The path analysis controversy: a new statistical approach to strong appraisal of verisimilitude.

Paul E. Meehl, Niels G. Waller

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A new approach for using path analysis to appraise the verisimilitude of theories is described. Rather than trying to test a model's truth (correctness), this method corroborates a class of path diagrams by determining how well they predict intradata relations in comparison with other diagrams. The observed correlation matrix is partitioned into disjoint sets. One set is used to estimate the model parameters, and a nonoverlapping set is used to assess the model's verisimilitude. Computer code was written to generate competing models and to test the conjectured model's superiority (relative to the generated set) using diagram combinatorics and is available on the Web (

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-300
Number of pages18
JournalPsychological Methods
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

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