Investigating directionality for a media consumption construct : establishing the utility of confirmatory vanishing tetrad analysis
Wilson, Bradley, Vocino, Andrea, Adam, Stewart and Stella, Jason 2011, Investigating directionality for a media consumption construct : establishing the utility of confirmatory vanishing tetrad analysis, Asia Pacific journal of marketing and logistics, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 23-38.
Purpose – When assessing the psychometric properties of measures and estimate relations among latent variables, many studies in the social sciences (including management and marketing) often fail to comprehensively appraise the directionality of indicants. Such failures can lead to model misspecification and inaccurate parameter estimates. The purpose of this paper is to apply a post hoc test called confirmatory vanishing tetrad analysis (CTA hereafter) to a single construct called mass media consumption information exposure, which antecedent studies conceptually posited to be a formative (causative) representation. Design/methodology/approach – This paper analyses a consumer sample of 585 US respondents and applies the CTA test to a single construct by its inclusion in various matrices within a statistical analysis system-macro that takes into account nonnormal data characteristics. The matrices are derived from Mplus 5 through the estimation of a single-factor congeneric model. The CTA test calculates a test statistic similar to an asymptotic x2 distribution with degrees of freedom equal to the number of nonredundant tetrads tested. Findings – The preliminary data analyses reveal that the data characteristics are nonnormal which is not uncommon in social research. The CTA results reveal that the reflective (emergent) item orientation cannot be fully ruled out as being the correct model representation. This is in contrast to prior theoretical conceptual work which would strongly support this construct being a formative representation. Originality/value – Insofar as the authors are aware, there is no paper with a particular focus on how the CTA might not provide sound results with a demonstrated example. The paper makes a valuable contribution by discussing modelling philosophy and a procedure for directionality testing. The authors advocate the implementation of pre and post hoc tests as a key component of standard research practice.
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