Mediation Analysis and Categorical Variables: The Final Frontier

43 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2012 Last revised: 7 Feb 2013

See all articles by Dawn Iacobucci

Dawn Iacobucci

Vanderbilt University - Marketing; Vanderbilt University - Marketing

Date Written: March 2, 2012

Abstract

Many scholars are interested in understanding the process by which an independent variable affects a dependent variable, perhaps in part directly and perhaps in part indirectly, occurring through the activation of a mediator. Researchers are facile at testing for mediation when all the variables are continuous, but a definitive answer had been lacking heretofore as to how to analyze the data when any of the variables — independent, mediator, and/or dependent — are categorical. This paper describes the problems that arise as well as potential solutions. In the end, a solution is recommended that is both optimal in its statistical qualities as well as practical and easily implemented: compute zMediation.

Keywords: mediation analysis

Suggested Citation

Iacobucci, Dawn and Iacobucci, Dawn, Mediation Analysis and Categorical Variables: The Final Frontier (March 2, 2012). Journal of Consumer Psychology, Forthcoming, Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management Research Paper No. 2015081, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2015081

Dawn Iacobucci (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Marketing ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Vanderbilt University - Marketing ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

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