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Statistical Mediation and Moderation


Entry requirements

  • Open to Master’s and Research Master’s students from Psychology.

  • Course Multivariate Data Analysis at introductory level.


Many psychologists study relationships between constructs. In mediation and moderation analysis, we examine how these relationships occur, and when they occur. For example, the relationship between stress and depression might be moderated by the degree of social support. Topics addressed in this course are mediation and moderation analysis with a continuous and a categorical variable, mediation in longitudinal research, moderator effects between multiple variables, and treatment-subgroup interactions. Both confirmatory as well as exploratory approaches are captured. The emphasis lies on conceptual knowledge and practical skills.

Course objectives

The general goal of this course is to develop insight in the possibilities of mediation and moderation analysis.

After this course the students will be able to:

  • explain the concepts of mediation, moderation, and moderated mediation, and related issues (e.g., mean centering, causal steps approach);

  • clearly communicate about the concepts of mediation and moderation to others (e.g., peers, researchers);

  • construct an appropriate model based on hypotheses involving mediation and/or moderation;

  • select the appropriate analysis approach for different research questions involving mediation and/or moderation;perform mediation, moderation, and moderated mediation analysis in SPSS (or in R) with categorical and/or continuous variables, and

  • interpret the output of these analyses, that is, translate the results into meaningful answers to the research question(s).


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

Seven 2-hours (web-)lectures and seven 2-hours work group sessions (of which three are computer practicals). Attendance to the work group sessions is mandatory.

Assessment method

  • Two take-home assignments;

  • Final written exam including interpretation of practical examples.

Mandatory literature for the exam: Book by Hayes (see below), a few additional articles, lecture slides, and solutions to the exercises.

The final grade will be a weighted average of the exam grade (0.60) and the take-home assignments (0.20 each). The exam grade should be 5.0 or higher.

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

  • Hayes, A. F. (2022). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach (3rd Ed.). New York: The Guilford Press. Please note: this is the new edition of the book

  • Articles on Brightspace.

Contact information

Prof. dr. E.M.L. (Elise) Dusseldorp