Planned missing data designs in psychological research

John W. Graham, Bonnie J. Taylor, Allison E. Olchowski, Patricio E. Cumsille

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

420 Scopus citations


The authors describe 2 efficiency (planned missing data) designs for measurement: the 3-form design and the 2-method measurement design. The 3-form design, a kind of matrix sampling, allows researchers to leverage limited resources to collect data for 33% more survey questions than can be answered by any 1 respondent. Power tables for estimating correlation effects illustrate the benefit of this design. The 2-method measurement design involves a relatively cheap, less valid measure of a construct and an expensive, more valid measure of the same construct. The cost effectiveness of this design stems from the fact that few cases have both measures, and many cases have just the cheap measure. With 3 brief simulations involving structural equation models, the authors show that compared with the same-cost complete cases design, a 2-method measurement design yields lower standard errors and a higher effective sample size for testing important study parameters. With a large cost differential between cheap and expensive measures and small effect sizes, the benefits of the design can be enormous. Strategies for using these 2 designs are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-343
Number of pages21
JournalPsychological Methods
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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