Mediation Analysis (Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences) Review

Mediation Analysis (Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences)
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This is a very readable, brief, and accurate introduction to mediation testing.
The book's notable strengths include: (1) integration of recent methodological developments beyond the now-dated Baron-Kenny approach, (2) one of the most readable introductions to the rather complex and often-misunderstood notions of moderated-mediation and mediated-moderation, and (3) frequent examples of how to conduct particular tests in structural equation modeling packages such as LISREL. The book also discusses how different types of variables should be dealt with (dichotomous, continuous, etc) in using each of the described procedures. All of these make 69 "real" pages of the book densely packed with contemporary methodological details.
The strengths of the book readily outweigh its weaknesses, which are two-fold.
First, the book's discussion of moderated-mediation and mediated-moderation models is rather simplistic. In particular, there are different classes of models (Type 1 through Type 5) that are not touched on here. Since you are reading this, the missing details can be found in the following two papers. (Please recognize that one of these papers might have appeared after the book was finished, and the author is unlikely to have a crystal ball specialized in forthcoming papers.)
Edwards, J., and Lambert, L. 2007. Methods for Integrating Moderation and Mediation: A General Analytical Framework Using Moderated Path Analysis. Psychological Methods. 12(1) 1-22.
Muller, D., Judd, C.M., and Yzerbyt, V. 2005. When Moderation Is Mediated and Mediation Is Moderated. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 89(6) 852-863.
Second, the author emphasizes SEM to a fault while discouraging the use of OLS regression. She also implies (page 49) that averaged construct scores are preferable for creating product terms in tests. This is a strong statement since this issue is still being debated in 2008.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who uses mediation tests in their research and wants to break out of the 1980s mode of thinking that mediation testing stopped with Baron Kenny (1986). Notwithstanding its _minor_ weaknesses, this is well worth the seventeen bucks.

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This book covers mediation analysis-the examination of whether an effect of one variable on another is direct or indirect or both. Author Dawn Iacobucci offers thorough coverage of introductory and advanced material as well as conceptual and statistical information. The book begins by introducing arguments of causality, and proceeds to examine current options for analyzing data patterns purported to exhibit meditational structures. Iacobucci shows direct and indirect paths via causal paths, regression, and structural equations models. She also grounds readers in a popular structural equations modeling approach so they can implement the statistical methods discussed in testing for evidence of mediation in a variety of empirical contexts.

Key Features

· Explores even the fundamental assumptions underlying mediation analysis

Describes options for analyzing mediation data

Provides syntax for a widely available and popular computer program so users can begin implementing mediation ideas immediately on their data

Intended Audience

This book is appropriate for any course in regression and correlation, sociological research methods, quantitative research methods, quantitative techniques in Business & Management, Psychology, Political Science, or Public Policy departments.

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