2.6: 'Name Unobserved Variables' in Amos Graphics

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