A regression coefficient describes the size and direction of the relationship between a predictor and the response variable. Coefficients are the numbers by which the values of the term are multiplied in a regression equation.
Use the coefficient to determine whether a change in a predictor variable makes the event more likely or less likely. The estimated coefficient for a predictor represents the change in the link function for each unit change in the predictor, while the other predictors in the model are held constant. The relationship between the coefficient and the probability depends on several aspects of the analysis, including the link function, the reference event for the response, and the reference levels for categorical predictors that are in the model. Generally, positive coefficients make the event more likely and negative coefficients make the event less likely. An estimated coefficient near 0 implies that the effect of the predictor is small.
Interpretation for the logit link function
The logit link provides the most natural interpretation of the estimated coefficients and is therefore the default link in Minitab. The interpretation uses the fact that the odds of a reference event are P(event)/P(not event) and assumes that the other predictors remain constant. The greater the log odds, the more likely the reference event is. Therefore, positive coefficients indicate that the event becomes more likely and negative coefficients indicate that the event becomes less likely. A summary of interpretations for different types of predictors follows.
The coefficient of a continuous predictor is the estimated change in the natural log of the odds for the reference event for each unit increase in the predictor. For example, if the coefficient for time in seconds is 1.4, then the natural log of the odds increase by 1.4 for each additional second.
Estimated coefficients can also be used to calculate the odds ratios, or the ratio between two odds. To calculate the odds ratio, exponentiate the coefficient for a predictor. The result is the odds ratio for when the predictor is x+1, compared to when the predictor is x. For example, if the odds ratio for mass in kilograms is 0.95, then for each additional kilogram, the probability of the event decreases by about 5%.