I'm not sure of the best way to code my categorical predictor variable for use in a hierarchical regression in order to test my specific hypothesis. This categorical variable has 3 levels representing 3 groups. I want to compare group 1 to group 2, group 1 to group 3 and group 2 to group 3. I know that for dummy coding I create k-1 variables, so 2 dummy variables in my case and code these variables with 0s and 1s while choosing one level of the categorical variable to be a reference category.
However, I'm not sure this is the best way of making the comparisons I wish to make as it appears I could only compare each group to the reference category, am I correct? So if group 3 was the reference category I could compare group 1 to group 3 and group 2 to group 3 but I could not compare group 1 to group 2. What alternative method of coding should I use to make these comparisons? My regression model will also contain continuous variables. I'm an undergrad psychology student and statistics are not my strong point simple answers would be best for me. I use SPSS. Thank you!