Tests of multiplicative models in psychology: A case study using the unified theory of implicit attitudes, stereotypes, self-esteem, and self-concept

Hart Blanton, James Jaccard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Theories that posit multiplicative relationships between variables are common in psychology. A. G. Greenwald et al. (see record 2002-00351-001) recently presented a theory that explicated relationships between group identification, group attitudes, and self-esteem. Their theory posits a multiplicative relationship between concepts when predicting a criterion variable. Greenwald et al. suggested analytic strategies to test their multiplicative model that researchers might assume are appropriate for testing multiplicative models more generally. The theory and analytic strategies of Greenwald et al. are used as a case study to show the strong measurement assumptions that underlie certain tests of multiplicative models. It is shown that the approach used by Greenwald et al. can lead to declarations of theoretical support when the theory is wrong as well as rejection of the theory when the theory is correct. A simple strategy for testing multiplicative models that makes weaker measurement assumptions than the strategy proposed by Greenwald et al. is suggested and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-169
Number of pages15
JournalPsychological Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006



  • Cross-products
  • Implicit association test
  • Interactions
  • Regression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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