Can a Variable Affect Another Variable and its Effect Simultaneously? The Demonstration of Consequences of an Ignored Nonlinear Effect

[Speaker] Ng, Jacky, Chi Kit:1
[Co-author] Chan, Wai:1
1:The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

Answering the questions of "how" and "when" an effect happens has been a widespread research practice within psychology. By the analysis of mediation, moderation and even their synthesis, different psychological phenomena can be illustrated in a conditional process framework. Conditional process model (CPM) incorporating four or more variables into a single model has been well formulated and demonstrated in the literature. However, a CPM with three variables, which investigate whether a variable can simultaneously affects another variable and its effect, is seldom discussed. Traditionally in psychology, predictions among variables are paradoxically assumed in linear nature, and most of the psychological research utilizing CPM also follows this linear modeling framework. Using the reduced equation approach, we unveil the nonlinear meaning embedded subtly in the CPM with three variables. Monte Carlo simulation studies have been conducted to demonstrate the consequences of ignoring the nonlinear meaning in this model.
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