AMOS does not do everything I want it to do, so with the help of some research assistants, we have created some plugins and estimands to make up the difference. A plugin is a macro that can be used to automate AMOS. An estimand is a custom function that can add calculations and output to the AMOS analysis. We hope you find these useful. If they do not work for you, please refer to the troubleshooting section below. Here is a link to the Google Drive folder containing the plugins and estimands: Plugins and Estimands. Here are a few YouTube videos explaining how to use them:
- Installing Plugins for AMOS v23- (plus a demo of EFA->CFA)
- Installing Plugins for AMOS v24+ (same process for version 26+)
- Example of Using Estimands
- List of all Plugins videos on Gaskination
- Download the plugin or estimand to your own computer on your Windows side.
- Right click, go to properties, and then on the general tab, at the bottom, if there is a button captioned "unblock", click on this button. If not, no worries.
- If a plugin, place the file into the following folder:
- if using AMOS version 23 or lower:
- C:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\SPSS\Amos\23\Plugins
- In this case, 23 is the AMOS version number.
- if using AMOS version 24 - 26:
- Make sure to replace username and AmosVersion with your own local directories.
- if using AMOS version 27 or higher:
- The plugins do not yet work for these versions. IBM changed something in the base code that makes my plugins not work... So, I'm working with a research assistant to try to resolve this. We are hoping to have this resolved by May 2022.
- In the meantime, you can always use the Excel StatTools listed on the left navigation pane of this statwiki. It will handle some basic things, like validity checks.
List of Plugins
- This plugin estimates all specific indirect effects, including serial mediation. Make sure to use this with the SpecificIndirectEffects estimand. I've only tested it with AMOS version 26.
- This plugin automates the building of a measurement model in AMOS. It is a lot like the PatternMatrixBuilder, but it doesn't require a pattern matrix. To use it, just load your dataset and then click the plugin. A window will pop up and allow you to toggle on or off all of the variables. All highlighted variables will be used to create the CFA. So, toggle all on and then single-click each one you do not want in the CFA. If you have a lot of variables not being used in your dataset, then do the opposite by toggling all off and then selecting the ones you do want individually.
- This plugin creates a new table that includes the IV, DV, and standardized regression weights (with p-value significance indication). This helps because AMOS makes these separate, and puts the DV before the IV.
- This is the old plugin for testing method bias. It draws the lines and constrains them for you if the ModelBias plugin described below isn't working for you.
- AMOS does not provide a way to clear the canvas, but keep the datafile linked. So, this plugin will erase all objects on the canvas, but will retain the link to your dataset.
- This plugin erases just the objects that you've selected (highlighted in blue). This is slightly faster than deleting each object individually with the X tool.
- This plugin generates an HTMT table in AMOS.
- This plugin centers your model on the page, resizes it to fit the page, and adjusts line angles and entry points to make them appear more symmetric.
- This plugin produces an HTML file with a correlation table of constructs, including the square root of the AVE on the diagonal, the CR and the AVE, as well as the less used MSV and MaxR. It also provides some interpretation and indication of validity issues. When validity issues occur, it also provides some recommendations. Additionally, it produces an HTMT table with some interpretation. References for validity thresholds are provided.
- This plugin does the exact same thing as the MasterValidity plugin, but without producing an HTMT table. I've been told this one doesn't work with higher order factors.
- This plugin automates the tedious job of testing the a model for specific bias or common method bias by running multiple contrained and unconstrained models through chi-square difference tests. The output is an HTML file that includes a table of the results, as well as interpretation, recommendations, and a reference.
- This plugin creates an HTML file with all the relevant model fit measures, their thresholds, and an interpretation, as well as references for the suggested thresholds.
- This plugin conducts a multigroup analysis on a causal path model (no latent variables allowed). It conducts multiple chi-square difference tests to determine whether there are path-wise differences between groups. Reports have indicated this plugin does not work well with version 27. We'll work on a solution...
- This plugin automates the tedious job of creating a CFA from a pattern matrix. You can paste a pattern matrix from SPSS into the plugin window and it will automatically generate your model for you. All you have to do after that is to rename the latent factors appropriately.
- This plugin automatically estimates all possible indirect effects in the model. It currently only works for models without latent variables. It also must be used in conjunction with the "SpecificIndirectEffects" estimand (not to be confused with the "MyIndirectEffects" estimand...). If you run into an error when using this plugin, just use the MyIndirectEffects estimand without the plugin.
-Download the estimand and leave it in the downloads folder, or stick it in the documents folder, but do not stick it in the plugins folder.
-Click on the bottom left part of AMOS where it says "not estimating any user defined estimand".
-Then click 'select estimand', which will let you go find the estimand.
-Make sure to include bootstrapping in the analysis (Analysis Properties, Bootstrap, Perform Bootstrap).
LIST OF ESTIMANDS:
- DESCRIPTION: This is for estimating ALL specific indirect effects (including serial mediation) in a latent causal model (no path models) automatically along with the IndirectEffects (v26) Plugin.
