Indicator variable :
An indicator variable, also known as a dummy variable, is a type of binary variable that takes on only two values: 0 and 1. This variable is often used in statistical modeling to represent the presence or absence of a certain characteristic or category.
For example, consider a study on the effects of exercise on weight loss. The researchers may use an indicator variable to represent whether or not a participant regularly exercises. This variable would take on the value of 0 if the participant does not regularly exercise, and 1 if they do. This allows the researchers to evaluate whether regular exercise has a significant effect on weight loss, controlling for other factors such as diet and age.
Another example of an indicator variable is in a study on the effects of education on income. The researchers may use an indicator variable to represent the highest level of education attained by each participant. This variable would take on the value of 0 if the participant did not graduate from high school, 1 if they graduated from high school but did not attend college, and 2 if they graduated from college. This allows the researchers to evaluate whether higher levels of education are associated with higher levels of income, controlling for other factors such as work experience and occupation.
Overall, indicator variables are useful in statistical modeling because they allow researchers to account for the presence or absence of certain characteristics or categories in their analysis. This allows for more accurate and precise estimates of the effects of these characteristics on the outcome of interest. Additionally, indicator variables can be easily incorporated into many types of statistical models, such as regression analysis and analysis of variance, making them a widely used tool in the field of statistics.