Publication Date:
Author(s): Dongjun You, Michael D. Hunter, Meng Chen, Sy-Miin Chow
Publisher: Psychology Press Ltd
Publication Type: Academic Journal Article
Journal Title: Multivariate Behavioral Research

Outliers can be more problematic in longitudinal data than in independent observations due to the correlated nature of such data. It is common practice to discard outliers as they are typically regarded as a nuisance or an aberration in the data. However, outliers can also convey meaningful information concerning potential model misspecification, and ways to modify and improve the model. Moreover, outliers that occur among the latent variables (innovative outliers) have distinct characteristics compared to those impacting the observed variables (additive outliers), and are best evaluated with different test statistics and detection procedures. We demonstrate and evaluate the performance of an outlier detection approach for multi-subject state-space models in a Monte Carlo simulation study, with corresponding adaptations to improve power and reduce false detection rates. Furthermore, we demonstrate the empirical utility of the proposed approach using data from an ecological momentary assessment study of emotion regulation together with an open-source software implementation of the procedures.