Introduction to Linear Structural Models (LISREL)

Structural equations modelling (SEM) is the term used to describe the general multivariate method of conducting factor analyses, multiple linear regression analyses and path analyses. SEM can be used for testing and evaluating complex causal models in observational studies. These models may contain multiple independent, dependent and mediating variables (interactions and categorical dependent variables can be problematic depending on the software used). SEM can also be used for confirmative factor analysis. The objective of this course is to introduce the user to the many possibilities and limitations of SEM and to practice this method using real datasets. This is done with LISREL, the oldest known computer program for SEM.


Dr. Nick J. Broers
DEB1, room A1.041 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
Uns40, room A5.737 (Tuesday, Thursday)

+31 43 388 22 74 

Target group

PhD candidates who use questionnaires, factor analysis, causal modelling analysis, regression analysis and/or path analysis.

Required prior knowledge

Basic understanding of descriptive statistics and statistical testing, factor analysis, regression analysis, and SPSS skills for Windows.


  • Introduction to SEM and LISREL: possibilities and conditions.
  • Confirmative versus explorative factor analysis.
  • Causal modelling with SEM/LISREL versus regression analysis.
  • Advanced models: factor and regression analysis combined, multi-sample LISREL (groups)


6 sessions of 2 hours each (2 lectures, 2 practicals, 2 tutorials, 1 final exam).
The study load amounts to 30 hours.


The course consists of two modules, each with a lecture, a computer practical and a tutorial. During the lecture, theoretical aspects of the course will be explained and demonstrated using LISREL. The practical session will give participants the opportunity to practice using LISREL with simple files (free student version). In the tutorial, these topics will be discussed and participants will be able to ask questions about the class, the literature or the practical. Participants are expected to study the handouts and literature outside of class hours.


Diamantopoulos, A. & Siguaw, J.A. (2000). Introducing LISREL. A Guide for the Uninitiated. London: Sage

Various handouts provided by the tutor


The course is offered once every two years and will be organised again in the autumn of 2017, provided the minimum number of 7 participants has been reached.

Dates and times

  Update course November 2019 will be published later.


PhD secretary
+31 43 388 56 13 
Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays  from 08.30 - 12.00 hrs.

Course fee

PhD candidates (Promovendi) of FHML, MaCSBIO, M41 and Merln: not applicable.
Others: €400,00.

Code: 0836

depends on the number of participants 

Min/Max PhD candidates:
minimum 7, maximum 15