Methods & Meta-science

Mediation analysis: What is it and how does it work?

Mediational analysis is useful in helping us understand the mechanism behind an observed relationship between a dependent and independent variable, by considering a third variable in the model. In order to do this, Baron and Kenny (1986) proposed a model consisting of a series of regressions. The Sobel test represents an alternative to Baron and Kenny’s method. More recently, Preacher and Hayes (2004) proposed a bootstrapping method for conducting mediational analysis. These approaches will be discussed based on a dataset which requires three mediational analyses. Preliminary findings will be presented. Any of the following readings will be helpful: Baron, R. M. and Kenny, D. A. (1986) "The Moderator-Mediator Variable Distinction in Social Psychological Research – Conceptual, Strategic, and Statistical Considerations", Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 51(6), pp. 1173–1182.