Latent GOLD
Latent GOLD® 4.0 User’s Guide. Latent classes are unobservable (latent) subgroups or segments. Cases within the same latent class are homogeneous on certain criteria, while cases in different latent classes are dissimilar from each other in certain important ways. Formally, latent classes are represented by K distinct categories of a nominal latent variable X. Since the latent variable is categorical, LC modeling differs from more traditional latent variable approaches such as factor analysis, structural equation models, and random-effects regression models that are based on continuous latent variables. Latent class (LC) analysis was originally introduced by Lazarsfeld (1950) as a way of explaining respondent heterogeneity in survey response patterns involving dichotomous items. During the 1970s, LC methodology was formalized and extended to nominal variables by Goodman (1974a, 1974b) who also developed the maximum likelihood algorithm that serves as the basis for the Latent GOLD program. Over the same period, the related field of finite mixture (FM) models for multivariate normal distributions began to emerge, through the work of Day (1969), Wolfe (1965, 1967, 1970) and others. FM models seek to separate out or ’un-mix’ data that is assumed to arise as a mixture from a finite number of distinctly different populations.
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References in zbMATH (referenced in 63 articles )
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