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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 24 of 34 in my hand, alone, is sufficient to show both. Likewise, if an effect was mediated, obviously there was an effect to mediate, and a*b alone is sufficient to show both. From this perspective, Mathieu & Taylor’s (2006) proposal to differentiate “indirect effect” from “mediation” represents a move toward the opposite. Traditionally the two terms had been synonyms. Separating them would create four groups of signs while statistical concepts remain at two, which would only add more confusions and fallacies. For those of us who have learned and taught “effect to mediate” for a significant portion of our careers, the change proposed in Figure 2b would not be easy. The sign-concept linkage is not just arbitrary. It can also become habitual, emotional and even sentimental, hence difficult to unlearn. After reading a draft of this manuscript, some of our colleagues asked “If c’ measures combined effect, what measures effect to be mediated?” Our answer: “there is only mediated effect, measured by a*b. Beyond a*b, there is no such thing as effect to be mediated. It is a pseudo concept once existed in our mind.” Another way of understanding this is to focus on the relationship between the whole and its parts. Given that c’ indicates the combined effect, testing c’ before and possibly without testing a, b, and c, as required by c’ test, is to assume there exits a whole independent of or even without its parts. By logic such a whole cannot exist, hence its proper indicator cannot exist, hence our conclusion that there is no such a thing as effect to mediate. The concept of effect to mediate is misconceived and mislabeled, and should be eliminated. VII. CONLUSION The prevailing view on mediation in the last 25 years has been that c’ test is necessary at least under non Shrout-Bolger conditions. After providing a comprehensive typology of three types of mediations and two types of non-mediations, we examined the performance of c’ in all five types, especially under non Shrout-Bolger conditions. We found that, for the purpose of

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 24 of 34 
 
in my hand, alone, is sufficient to show both. Likewise, if an effect was mediated, obviously there 
was an effect to mediate, and a*b alone is sufficient to show both. 
From this perspective, Mathieu & Taylor’s (2006) proposal to differentiate “indirect effect” 
from “mediation” represents a move toward the opposite.  Traditionally the two terms had been 
synonyms.  Separating them would create four groups of signs while statistical concepts remain at 
two, which would only add more confusions and fallacies.  
For those of us who have learned and taught “effect to mediate” for a significant portion of 
our careers, the change proposed in Figure 2b would not be easy.  The sign-concept linkage is not 
just arbitrary.  It can also become habitual, emotional and even sentimental, hence difficult to 
unlearn. After reading a draft of this manuscript, some of our colleagues asked “If c’ measures 
combined effect, what measures effect to be mediated?”  Our answer: “there is only mediated effect, 
measured by a*b. Beyond a*b, there is no such thing as effect to be mediated. It is a pseudo concept 
once existed in our mind.” 
Another way of understanding this is to focus on the relationship between the whole and its 
parts.  Given that c’ indicates the combined effect, testing c’ before and possibly without testing a
b, and c, as required by c’ test, is to assume there exits a whole independent of or even without its 
parts.  By logic such a whole cannot exist, hence its proper indicator cannot exist, hence our 
conclusion that there is no such a thing as effect to mediate.  The concept of effect to mediate is 
misconceived and mislabeled, and should be eliminated.  
 
VII.
 
CONLUSION 
 
The prevailing view on mediation in the last 25 years has been that c’ test is necessary at 
least under non Shrout-Bolger conditions. After providing a comprehensive typology of three types 
of mediations and two types of non-mediations, we examined the performance of c’ in all five 
types, especially under non Shrout-Bolger conditions.  We found that, for the purpose of 


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