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Analyses

Lyytinen & Gaskin

Mediation

In an intervening variable model,

variable X, is postulated to exert an

effect on an outcome variable, Y,

through one or more intervening

variables called mediators (M)

mediational models advance an X M

Y causal sequence, and seek to

illustrate the mechanisms through which

X and Y are related. (Mathieu & Taylor)

X M Y

2

Why Mediation?

Seeking a more accurate explanation of the

causal effect the antecedent (predictor)

has on the DV (criterion , outcome) focus

on mechanisms that make causal chain

possible

Missing variables in the causal chain

Intelligence Performance

Intelligence Work Effectiveness

Performance

3

Conditions for mediation

(1) justify the causal order of variables including

temporal precedence;

(2) reasonably exclude the influence of outside

factors;

(3) demonstrate acceptable construct validity of

their measures;

(4) articulate, a priori, the nature of the intervening

effects that they anticipate; and

(5) obtain a pattern of effects that are consistent

with their anticipated relationships while also

disconfirming alternative hypotheses through

statistical tests.

4

Conditions for mediation

Inferences of mediation are founded first and foremost

in terms of theory, research design, and the construct

validity of measures employed, and second in terms of

statistical evidence of relationships.

Mediation analysis requires:

1) inferences concerning mediational X MY

relationships hinge on the validity of the assertion that

the relationships depicted unfold in that sequence

(Stone-Romero & Rosopa, 2004). As with SEM, multiple

qualitatively different models can be fit equally well to

the same covariance matrix. Using the exact same data,

one could as easily confirm a YMX mediational

chain as one can an XMY sequence (MacCallum,

Wegener, Uchino, & Fabrigar, 1993).

5

Conditions for mediation

2) experimental designs is to isolate and test, as best as possible,

XY relationships from competing sources of influence. In

mediational designs, however, this focus is extended to a three

phase XMY causal sequence requiring random assignments to

both X and M and related treatments

Because researchers may not be able to randomly assign participants to

conditions, the causal sequence of XMY is vulnerable to any selection related

threats to internal validity (Cook & Campbell, 1979; Shadish et al., 2002). To the

extent that individuals status on a mediator or criterion variable may alter their

likelihood of experiencing a treatment, the implied causal sequence may also be

compromised. For example, consider a typical: trainingself-

efficacyperformance, mediational chain. If participation in training is

voluntary, and more efficacious people are more likely to seek training, then the

true sequence of events may well be

self-efficacytrainingperformance. If higher performing employees develop

greater self-efficacy (Bandura, 1986), then the sequence could actually be

performanceefficacytraining. If efficacy and performance levels remain

fairly stable over time, one could easily misconstrue and find substantial support

for the trainingefficacyperformance sequence when the very reverse is

actually occurring. (Mathieu and Taylor 2006)

6

Conditions of mediation

It is a hallmark of good theories that they articulate the how and

why variables are ordered in a particular way (e.g., Sutton &

Staw, 1995; Whetten, 1989). This is perhaps the only basis for

advancing a particular causal order in non-experimental studies

with simultaneous measurement of the antecedent, mediator,

and criterion variables (i.e., classic cross-sectional designs).

Implicitly, mediational designs advance a time-based model of

events whereby X occurs before M which in turn occurs before Y. It

is the temporal relationships of the underlying phenomena that

are at issue, not necessarily the timing of measurements

In other words, in mediation analyses, omitted variables

represent a significant threat to validity of the XM relationship if

they are related both to the antecedent and to the mediator, and

have a unique influence on the mediator. Likewise omitted

variables (and related paths) may lead to conclude falsely that no

direct effect XY exists, while in fact it holds in the population

7

Importance of theory

Cause and effect

Self- Performa

Training efficacy nce

Performa Self-

Training

nce efficacy

Performa Self-

Training

nce efficacy

Self- Performa

Training

efficacy nce

8

Significant Path

Types of Mediation Insignificant Path

Indirect Effect

X Y

Partial Mediation

X Y

Full Mediation

X Y

9

More complex mediation structures

Chain Model

X M1 M2 M3 Y

M1

X M2 Y

M3

Parallel Model

10

Hypothesizing Mediation

All types of mediation need to be explicitly and

with good theoretical reasons and logic

hypothesized before testing them

Indirect Effect

You still need to assume and test that X has an

indirect effect on Y, though there is no effect in path

XY

X has an indirect, positive effect on Y, through M.

Partial or Full

M partially/fully mediates the effect of X on Y.

The effect of X on Y is partially/fully mediated by M.

The effect of X on Y is partially/fully mediated by M 1,

M2, & M3.

11

Statistical evidence of relationships.

