June 13-15 Short Courses

Alternative to Difference Scores

Dr. Jeff Edwards

Course Description

For decades, difference scores have been used in studies of fit, similarity, and agreement in organizational research. Despite their widespread use, difference scores have numerous methodological problems. These problems can be overcome by using polynomial regression and response surface methodology to test hypotheses that motivate the use of difference scores. These methods avoid problems with difference scores, capture the effects difference scores are intended to represent, and can examine relationships that are more complex than those implied by difference scores. This short course will review problems with difference scores, introduce polynomial regression and response surface methodology, and illustrate the application of these methods using empirical examples. Specific topics to be addressed include: (a) types of difference scores; (b) questions that difference scores are intended to address; (c) problems with difference scores; (d) polynomial regression as an alternative to difference scores; (e) testing constraints imposed by difference scores; (f) analyzing quadratic regression equations using response surface methodology; (g) difference scores as dependent variables; and (h) answers to frequently asked questions.

Event Information

June 13-15, 2024

Thu/Fri: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT
Sat: 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT

Wayne State University
Mike Ilitch School of Business

Meet the Instructor

Jeff Edwards specializes in individual and organizational change, stress and coping in organizations, and strategies enhancing employee well-being and corporate competitiveness. His research includes methodological work on research design, measurement, and analysis in organizational settings. An award-winning teacher and researcher at UNC, Dr. Edwards received accolades such as the Distinguished Teaching Award and Weatherspoon Awards for Excellence in PhD Teaching and Research. Elected as a fellow in prestigious organizations like the Academy of Management and American Psychological Association, he also earned the Distinguished Career Award from the Academy of Management’s research methods division. Dr. Edwards has extensive experience consulting, conducting applied research, and teaching executive courses for organizations like Alcoa, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Formerly chairing management areas at UNC Kenan-Flagler, he held leadership roles at the Academy of Management, contributing as chair and representative-at-large. His editorial roles include Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Organizational Research Methods, and Management Science. A Carnegie Mellon University PhD and MBA graduate, Dr. Edwards earned his BA from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Video Introduction

Coming soon