A Tool for Complex Mediation and Moderation Models


Posted July 18, 2019

In quantitative studies, some research questions call for complex mediation and/or moderation analyses. Performing and interpreting these complex analyses in standard statistical software like SPSS can be cumbersome. Luckily, statisticians have developed tools that can be used in conjunction with popular statistical software to make conducting and interpreting complex analyses easier. One such tool is the PROCESS macro developed by Andrew Hayes. The PROCESS macro is essentially an unofficial (but safe to use!) modification to statistical programs like SPSS that computes regression analyses containing various combinations of mediators, moderators, and covariates. Here we provide an overview on how to get started using the PROCESS macro.

Detailed information about the PROCESS macro can be found at the following links:

https://afhayes.com/index.html

http://processmacro.org/faq.html

http://www.processmacro.org/download.html

It is important to download both the macro and the list of models (PDF document). The list of models includes a visual depiction of every regression path that can be run in PROCESS. Dr. Hayes has assigned a number to each model in the list. Three examples are presented below in screenshots from the PDF document.

Model 1 demonstrates a simple moderation path:

Model 4 demonstrates a simple mediation path:

Model 7 demonstrates a moderated-mediation path:

There are 74 models identified on the list (as of 2013), ranging from relatively simple to extremely complex. You must match the model number to the type of regression you intend to examine – then enter the relevant variables as inputs. The interface of the macro is intuitive, even for beginners. Below is a screenshot of the PROCESS macro in SPSS:


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