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Mediated Moderation vs. Moderated Mediation (Concepts)

  • Variables:
    • X = Predictor
    • Y = Outcome
    • Med1 = Mediator One
    • Med2 = Mediator Two
    • Mod1 = Moderator One
    • Mod2 = Moderator Two
  • With one mediator and one moderator, the story of mediated moderation is the following,

"People of different combinations of X and Mod1 have different Y (that is, an overall moderation effect exists). Med1 can help to elucidate this interaction, because ...

(a) (people of different combinations of X and Mod1 would have different Med1) or
(b) (people of different X would have different Med1 and people of different Mod1 would process Med1 differently), or
(c) (people of different combinations of X and Mod1 would have different Med1 and people of different Mod1 would process Med1 differently),

... thus resulting in different Y."

  • With one mediator and two moderators, the story of mediated moderation is the following,

"People of different combinations of X, Mod1, and Mod2 have different Y (that is, an overall moderation effect exists). Med1 can help to elucidate this interaction, because ...

(a) (people of different combinations of X, Mod1, and Mod2 would have different Med1) or
(b) (people of different X would have different Med1 and people of different Mod1 and Mod2 would process Med1 differently), or
(c) (people of different combinations of X, Mod1, and Mod2 would have different Med1 and people of different Mod1 and Mod2 would process Med1 differently),

... thus resulting in different Y."

  • With one mediator and one moderator, the story of moderated mediation is the following,

"There is no overall moderation effect of Mod1 on the link between X and Y. However, the indirect effect, via Med1, is higher, and the residual direct effect is lower, when Mod1 has a particular value than another value."

  • With one mediator and two moderator, the story of moderated mediation is the following,

"There is no overall moderation effect of Mod1 and Mod2 on the link between X and Y. However, the indirect effect, via Med1, is higher, and the residual direct effect is lower, when Mod1 and Mod have particular combination of values than the other combinations."
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