Mediator and moderator are important in research because most research focuses on the relationship between two variables which are independent variables (IV) and dependent variables (DV). With these variables there are many possible outcomes. According to Baron, R.M, & Kenny, D.A. (1986), states that a mediator variable is one that explains the relationship between the two other variables and the moderator variable is one that influences the strength of a relationship between two other variables. Mediator and moderator are the names that are given to the third variable effects.
Taking into consideration the following examples of research findings, high satisfaction with one’s direct supervisor leads to lower levels of employee turnover. In other words, employees who are highly satisfied with their direct supervisor are less likely to leave an organization than employees who are dissatisfied with their direct supervisor (DeConinck, 2009), the moderator variable predicts that the employees who are satisfied highly with their direct supervisor will be less likely to leave the organization. The mediator variable is explaining that the employees who are less satisfied with their direct supervisor are likely to leave the organization than those that are highly satisfied.
In high levels of parental reading are associated with faster cognitive development in young children. In other words, children who are read to more by their parents show faster cognitive development than children who are read to less often (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2007), the moderator variable predicts that children whose parents read less to them will not develop cognitively in comparison to those whose parents do read more to them.
The experience of being socially excluded leads to increases in aggressive behavior. Research has found that when people are excluded by others, they are more likely to behave aggressively, even to people who did not initially exclude them (Twenge, Baumeister, Tice, & Stucke, 2001).
The moderator variable predicts that those with aggressive behaviors are excluded. The mediator variable explains that have been excluded have aggressive behavior towards the ones that did not initially get excluded.
Defendants who wear glasses are less likely to be convicted by juries as being guilty of committing violent crimes (Brown, Henriquez, & Groscup, 2008), there is no apparent moderator as far as the mediator is concerned it is the committing of the violent crimes which tries to explain that the changing the type of crime would have an effect but that violent crimes are important to the independent variable.
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