Kitchen sink regression

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A kitchen sink regression is an informal and usually pejorative term for a regression analysis which uses a long list of possible independent variables to attempt to explain variance in a dependent variable. In economics, psychology, and other social sciences, regression analysis is typically used deductively to test hypotheses, but a kitchen sink regression does not follow this norm. Instead, the analyst throws "everything but the kitchen sink" into the regression in hopes of finding some statistical pattern.

The results of this type of regression may be misleadingly interpreted inductively to suggest that the same pattern of relationships between independent and dependent variables will be found in other data, which can lead to hasty generalizations. The difficulty in valid interpretation is that the more independent variables are included in a regression, the greater is the possibility that one or more will be found to be statistically significant while in fact they have no causal effect on the dependent variable—that is, the more likely the results are to be afflicted with Type I error.

The kitchen sink regression is an example of the practice of data dredging.

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