Many of my colleagues are considering using the M-PLUS package to carry out Hierarchical Linear Modeling, rather than the HLM 7 package. Both packages are designed by very well respected figures in the field of Hierachical Linear Modeling. Have any users seen distinct statistical advantages in using one package or the other?

  • $\begingroup$ Please don't sign off on your posts, I recognize (& applaud) the urge to be polite, but your avatar & username is already added automatically. Moreover, it's contrary to SE's policy. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Dec 3 '12 at 3:03
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    $\begingroup$ Don't both of those cost a lot of money? R is free, & not too difficult to learn. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Dec 3 '12 at 3:05
  • $\begingroup$ @gung - thanks for the heads up on signing posts. Henceforth, my avatar will speak for me. HLM and MPlus cost close to $1,000. Great packages, but i will check out R. $\endgroup$ – StatisticsDoc Consulting Dec 3 '12 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ No problem. If you want advice on learning R, or using it for specific applications (eg, multi-level modeling), be sure to ask here, or on Stack Overflow. There are a lot of great tutorials / resources available free online, & sometimes a quick answer will help you keep going. Trying to learn R from scratch on your own, w/o a sense of how & where to start, can be very frustrating. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Dec 3 '12 at 16:14

I would have to agree with the previous post, R is a good alternative to these. I've used both HLM and M-PLUS and find that data manipulation is difficult to impossible, and the scripting language of R is much better for actually using the results from the models. my 2 cents.

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