SEM Pyramid of Success

(Updated January 21, 2017)

What we'll be covering in the first few class sessions is how SEM represents a culmination of earlier statistical techniques, building from the very basic Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) on up through more elaborate techniques, finally ending at SEM.

John Wooden, who coached men's basketball at UCLA from 1948-1975, winning 10 NCAA championships and garnering accolades for his broader teachings, developed a "Pyramid of Success," which is a guide not only for athletics, but for living a good all-around life.

I grew up a huge UCLA sports fan and went there for undergraduate college (1980-1984). Inspired as I was by Coach Wooden (who died in 2010, just a few months short of his 100th birthday), I created what I call the "Structural Equation Modeling Pyramid of Success," which is shown below.

As we'll see later in the course, as complex as some of our structural equation models can get, the results can always be traced back to simple Pearson correlations.