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Defining Discriminant Analysis

Discriminant analysis is a research methodology that is used by the researchers to examine research data in the event where the dependent variable can be grouped into different categories, and the independent variable is of interval nature (Alayande & Adekunle, 2015). Ideally, the researcher uses the discriminant analysis to find the solutions to the critical questions that may arise during the study. For example, the researcher may want to know whether the categories of the dependent variable are different. Secondly, the researcher may also want to determine whether different variables suit in the available groups. With the discriminant analysis in place, the researcher will be able to develop discriminant functions of a linear combination of independent variables to assist in classifying the categories of the dependent variable in the appropriate manner (Lo, 2010).

Similarity between Discriminant Analysis and MONOVA

v In both analysis, there is a categorization of variables.

v In both analysis, the independent variables are of interval nature.

v Discriminant analysis and MANOVA are both mathematically identical.

v Just like MONOVA which is based on multivariate analysis of variance, the discriminant analysis also permits the usage of the same.

v The two analysis are used to examine the differences in the groups as well as how the differences have been manifested.

Difference between Discriminant Analysis and MANOVA

Although the two analysis most of the times are used interchangeably they exhibit significant differences as listed below;

v Discriminant analysis focus is to identify variables which are best distinguished from the different groups of the study, unlike the MANOVA analysis that is based on the examining the variances among the observable groups.

v In the MANOVA analysis the variables in the group are selected randomly whereas, in the discriminant analysis, the classification of the variables is done based on the value of the variables.

v The major goal of the MANOVA is to determine the differences between the groups when variables are jointly considered while discriminant analysis is concerned with how groups differ based on the interrelated variables.


Alayande, S. A., & Adekunle, B. K. (2015). An Overview and Application of Discriminant Analysis in Data Analysis. Journal of Mathematics, 11(1), 12-15.

Lo, M.-C. (2010). Discriminant analysis: An illustrated example. Journal of Business Management, 4(9), 1654-1667.

In this analysis can we also examine which predictors individually do the best job of predicting membership? 

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