moderator variable

Formal Definition

A qualitative (e.g., sex, race, class) or quantitative (e.g., level of reward) variable that affects the direction and/or strength of the relation between an independent or predictor variable and a dependent or outcome variable. Specifically within a correlational analysis framework, a moderator is a third variable that affects the zero-order correlation between two other variables.

Baron, R.M., & Kenny, D.A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 51, 1173-1182
  • Categories: Statistics