Lugano, Switzerland

Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)

online course
when 19 August 2024 - 23 August 2024
language English
duration 1 week
fee CHF 600

Workshop Contents and Objectives

The objective of this course is to show how structural equation modeling can be used to develop and/or test both measurement models (scales) and causal theories between latent variables with survey data. In the first part we deal with building scales by employing confirmatory factor analysis, simultaneous factor analysis, bifactor models, multiple group factor analysis and higher order factor analysis as well as measurement invariance over groups and countries. When discussing full structural equation modeling, we will treat formative and reflective indicators, mediation, indirect effects, moderation and multiple group structural equation modeling. A further important aim is to familiarize participants with the AMOS program. The program will be run by graphical input via path diagrams (AMOS Graphics). A special focus will be given to the analysis of comparative data across groups. This includes how to test for measurement invariance using Multiple group confirmatory factor analysis.

Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own data, prepare in advance the raw data or correlations and standard deviations according to the specifications necessary for AMOS or R-lavaan and apply the new procedures besides the prepared examples of the instructors in the practical sessions. Everyone will be able to receive consultation and have the opportunity to present own first results on the last day to receive feedback and recommendations for further analyses.

Workshop design

A combination of either live lectures or recorded video lectures, theoretical exercises as well as applied exercises with the program Amos, group work where applicable, and individual or group work on own models with consultation and a presentation on the last day of the course.

Deatiled lecture plan (daily schedule)

Day 1.
Basic ideas of measurement models

Day 2.
Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA)

Day 3.
Variants of Confirmatory Factor Models(Bifactor, MTMM, Higher Order), Multiple group confirmatory factor analysis (MGCFA) and introduction to Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)

Day 4.

Day 5.
Presentations of participants and summary, open questions

See course outline online for details.


Some experience with regression analysis techniques is required. Basic knowledge of factor analysis is recommended. Participants who bring their own data will most profit from the course.

Course leader

Eldad Davidov is a Professor of sociology at the Universities of Cologne, Germany and Zurich, Switzerland.

Peter Schmidt is a Professor emeritus of social science methodology at the University of Giessen, Germany.

Target group

graduate students, doctoral researchers, early career researchers, experienced researchers

Credits info

The Summer School cannot grant credits. We only deliver a Certificate of Participation, i.e. we certify your attendance.

If you consider using Summer School workshops to obtain credits (ECTS), you will have to investigate at your home institution (contact the person/institute responsible for your degree) to find out whether they recognise the Summer School, how many credits can be earned from a workshop/course with roughly 35 hours of teaching, no graded work, and no exams.

Make sure to investigate this matter before registering if this is important to you.

Fee info

CHF 600: Reduced fee: 600 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for students (requires proof of student status).*

Reduced Fee

To qualify for the reduced fee, you are required to send a copy of an official document that certifies your current student status or a letter from your supervisor stating your actual position as a doctoral or postdoctoral researcher. Send this letter/document by e-mail to

*These fees also include participation in one of the preliminary workshops (a 2/3-day workshop preceding the Summer School). The registration fee for the Preliminary workshop booked on its own is 200 CHF.
CHF 1000: Normal fee: 1000 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for all other.*

*These fees also include participation in one of the preliminary workshops (a 2/3-day workshop preceding the Summer School). The registration fee for the Preliminary workshop booked on its own is 200 CHF.