How To Interpret Moderator And Mediating Variables?
Generally there is a clear established relationship between dependent and independent variables. However, in some cases there isn’t. In such cases, a mediating variable or a moderating variable can provide a more illustrative account of how dependent (criterion) variables are related to independent (predictor) variables. Moderator and mediating variables are two types of variables important mostly in psychological research. A moderator usually affects the strength of the relation between the independent and dependent variables. Moderators specify when a relation will hold. A mediating variable explains the relation between the independent and the dependent variables, thereby explaining how or why there is a relation between the two variables. Interpreting the two variables will be slightly different. The mediating variable needs to be used to describe the existence of the relationship between two factors first, followed by the discussion on the strength of the same relationship using the moderating variable.