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I'm running multivariate mixed effects linear meta-analytic models in R. One of my predictor variables is categorical, but each observation generally has multiple categorical values. I'm not sure how to best incorporate this variable as a fixed effect in the model.

To make it more concrete, the variable is "activity type" and the data look something like this:

Observation A: recreation, hunting

Observation B: hunting

Observation C: recreation, roads

... etc. There are 7 categories in total across >150 observations.

I could include each activity type as its own binary variable (perhaps w/ interaction terms to account for multiple activities), but I would like some way to assess the overall effect of "activity type" if possible. Is there a way to have a matrix as a predictor variable?

All suggestions welcome!

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