Moderator vs Mediator
Though moderator and mediator are words in English language, this article is not about them. These terms are used for variables in sociological research and statistical analysis that have many similarities between themselves to cause confusion in the minds of students. These variables can affect, change, and decide the strength of relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable in any research or statistical analysis. Despite similarities, there are enough differences between moderator variables and mediator variables that will be outlined in this article for the benefit of the readers.
Mediator is a variable that is introduced in sociological research to get some help in explaining the relationship between tow variables namely an independent variable and a dependent variable. Thus, mediator works as an explanatory variable that seeks to identify and explain the relationship between the independent and the dependent variable. This mediator plays a very important role as it governs the relationship between the two variables and lets the researcher identify the exact relations and its nature. If the purpose of research is to find why two variables are strongly associated, mediator variables are found to be extremely useful. A mediator variable is an excellent tool to explain the nature of relationship between two variables.
A moderator is a variable that has the ability to change the relationship between two other variables. The reason why this variable is called a moderator is because of the fact that it decides the strength of relationship between two variables. A moderator variable can increase or decrease the strength of relationship between two variables, but it can also change the direction of the relationship. A moderator influences the strength of a relationship and it can be introduced in a relationship to induce a change that is desired.
Moderator vs Mediator
• Mediator identifies and explains a relationship between two variables, whereas moderator influences the strength of a relationship.
• Moderator can even change the direction of relationship between two variables, namely the independent and the dependent variable.
• Moderator can reduce or increase the strength in a relationship, but the relationship exists even without the moderator
• Moderator tells us when to expect what in a relationship whereas mediator variable helps in identifying the effect and why such an effect takes place.