Spotlights,floodlights,andthe magic number zero: Simple effects tests in moderated regression

Journal Article (Journal Article)

It is common for researchers discovering a significant interaction of a measured variable X with a manipulated variable Z to examine simple effects of Z at different levels of X. These "spotlight" tests are often misunderstood even in the simplest cases, and it appears that consumer researchers are unsure how to extend them to more complex designs. The authors explain the general principles of spotlight tests, show that they rely on familiar regression techniques, and provide a tutorial demonstrating how to apply these tests across an array of experimental designs. Rather than following the common practice of reporting spotlight tests at one standard deviation above and below the mean of X, it is recommended that when X has focal values, researchers should report spotlight tests at those focal values. When X does not have focal values, it is recommended that researchers report ranges of significance using a version of Johnson and Neyman's test the authors term a "floodlight." © 2013 American Marketing Association.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Spiller, SA; Fitzsimons, GJ; Lynch, JG; McClelland, GH

Published Date

  • January 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 50 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 277 - 288

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-2437

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1509/jmr.12.0420

Citation Source

  • Scopus