Asked 7th Feb, 2020

How to interpret a negative indirect effect (that includes benefit perceptions) in mediation analysis (PROCESS (Hayes (2018)))?

Hi everyone! Greetings from Munich!
It appears in my mediation analysis, that X is negatively related to M, and M is positively related to Y. Also, i find a significant negative effect of X on Y through M. But since M is determined as a perceived benefit, i am currently struggling with the interpretation of this indirect effect.
Mathematically, of course, this indirect effect result makes sense since "- x + = -", but can i interpret this by saying the benefit is overridden or is it rather that the benefit "backfires" on Y and thus a negative indirect is found?
Many thanks in advance!

Most recent answer

21st May, 2020
Abdelkader Mohamed Elsayed
Benha University - Dhofar University
Nice Dear Nik Smidt

All Answers (4)

7th Feb, 2020
Cristian Ramos-Vera
University Cesar Vallejo
Hello, I think it is necessary to specify the direct effect of xay, I do not know if I understood correctly, but you mentioned that it is significant what would indicate that only the variable of the perceived benefit between the effect of x -y fulfills as partial mediator, and which is not so influential In that process, if so, it should be well justified theoretically, because partial mediation is a matter of academic debate.
7th Feb, 2020
Nik Smidt
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
Thanks for your help. You're right, it appears that i only found partial mediation in my model. I will discuss this in my limitations for sure. The direct effect of x on y is actually positive.. So, my question remains: how can i interpret the negative indirect effect, when the effect on m on y is actually positive (as can be seen in the illustration)?
7th Feb, 2020
Cristian Ramos-Vera
University Cesar Vallejo
It only mentions effect a then effect b, explains its effects of each and then direct effect, although total indirect effect a x b is negative it goes in the line of direct effect I don't think there is any problem in mentioning it in a general way.
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