When a model has struggled to find enough information in the data to account for every predictor---especially for every random effect---, convergence warnings appear (Brauer & Curtin, 2018; Singmann & Kellen, 2019). In this article, I review the issue of convergence before presenting a new plotting function in R that facilitates the visualisation of the fixed effects fitted by different optimization algorithms (also dubbed optimizers).
In this talk, I will look over the rationale for LMEMs, and demonstrate how to fit them in R (Brauer & Curtin, 2018; Luke, 2017). Challenges will also be covered. For instance, when using the widely-accepted 'maximal' approach, based on fitting all possible random effects for each fixed effect, models sometimes fail to find a solution, or 'convergence'. Advice for the problem of nonconvergence will be demonstrated, based on the progressive lightening of the random effects structure (Singman & Kellen, 2017; for an alternative approach, especially with small samples, see Matuschek et al., 2017). At the end, on a different note, I will present a web application that facilitates data simulation for research and teaching (Bernabeu & Lynott, 2020).