On the (In)Validity of Tests of Simple Mediation: Threats and Solutions
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Mediation analysis is a popular framework for identifying underlying mechanisms in social psychology. In the context of simple mediation, we review and discuss the implications of three facets of mediation analysis: (a) conceptualization of the relations between the variables, (b) statistical approaches, and (c) relevant elements of design. We also highlight the issue of equivalent models that are inherent in simple mediation. The extent to which results are meaningful stem directly from choices regarding these three facets of mediation analysis. We conclude by discussing how mediation analysis can be better applied to examine causal processes, highlight the limits of simple mediation, and make recommendations for better practice.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1111/spc3.12237
Publication InfoPek, J; & Hoyle, Rick (2016). On the (In)Validity of Tests of Simple Mediation: Threats and Solutions. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 10(3). pp. 150-163. 10.1111/spc3.12237. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/13818.
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Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Research in my lab concerns the means by which adolescents and emerging adults manage pursuit of their goals through self-regulation. We take a broad view of self-regulation, accounting for the separate and interactive influences of personality, environment (e.g., home, school, neighborhood), cognition and emotion, and social influences on the many facets of goal management. Although we occasionally study these influences in controlled laboratory experiments, our preference is to study the pu