This week you are exposed to a slightly different approach to multiple regression. Up to this point we have assumed that in the conception of our models, the independent variable either directly affects or does not affect our dependent variable. However, the presence of an intervening variablein which the independent variable passes through to affect the dependent variableis a real possibility in the social world.
Such intervening variables are called mediators. As with moderation, this opens up a new set of research questions that are able to test for mediation. Testing for mediation provides you the extraordinary capability to move beyond straightforward models and test for direct effects, as well as to determine if an indirect effect exists.
For example, in a simple linear regression model a professor might test for a relationship between student anxiety of statistics and end of course knowledge attainment of statistical methods. Yet, a students motivation to learn, and therefore to succeed, may also impact knowledge attainment. Perhaps some level of anxiety might actually impact student motivation and therefore affect knowledge attainment.
Finally, this week, you begin to plan for your Final Project, a comprehensive analysis you are encouraged to conduct using your own data. This weeks Learning Resources contain two important documents to further explain the Final Project, and you spend time in this weeks Collaboration Lab beginning the ideation process.
Apply statistical tests to calculate mediation in a dataset
Analyze mediation in a data set
Critique research studies that apply mediation
Apply statistical software to analyze data
Assignment 1: Mediation in SPSS
Earlier this week, you practiced testing for mediation and, ideally, used the Collaboration Lab to ask, answer, and otherwise address any questions you had regarding mediation. In this Assignment, you apply what you learned to answer a social research question using multiple regression, including testing for possible mediation. Remember that you must still address all the assumptions for multiple regression.
Review the datasets provided Below:
Construct a research question based on one of those datasets.
Based on the research question you created, complete the following tasks:
1. Fit a multiple regression model, using two or more independent variables. Think about whether or not the model will meet assumptions.
2. Fit the model, testing for mediation between two key variables.
3. Analyze the output, determining whether mediation was significant and how to interpret that result.
4. Reflect on possible implications of social change.
Write a 1- to 2-paragraph analysis in APA format that includes your data output and addresses each of the tasks listed above.
Assignment 2: Article Critique
The practice of quantitative research not only involves statistical calculations and formulas but also involves the understanding of statistical techniques related to real-world applications. You might not become a quantitative researcher nor use statistical methods in your profession but as a consumer, citizen, and scholar-practitioner, it will be important for you to become a critical consumer of research, which will empower you to read, interpret, and evaluate the strength of claims made in scholarly material and daily news.
For this Assignment, you will critically evaluate a scholarly article related to mediation.
Review the Article Critique Assignment Guide in the Walden Library, listed in the Week 2 Learning Resources.
Search the Walden Library for a quantitative article that applies mediation testing.
Write a 2 page critique of the research you found in the Walden Library that includes responses to the following prompts:
Why did the authors use mediation in their multiple regression model?
Do you think mediation is the most appropriate choice? Why or why not?
Did the authors display the results in a figure or table?
Does the results table stand alone? In other words, are you able to interpret the study from it? Why or why not?
Laureate Education (Producer). (2017m). Introduction to mediation [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2017r). Mediation [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author
Warner, R. M. (2013). Applied statistics: From bivariate through multivariate techniques (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications
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