The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Methodology Seminars

In addition to the series of workshops offered each summer through its Summer Institute, the CRF Methodology Program offers ad hoc seminars throughout the academic year. The ad hoc seminars provide a training opportunity for UMass Amherst faculty and graduate students, helping transform their research using innovative methodologies and best practices, while learning from other scholars across a variety of social and natural science disciplines.

Upcoming Seminars 



Propensity Score Matching 

Friday, December 16, 10:00-11:30 a.m

Register Here

How do you know whether an intervention is effective? While randomized controlled trials are considered a gold standard in intervention study design, in many community-based studies it is not feasible or ethical to randomize participants into the conventional intervention versus control groups. Non-randomized comparison samples may differ in systematic ways from those in the intervention group that may bias results comparing the two. Propensity score analysis offers one solution to this problem - multiple characteristics differentiating intervention from comparison groups are controlled for in a single score. Propensity score analysis has several advantages over using individual covariates to control for potential confounding variables. 


This seminar will:

-provide a conceptual introduction to propensity score analysis 

-demonstrate how to use logistic regression to estimate propensity scores

-demonstrate how to use the estimated propensity scores in subsequent analyses to compare non-randomized groups and test intervention efficacy


The seminar will provide a sample dataset as well as both R and Stata code.

Dongwei Wang

Methodology Consultant

Dongwei serves as a Methodology Staff Consultant for the Center for Research on Families where she provides consultation services in study design and statistical analysis. She joined CRF in February 2018 after completing her graduate studies in educational psychology & quantitative research methods. She is also a second-year doctoral student in the Research, Educational Measurement & Psychometrics program in the College of Education. Her expertise includes knowledge of a variety of statistical techniques and she continues to learn additional data management and research skills. She is primarily responsible for managing data analysis and providing consultation for faculty and students conducting family and adoption related research.