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Does c’ Test Help, Anytime? -- On Communication Fallacy of “Effect to Mediate”
Unformatted Document Text:  Does c’ Test Help, Anytime? -- On Communication Fallacy of “Effect to Mediate” Page 21 of 34 suspension of c’ test, they also recommended partial retention because “Clearly, experimentalists … need to first establish that the effect exists.” Hayes (2009) was the first to recommend a complete repeal of the test. But earlier he and Preacher (Preacher and Hayes, 2004) also had to acknowledge the need to establish an effect to be mediated, and consequently accepted the complete retention. While Kenny defined c’ as effect to mediate, others (MacKinnon et al. 2000; Preacher and Hayes, 2004) refered to c’ as combined effect or total effect, which is mathematically the sum of mediated effect (a*b) and direct effect (c). Many authors, such as Preacher and Hayes (2004, p. 3 and p. 9) used c’ to refer to both total effect and effect to mediate. Linguistically, effect to be mediated and mediated effect look like synonyms, while total effect seems different from both. We accepted “you first have to establish an effect to mediate,” as the two terms seemed so close that the statement sounded almost like a tautology. Statistically, however, “effect to mediate” and “total effect” were measured by the same indicator, c’, while “mediated effect” was measured by another indicator, a*b. Collectively we have been using three sets of signs to represent two concepts, as shown in Figure 2a. In the mouths, minds, and manuscripts of different people at different times, one sign (“effect to mediate” and its synonyms) represents two different concepts (c’ and a*b), one concept (c’) is represented by two different signs (“effect to mediate” and “total effect,” and their synonyms), and another concept (a*b) is also represented by two different signs (“mediated effect” and “effect to mediate,” and their synonyms). Here we have one case of “multi-concepts,” i.e., the same sign representing two or more concepts, and two cases of “multi signs”, i.e., the same concept represented by two or more signs. The two multi-signs are linked by the multi-concepts, forming the chain starting from “mediated effect” to “total effect” in Figure 2a. ----------------------------------------- Figure 2 about here -----------------------------------------

Authors: Zhao, XinShu., Chen, Qimei. and Tong, Bing.
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Does c’ Test Help, Anytime? -- On Communication Fallacy of “Effect to Mediate” 
Page 21 of 34 
 
suspension of c’ test, they also recommended partial retention because “Clearly, experimentalists … 
need to first establish that the effect exists.”  Hayes (2009) was the first to recommend a complete 
repeal of the test.  But earlier he and Preacher (Preacher and Hayes, 2004) also had to acknowledge 
the need to establish an effect to be mediated, and consequently accepted the complete retention.  
 
While Kenny defined c’ as effect to mediate, others (MacKinnon et al. 2000; Preacher and 
Hayes, 2004) refered to c’ as combined effect or total effect, which is mathematically the sum of 
mediated effect (a*b) and direct effect (c).  Many authors, such as Preacher and Hayes (2004, p. 3 
and p. 9) used c’ to refer to both total effect and effect to mediate
 Linguistically, 
effect to be mediated and mediated effect look like synonyms, while total 
effect seems different from both.  We accepted “you first have to establish an effect to mediate,” as 
the two terms seemed so close that the statement sounded almost like a tautology. Statistically, 
however, “effect to mediate” and “total effect” were measured by the same indicator, c’, while 
“mediated effect” was measured by another indicator, a*b.  
 
Collectively we have been using three sets of signs to represent two concepts, as shown in 
Figure 2a.  In the mouths, minds, and manuscripts of different people at different times, one sign 
(“effect to mediate” and its synonyms) represents two different concepts (c’ and a*b), one concept 
(c’) is represented by two different signs (“effect to mediate” and “total effect,” and their 
synonyms), and another concept (a*b) is also represented by two different signs (“mediated effect” 
and “effect to mediate,” and their synonyms).  Here we have one case of “multi-concepts,” i.e., the 
same sign representing two or more concepts, and two cases of “multi signs”, i.e., the same concept 
represented by two or more signs. The two multi-signs are linked by the multi-concepts, forming 
the chain starting from “mediated effect” to “total effect” in Figure 2a. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
Figure 2 about here 
----------------------------------------- 


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