Each type of mediation needs to be backed by appropriate

statistical analysis

Sometimes the analysis can be based on OLS, but in most

cases it needs to be backed by SEM based path analysis

There are four types of analyses to detect presence of

mediation relationships

1. Causal steps approach (Baron-Kenny 1986) (tests for

significance of different paths)

2. Difference in coefficients (evaluates the changes in

betas/coefficients and their significance when new paths are

added to the model)

3. Product of effect approach (tests for indirect effects a*b- this

always needs to be tested or evaluated using bootstrapping)

4. Sometimes evaluating differences in R squares

12

Statistical evidence of relationships

Convergent validity is critical for mediation tests as this forms

the basis for reliability especially poor reliability of mediator as

to the extent that a mediator is measured with less than

perfect reliability, the MY relationship would likely be

underestimated, whereas the XY would likely be

overestimated when the antecedent and mediator are

considered simultaneously (see Baron & Kenny 1986)

Discriminant validity must be gauged in the context of the larger

nomological network within which the relationships being

considered are believed to reside. Discriminant validity does not

imply that measures of different constructs are uncorrelated

the issue is whether measures of different variables are so

highly correlated as to raise questions about whether they are

assessing different constructs. It is incumbent on researchers to

demonstrate that their measures of X, M, and Y evidence

acceptable discriminant validity before any mediational tests are

justified.

13

Statistical evidence of

relationships

14

Statistical evidence of the

relationships

In simple partial mediation mx is the coefficient for X

for predicting M, and ym.x and yx.m are the coefficients

predicting Y from both M and X, respectively. Here yx.m

is the direct effect of X, whereas the product mx*ym

quantifies the indirect effect of X on Y through M. If all

variables are observed then yx = yx.m + mx*ym or

mx*ym = yx - yx.m

Indirect effect is the amount by which two cases who

differ by one unit of X are expected to differ on Y

through Xs effects on M, which in turn affects Y

Direct effect part of the effect of X on Y that is

independent of the pathway through M

Similar logic can be applied to more complex situations

15

What would be the paths

here?

16

Statistical analysis

The testing of the existence of the mediational effect

depends on the type of indirect effect

The lack of direct effect XY (yx is either zero or not

significant) is not a demonstration of the lack of

mediated effect

Therefore three different situations prevail (in this

order)

1. The presence of a indirect effect (mx*ym is

significant)

2. The presence of full mediation (yx is significant but

yx.m is not)

3. The presence of partial mediation (yx is significant

and yx.m is non zero and significant)

17

Testing for indirect effect

18

Testing for full mediation

19

Testing for partial mediation

20

Observations of statistical

analysis

The key is to test for the presence of a significant

indirect effect just demonstrating the significant of

paths yx, yx.m,mx.y, and mx is not enough

One reason is that Type I testing of statistical

significance of paths is not based on inferences on

indirect effects as products of effects and their

quantities

Can be done either using Sobel test (see e.g.

www.quantpsy.org) or bootstrapping

Sobel tests assumes normality of product terms and

relatively large sample sizes (>200)

Lacks power with small sample sizes or if the distribution

is not normal

21

Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping (available in most statistical packages, or there is

additional code to accomplish it for most software packages)

Samples the distribution of the indirect effect by treating the obtained

sample of size n as a representation of the population as a minitiature

and then resampling randomly the sample with replacement so that a

sample size n is built by sampling cases from the original sample by

allowing any case once drawn to be thrown back to be redrawn as the

resample of size n is constructed

mx and ym and their product is estimated for each sample recorded

The process is repeated for k times where k is large (>1000)

Hence we have k estimates of the indirect effect and the distribution

functions as an empirical approximation of the sampling distribution of

the indirect effect when taking the sample of size n from the original

population

Specific upper and lower bound for confidence intervals are established

to find ith lowest and jst largest value in the ordered rank of value

estimates to reject the null hypothesis that the indirect effect is zero with

e.g. 95 level of confidence

22

Observations of statistical

analysis

In full and partial mediation bivariate XY (assessed via correlation

rYX or coefficient yx) must be nonzero in the population if the effects

of X on Y are mediated by M

Hence establishing a significant bivariate is conditional on sample

size

For example Assume that N=100 and sample correlations rXM=.30 and

rMY =.30 and both would be significant at p<.05. However sample

correlation rXY =.09 would not!

Hence tests for full mediation can be precluded if this is the true

model in the population

This point become even more challenging when complex mediations

XM1M2M3Y are present.

Hence many times full mediations are not detected due to

underpowered designs; the same holds for interactions or

suppression variables; in fact four step Baron Kenny has power of .52

with a sample size of 200 to detect medium effect!

This can be overcome by bootstrapping

23

Observations of statistical analysis

Testing for full mediation requires that yx.m

is zero. When yx.m does not drop zero the

evidence supports partial mediation. This

requires researchers to make a priori

hypotheses concerning full or partial

mediation and transforms confirmatory

tests to exploratory data mining

What counts as significant reduction in yx

vs. yx.m is not clear (c.f. from .15 to .05 vs. .

