Assumptions of Logistic Regression

Logistic regression does not make many of the key assumptions of linear regression and general linear models that are based on ordinary least squares algorithms – particularly regarding linearity, normality, homoscedasticity, and measurement level.

First, logistic regression does not require a linear relationship between the dependent and independent variables.  Second, the error terms (residuals) do not need to be normally distributed.  Third, homoscedasticity is not required.  Finally, the dependent variable in logistic regression is not measured on an interval or ratio scale.

However, some other assumptions still apply.

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First, binary logistic regression requires the dependent variable to be binary and ordinal logistic regression requires the dependent variable to be ordinal.

Second, logistic regression requires the observations to be independent of each other.  In other words, the observations should not come from repeated measurements or matched data.

Third, logistic regression requires there to be little or no multicollinearity among the independent variables.  This means that the independent variables should not be too highly correlated with each other.

Fourth, logistic regression assumes linearity of independent variables and log odds.  although this analysis does not require the dependent and independent variables to be related linearly, it requires that the independent variables are linearly related to the log odds.

Finally, logistic regression typically requires a large sample size.  A general guideline is that you need at minimum of 10 cases with the least frequent outcome for each independent variable in your model. For example, if you have 5 independent variables and the expected probability of your least frequent outcome is .10, then you would need a minimum sample size of 500 (10*5 / .10).

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