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      Thinking Clearly About Correlations and Causation: Graphical Causal Models for Observational Data

      1 , 2 , 3
      Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science
      SAGE Publications

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          Having less, giving more: the influence of social class on prosocial behavior.

          Lower social class (or socioeconomic status) is associated with fewer resources, greater exposure to threat, and a reduced sense of personal control. Given these life circumstances, one might expect lower class individuals to engage in less prosocial behavior, prioritizing self-interest over the welfare of others. The authors hypothesized, by contrast, that lower class individuals orient to the welfare of others as a means to adapt to their more hostile environments and that this orientation gives rise to greater prosocial behavior. Across 4 studies, lower class individuals proved to be more generous (Study 1), charitable (Study 2), trusting (Study 3), and helpful (Study 4) compared with their upper class counterparts. Mediator and moderator data showed that lower class individuals acted in a more prosocial fashion because of a greater commitment to egalitarian values and feelings of compassion. Implications for social class, prosocial behavior, and economic inequality are discussed.
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            Yes, but what's the mechanism? (don't expect an easy answer).

            Psychologists increasingly recommend experimental analysis of mediation. This is a step in the right direction because mediation analyses based on nonexperimental data are likely to be biased and because experiments, in principle, provide a sound basis for causal inference. But even experiments cannot overcome certain threats to inference that arise chiefly or exclusively in the context of mediation analysis-threats that have received little attention in psychology. The authors describe 3 of these threats and suggest ways to improve the exposition and design of mediation tests. Their conclusion is that inference about mediators is far more difficult than previous research suggests and is best tackled by an experimental research program that is specifically designed to address the challenges of mediation analysis.
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              Methodological Urban Legends: The Misuse of Statistical Control Variables

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science
                Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science
                SAGE Publications
                2515-2459
                2515-2467
                January 24 2018
                March 2018
                January 29 2018
                March 2018
                : 1
                : 1
                : 27-42
                Affiliations
                [1 ]International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany
                [2 ]Department of Psychology, University of Leipzig
                [3 ]German Institute for Economic Research, Berlin, Germany
                Article
                10.1177/2515245917745629
                74eb1ac5-5314-41bd-8f40-f8162d187620
                © 2018

                http://journals.sagepub.com/page/policies/text-and-data-mining-license


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