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Structural Equation Modeling is a multivariate technique. It is based on formulating a set of linear relations between variables, some of which may be latent, and estimating the whole system, typically by analyzing the covariance matrix of the observed variables.

Structural Equation Modeling is a multivariate technique popular in the social sciences. SEM generalizes path analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. Positing a set of relationships amongst the manifest variables, and possibly latent variables, implies a population covariance / correlation matrix amongst the manifest variables. Thus, the system can be estimated from sample data and its fit tested.