{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

Baron (1986) Moderator mediator variables

Baron (1986) Moderator mediator variables - Journal of...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1986, \<*. 51, No. 6, 1173-1182 Copyright 1986 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 0022-3514/86/S00.75 The Moderator-Mediator Variable Distinction in Social Psychological Research: Conceptual, Strategic, and Statistical Considerations Reuben M. Baron and David A. Kenny University of Connecticut In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both concep- tually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures ap- propriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both sepa- rately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. The purpose of this analysis is to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables in such a way as to clarify the different ways in which conceptual variables may account for differences in peoples' behavior. Specifically, we differentiate between two often-confused functions of third variables: (a) the moderator function of third variables, which partitions a focal independent variable into subgroups that es- tablish its domains of maximal effectiveness in regard to a given dependent variable, and (b) the mediator function of a third variable, which represents the generative mechanism through which the focal independent variable is able to influence the dependent variable of interest. Although these two functions of third variables have a rela- tively long tradition in the social sciences, it is not at all uncom- mon for social psychological researchers to ust the terms mod- erator and mediator interchangeably. For example, Harkins, Latane, and Williams (1980) first summarized the impact of identifiability on social loafing by observing that it "moderates social loafing" (p. 303) and then within the same paragraph proposed "that identifiability is an important mediator of social loafing." Similarly, Findley and Cooper (1983), intending a moderator interpretation, labeled gender, age, race, and socio- economic level as mediators of the relation between locus of control and academic achievement. Thus, one largely pedagogi- This research was supported in part by National Science Foundation Grant BNS-8210137 and National Institute of Mental Health Grant RO1MH-40295-01 to the second author. Support was also given to him during his sabbatical year (1982-83) by the MacArthur Foundation at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}