LISREL – A brief overview

During the last thirty eight years, the LISREL model, methods and software have become synonymous with structural equation modeling (SEM). SEM allows researchers in the social sciences, management sciences, behavioral sciences, biological sciences, educational sciences and other fields to empirically assess their theories. These theories are usually formulated as theoretical models for observed and latent (unobservable) variables. If data are collected for the observed variables of the theoretical model, the LISREL program can be used to fit the model to the data.

Today, however, LISREL for Windows is no longer limited to SEM. The latest LISREL for Windows includes the following statistical applications.

  • LISREL for structural equation modeling.
  • PRELIS for data manipulations and basic statistical analyses.
  • MULTILEV for hierarchical linear and non-linear modeling.
  • SURVEYGLIM for generalized linear modeling.
  • MAPGLIM for generalized linear modeling for multilevel data.


LISREL is intended for:

  • Standard structural equation modeling
  • Multilevel structural equation modeling

These methods are available for the following data types:

  • Complete and incomplete complex survey data on categorical and continuous variables
  • Complete and incomplete simple random sample data on categorical and continuous variables



PRELIS  can be used for:

  • Data manipulation
  • Data transformation
  • Data generatiion
  • Computing moment matrices
  • Computing asymptotic covariance matrices of sample moments
  • Imputation by matching
  • Multiple imputation
  •  Multiple linear regression
  • Logistic regression
  • Univariate and multivariate censored regression
  • ML and MINRES exploratory factor analysis


MULTILEV fits multilevel linear and nonlinear models to multilevel data from simple random and complex survey designs. It allows for models with continuous and categorical response variables.


SURVEYGLIM fits Generalized LInear Models (GLIMs) to data from simple random and complex survey designs.

Models for the following sampling distributions are available.

  • Multinomial
  • Bernoulli
  • Binomial
  • Negative Binomial
  • Poisson
  • Normal
  • Gamma
  • Inverse Gaussian


MAPGLIM implements the Maximum A Priori (MAP) method to fit generalized linear models to multilevel data.


  • A book featuring LISREL in Chinese: Structural Equation Modeling Theory and Application.
  • A book featuring LISREL in the Indonesian language: Structural Equation Modeling with LISREL 8.8 by Setyo Wari Wijanto.
  • A book featuring LISREL: Structural equation modeling: a second course.
  • LISREL 9 is Compatible with Windows 8. It has been tested on Windows 8 and no problems were reported.
  • LISREL for Windows is Compatible with Windows 7. It has successfully passed Microsoft designed tests for compatibility and reliability on Windows 7. It can be used on both the 32-bit and 64-bit editions. Compatible with Windows 7 products install without worry and run reliably with Windows 7.


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