- INSTRUCTION: Just make sure this one is being estimated when using the IndirectEffects (v26) plugin. The IndirectEffects plugin will not work with the "MyIndirectEffects" estimand.
- DESCRIPTION: This is for testing the difference between two regression coefficients. I made it specifically for comparing paths across multiple groups, but it can be used for comparing any two regression weights, even within groups.
- INSTRUCTION: Name the first path A and the second path B (caps matter). You can name a path by double-clicking it, going to the parameters tab of the object properties, and then typing the name in the regression weights box. If doing this for the same path, but for different groups, then make sure to FIRST uncheck the box that is 'all groups' in the object properties.
- DESCRIPTION: This is for specific mediation, where you want to isolate the indirect effect of a specific mediator when there are multiple mediators. This works for one indirect effect at a time.
- INSTRUCTION: Name the first path A and the second path B (caps matter). You can name a path by double-clicking it, going to the parameters tab of the object properties, and then typing the name in the regression weights box.
- DESCRIPTION: This is for estimating ALL specific indirect effects in a path model automatically along with the IndirectEffects Plugin. The new version (April 2020) includes serial mediation.
- INSTRUCTION: Just make sure this one is being estimated when using the IndirectEffects plugin. The IndirectEffects plugin will not work with the "MyIndirectEffects" estimand.
- DESCRIPTION: This is for moderated mediation, where the mediation occurs in two different groups. This estimand can also be used to compare mediation within the same group, if there are multiple indirect paths.
- INSTRUCTION: For Group 1, name the first path A and the second path B (caps matter). You can name a path by double-clicking it, going to the parameters tab of the object properties, and then typing the name in the regression weights box. For Group 2, name the first path C and the second path D. This should be the same paths as A and B, but for the second group. So, make sure to FIRST uncheck the box that is 'all groups' in the object properties.
- DESCRIPTION: This is an unfinished estimand with no purpose or functionality so far.
- INSTRUCTION: DON'T USE THIS ONE :)
- DESCRIPTION: This is an unfinished estimand with no purpose or functionality so far.
- INSTRUCTION: DON'T USE THIS ONE :)
- DESCRIPTION: This is for specific serial mediation where there are two or more mediators in a row.
- INSTRUCTION: Name the first path A, second path B, third path C (caps matter). You can name a path by double-clicking it, going to the parameters tab of the object properties, and then typing the name in the regression weights box. If you have more than three paths, edit the estimand and move the single quote to the appropriate location.
Estimands should work every time as long as you follow the instructions provided above. However, sometimes the plugins don't work. They might not show up, or they may display with a question mark in front of them, or they may throw an error. Here are some common errors and how to fix them.
Question Mark in front of Plugin name
- This happens when you haven't unblocked the plugin. Sometimes when you download driver files (.dll) from the internet, your security protocols prevent the file from being active. To fix this, right click the plugin file, select properties from the menu, then, in the general tab, check the box at the bottom that says "unblock". If no unblock box appears, then this is not the problem.
- This might also happen if you are not the administrator of your laptop. In this case, make sure to run AMOS as administrator. You can do this by closing all AMOS windows, then right clicking the AMOS Graphics icon and selecting "run as administrator".
- In rare cases, this can be due to an extension misdirection. Here is a solution for that: Extension Misdirection
Plugin does not appear in plugins menu
- This happens when you stick the plugin in the wrong folder. Please make sure you have followed the correct installation instructions based on which version of AMOS you are running. If you are not sure which version of AMOS you are running, click on the Help menu in AMOS, and then select About. This will popup your version number.
Plugin appears in plugin menu correctly, and runs, but fails
- This can happen if your model is not specified correctly (e.g., violates some modeling assumption). Make sure to covary all your exogenous variables. Make sure to name your variables appropriately (no spaces or hard returns).
- This can also happen if you don't follow the instructions in the video demonstrating how to use the plugin. A link to these videos is provided at the top of this page.
- Specific to the PatternMatrixBuilder, the error can occur if you are using comma notation instead of decimal notation, or if you are using variable labels in SPSS (instead of variable names). Here is how to fix this specific issue of names and labels:
- Also with the PatternMatrixBuilder, be sure to not have indicators on the left that don't have loadings on the right. If an indicator does not load on any factor, remove that indicator and run the EFA again.
Specific Indirect Effects plugin shows syntax error
- The specific indirect effects plugin uses underscores as part of its process. So, if you have underscores in your variable names, this will break the plugin. Just remove the underscores in your variable names (replace them with nothing). For example, if your variable used to be "Var_Fun", change it to "VarFun" (no space).
Weird Results in Browser Output
- This can happen if your browser decimal notation is not the same as your operating system decimal notation. For example, if you have comma notation as the default for your operating system, but you're using Chrome browser, which defaults to decimal notation (point instead of comma), then you will get weird results. Try switching your default browser to Firefox for better results.