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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);

  • choose the appropriate analysis for different research questions involving mediation and/or moderation;

  • perform mediation, moderation, and moderated mediation analysis in SPSS with categorical and/or continuous variables, and

  • interpret the results of such mediation, moderator, and moderated mediation analyses.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable


NOTE As of the academic year 2021-2022, you must register for all courses in uSis.
You do this twice a year: once for the courses you want to take in semester 1 and once for the courses you want to take in semester 2.
Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from early August. Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from December. The exact date on which the registration starts will be published on the website of the Student Service Center (SSC)

By registering for a course you are also automatically registered for the Brightspace module. Anyone who is not registered for a course therefore does not have access to the Brightspace module and cannot participate in the first sit of the exam of that course.
Also read the complete registration procedure

Mode of instruction

Eight 2-hours (web-)lectures and eight 2-hours work group sessions (several sessions in pc rooms). 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 (2018), complementary articles (o.a., Hayes, 2015; Montoya & Hayes, 2016), lecture slides, and solutions to the exercises.

The final grade will be a weighted average of the examination grade (0.70) and the take-home assignments (0.15 each). The examination grade should be 5.0 or higher.

Reading list

  • Hayes, A. F. (2018). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach (2nd Ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.

  • Articles on Blackboard.

Contact information

Dr. P. de Heus