Are structural equation models theories and does it matter?

Trafimow, D., Hyman, M. R. and Kostyk, A. (2023) Are structural equation models theories and does it matter? Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science, 33(2), pp. 248-263. (doi: 10.1080/21639159.2022.2048960)

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In their introductory marketing, management, and social psychology courses, undergraduates learn that correlation coefficients provide weak evidence for causal conclusions. Nonetheless, researchers conclude causally from correlation coefficients by drawing causal arrows in their structural equation models (SEMs). Although most researchers avoid describing their findings in causal language, obligatory recommendations for applying those findings insert causation. Researchers’ standard rejoinder to validity challenges is “the critics have ignored theory’s role in rendering our SEM internally and externally valid”. To evaluate this rejoinder, we explore SEMs based on comprehensive underlying theories and as stand-alone and testable context-specific theories that blend previously published hypotheses and findings. In most cases, the rejoinder is unconvincing.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kostyk, Dr Alena
Authors: Trafimow, D., Hyman, M. R., and Kostyk, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):2163-9167
Published Online:08 March 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 Korean Scholars of Marketing Science
First Published:First published in Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science 33(2): 248-263
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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