Publication date: 03/23/2021

In regression modeling, the principle of effect hierarchy maintains that main (first-order) effects tend to account for the largest amounts of variation in the response. Second-order effects, that is, interaction effects and quadratic terms, are next in terms of accounting for variation. Then come higher-order terms, in hierarchical order.

Here are the implications for modeling: main effects are more likely to be important than second-order effects; second-order effects are more likely to be important than third-order effects; and so on, for higher-order terms.

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