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I'm trying to understand the effect of a consumer's motivation for and expectation of a product on placebo effects as mediators of a condition in a marketing context. In the experiment, I am not sure if I should consider motivation and expectation as parallel or serial mediators.

On the one hand, from Vroom's "Valence-Instrumentality-Expectancy" model, there is a relationship between motivation and expectation, but does a relationship like this automatically imply that the mediators are serial?

I am also unsure if Vroom's theory can be applied in the first place to product marketing.

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