# How to use categorical explanatory variables in a multiple regression having an ordinal "score" response variable?

I have limited statistical experience from my coursework in undergrad running simple linear regressions and performing chi-square tests. I have some data, ~5000 survey results on individuals, each with a score from a scale of 1-12 on how security conscious they are (determined by their answers to previous security related questions) and we also asked multiple choice questions on income (USD 0-USD 19,999; USD 20,000-USD 39,999; etc.), age (21-30, 31-40, etc.) and level of education (High School, Undergraduate, Masters, and Doctoral). I wanted to know how I would set this up to determine which is the biggest factor in determining their security consciousness with statistical significance. Here is a pivot table from my Excel file with random data. I have all the individual responses as well.

Should I be using dummy variables (one for each category within a group). I also tried using the average number if the number was a range (USD 10,000 for USD 0- USD 19,999 OR 26 for age 21-30) but still not sure how that would work for education. I have run some tests and am unsure what the results entail (i.e. regression of security consciousness against each of the income brackets but this doesn't seem to make sense since no one can be in more than one and each bracket was given a correlation coefficient). I am fairly certain my chi-square test makes sense and tells me that income, age and education all play a "significant role" in the variation of security consciousness (all the p-values were well below .05, around .001-.003). But how do I quantify this "significant role" within the variation?

Can anyone let me know how to best go about forming the correct conclusions (i.e. "income is the largest factor in determining level of security consciousness" or "age has no statistical significance in determining security consciousness")? How do I use my categorical explanatory variables in a multiple regression with my security consciousness ordinal "score" response variable?

• How to use particular software is generally off-topic here. It's hard to see what your precise statistical question is. You want to run the correct tests and obtain the correct results. Indeed, but that's advice for an entire data analysis project, a thesis or dissertation topic? This is too big a question to be answered here. I suggest that you make use of whatever supervision, support or advice is available at your institution as a few minutes' advice from somebody on the internet can't make up for being very unclear how to work on a project. Plagiarism rules may apply too. Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 14:42
• Sorry! I am not really asking how to use particular software as I can figure that out on my own. I have run some tests and am unsure what the results entail (i.e. regression of security consciousness against each of the income brackets but this doesn't seem to make sense since no one can be in more than one and each bracket was given a correlation coefficient). This wasn't a necessary part of my project but I thought it would add some insightful analysis. Not trying to plagiarize anything either. Just a comment on how I may set it up. If this is not the place for that sorry! And thanks anyway. Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 14:46
• You need to rewrite your question then. Title "How to format data ... in Excel 2010" and key sentence "Can anyone let me know how to set up my data..." really don't match the idea that use of software isn't central to your question. It's difficult when new to a forum to know what is a good question but (a) no-one can see your data or to be presumed to understand your subject area (b) what you can expect at most is that people will give you a few minutes of their time. I've re-read your question and am still at a loss to know what anyone answering can tell you usefully in reasonable time. Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 14:55
• Possibly you should indicate your level of statistical expertise and what techniques you are considering for your main question. I can't promise on others' behalf what they might answer. Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 14:56
• Thanks! These are all useful tips and I guess I can try to reword my question and details, if no one is able to help that is fine. I figured it couldn't hurt to try. Thanks so much again Nick! Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 14:59