Structural equation models, popularized by Joreskog and Sorbom within their LISREL computer program that solved long-standing mathematical estimation issues, have been recognized by many as the most powerful (or one of few most powerful) statistical model(s) available within the social and health sciences. A combination of concept mapping and mind mapping can quite effectively be used as a direct visual (or theoretical) analog of complex mathematical structural equation models. Such maps can be a good way of communicating the results of the structural equation modeling or in developing the theoretical models that will be tested. And yes, you can test the fit (appropriateness) of the models (diagrams) in a statistically rigorous way.
Yup, you heard here first (although path-like or combined mind map/concept models have been around for at least 45 years and I published hundreds of these in the late 70s though the 1990s in peer-reviewed social science and methodology journals and others simultaneously and subsequently have done the same). I am going to blog a LOT on this in the next few months. Mind and concept maps can be directly and formally simultaneously assessed if there are appropriate data available. Of course, such data are hard to come by, but not as hard as many believe.
The best way to draw concurrent concept and mind maps models is #iMindMap (using the flow chart option along with a mind map for a hybrid model). In structural equation modeling, a mind map would represent the estimation of measurement model parameters while the concurrent concept map would represent the structural model.
Mind Maps + Concept Maps can be statistically and concurrently estimated from appropriate data by Structural Equation Models.
Needs a lot of data, though. Current Macs and PCs are finally fast enough to do the statistical calculations in a notebook computer.
This is Mind Mapping 3.0 at its very best.
Much more on this topic is coming including a lot of demonstrations that mind maps and concept maps can be easily developed as a consequence of very rigorous mathematical model. And tested for goodness-of-fit.
[aaaahhh what the hell … While I am tempted to add a lot of equations, numerical analysis, and map pictures to this post, I will not do so and not mix up the media and message. This is the pilot. The series is coming this summer.]
The following generic sample illustrates what the hybrid models look like.
Constructs are measured by indicators. Indicators are usually imperfect and can be corrected in the statistical modeling. The relationship between constructs and indicators is shown in the mind map.
The constructs themselves may be related in a causal or noncausal way. The concept map shows the relationships that are present as determined by the statistical modeling.
Click on image to increase size.