This question was asked here but no one gave a good answer. So I think it’s a good idea to bring it up again and also I would like to add some more comments/questions.
- The first question is what is the difference between “PLS path modeling” and “PLS regression”? To make it more general, what are structural equation modeling (SEM), path modeling and regression? To my understanding regression focuses more on prediction while SEM focus is on the relationship between response and predictors and path modeling is a special case of SEM?
- My second question is how trustworthy is PLS? Recently it’s been subject to many criticisms as highlighted in Rönkkö et al. 2016 and Rönkkö et al. 2015 which leads to the rejection of papers based on PLS in high tier journals such as Journal of Operations Management (here is the note from the journal editor):
We are desk rejecting practically all PLS-based manuscripts, because we have concluded that PLS has been without exception the wrong modeling approach in the kinds of models OM researchers use.
I should note my field is spectroscopy, neither management/psychology nor statistics. In the papers linked above the authors are talking more about PLS as a SEM method, but to me, their criticism looks applicable to PLS regression as well.