75 to .65)

Typically the baseline model for mediation

24 is partial mediation while theoretical clarity

Testing for Mediation in

AMOS

Direct Effects First

Estimat

Regression Weights S.E. C.R. P

e

loylong <--- ctrust .282 .048 5.812 ***

loylong <--- atrust .184 .048 3.850 ***

25

Testing for Mediation in

AMOS

Add Mediator

Estimat

Regression Weights S.E. C.R. P

e

value <--- atrust .210 .048 4.400 ***

value <--- ctrust .602 .048 12.452 ***

loylong <--- ctrust .089 .056 1.592 .111

loylong <--- atrust .123 .047 2.638 .008

26 loylong <--- value .312 .052 5.935 ***

Testing significance of partially

mediated paths Sobel Test

Use for partially mediated relationships.

Use the Sobel Test online calculator

Assumes normal distribution

and sufficiently large sample

http://www.danielsope

r.com/statcalc/calc31

.aspx

Regression Estimat

S.E. C.R. P

Weights e

value <--- atrust .210 .048 4.400 ***

value <--- ctrust .602 .048 12.452 ***

loylong <--- ctrust .089 .056 1.592 .111

loylong <--- atrust .123 .047 2.638 .008

loylong <--- value .312 .052 5.935 ***

27

Testing significance of indirect

effects Bootstrapping At least 1000

28

Testing significance of indirect

effects Bootstrapping

p- values

29

Direct Effects - Two Tailed

Significance

No Mediation wu wf aut burnm burnc

If Indirect is > burnm 0.003 0.033 0.026 ... ...

0.05 burnc 0.004 0.969 0.435 ... ...

satc 0.845 0.026 0.260 0.016 0.007

Full Mediation satw 0.004 0.836 0.020 0.011 0.009

Given the

direct effects Indirect Effects - Two Tailed

Significance

were

wu wf aut burnm burnc

significant burnm ... ... ... ... ...

prior to adding burnc ... ... ... ... ...

the mediator satc 0.005 0.546 0.016 ... ...

If Indirect < satw 0.003 0.115 0.016 ... ...

0.05 and

Total Effects - Two Tailed

Direct is > Significance

0.05 wu wf aut burnm burnc

Partial burnm 0.003 0.033 0.026 ... ...

Mediation burnc 0.004 0.969 0.435 ... ...

30

satc 0.033 0.024 0.026 0.016 0.007

Findings

Partial Mediation

.23***

.37***

.20**

.17*

.08

Full Mediation

WORDING

Overall value partially mediates the effect of trust in

agent on loyalty for longterm (p < 0.000).

Overall value fully mediates the effect of trust in

company on loyalty for longterm (p < 0.000).

31

Using AMOS for testing chain

models and parallel models

32

Moderation concept

Based on the observation that independent-

dependent variable relationship is affected

by another independent variable

This situation is called moderator effect

which occurs when a moderator variable, a

second independent variable changes the

form of the relationship between another

independent variable and the DV

Can be expanded to a situation where the

mediated relationship is moderated

33

Moderation: affecting the

effect

Moderating variables must be chosen with strong

theoretical support (Hair et al 2010)

The causality of the moderator cannot be tested

directly

Becomes potentially confounded as moderator

becomes correlated with either of the variables in the

relationship

Testing easiest when moderator has no significant

relationship with other constructs

This assumption is important in distinguishing

moderator from mediators which (by definition) are

related to both constructs of the mediated

relationship

34

Moderation: Multi-group

Non-Metric moderators: categorical

variables are hypothesized as moderators

(gender, age, turbulence vs. non-

turbulence, non customer vs. customer)

For non-metric variables a multi-group

analysis is applied i.e. data is split for

separate groups for analysis based on

variable values and tested for statistical

difference (both for measurement and

structural model)

35

Multi-group example

Exercis Weight

e Loss

Exercis Weight

Low e Loss

Protein

High

Protein

36

Moderator vs. Mediator

A M B

K E

C

magnitude of the effect an IV has on a DV

M

K E

37

Mediation vs. Moderation Example

a mediator also be used as a moderator?

- see Baron and Kenny 1986 for a complex example

38

Some Theory-based Criteria

(i.e., arguments for mediation and moderation are based on theory

first, rather than statistical correlations)

Mediator

Logical effect of IV

Logical cause of DV

Moderator

Not logically correlated to IV or DV (if

categorical)

Holistic/multiplicative effect (interaction)

Varying effect for different categorical values

(multi-group)

39

Either,

Driving home the point: Neither,

Moderator or Mediator? One or the

Other?

Caloric intake

Positive reinforcement

Gender

Age

Heredity

Exercis

M M

e

Weight

Exercise partner Exercis Weight

Loss

Exercise e Loss

40 IQ

Koufteros & Marcoulides 2006

41

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