# Path Analysis

## Definition

Path Analysis is a statistical technique used in Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) where direct and indirect effects among the variables of a system are studied by specifying causal relations between them. It provides a more comprehensive view of the relationships among variables by dissecting the correlation coefficients and assigning proportions of the variance among the study parameters to different paths that link them.Path Analysis extends the standard regression models by allowing the simultaneous modeling of multiple interrelated dependence relationships. It is a multivariate method used to examine multiple regression-like equations simultaneously and gets its name from the causal paths, or 'links', drawn between variables in a diagram.

## What is Path Analysis?

Path Analysis is a way to identify the relative effect of variables on a particular pathway in a system. This process evaluates the direct, indirect, and spurious relationships between the variables. Direct effects are the influences that one variable has over another. Indirect effects exist when, apart from the direct path, another indirect path also links two variables. Spurious relationships are the ones that appear to be causal relationships but get nullified once additional variables are taken into account.Path Analysis allows for hypothesis testing about the network of relationships among variables in the model. Its use is common in social sciences, economics, epidemiology, and biology where it serves as an exploratory tool or a way to confirm a specific direction of causal effects.

Every path model comprises two types of variables: endogenous (those being influenced within the system) and exogenous (those that come from outside the model and exert their influence on it).