Moderator variables in Conceptual Framework of Research


A moderator variable is a third variable in research that influences the relationship between independent and dependent variables. Students studying research in Master or undergraduate program as you have not worked with such time of variables earlier then in case you might find difficulty in interpretation

In this article, our professionals are providing students with a proper explanation about How to include moderator variables in research for expanding the conceptual framework?

 What are the moderator variables in the conceptual framework?

The moderator variable in the study depletes the relationship with two or more variables. It can also refer to Qualitative or quantitative variables that influence the direction and powerfulness of the relationship between dependent and independent variables. Moderating variables in the conceptual framework is an interaction term in Statistical models. The moderator variables in research help the researcher in the identification of circumstances that can have a significant influence on participants. It represents the process through which independent variables affect dependent variables in the study. Moderator variables are those variables that remain the same during research such as the economic status of a person, risk-taking tendency, intelligence, etc.

Designing a conceptual framework can be beneficial in terms of exploring the cause-and-effect relationship. At the time of analyzing the relationship between cause and effect the researcher always has to deal with moderator variables.

How to expand the conceptual framework by including moderator variables?

You to expand the conceptual framework need to include moderator variables in between dependent and independent variables.

Example: A researcher performs study for analysing the influence of use of laptop at night on the sleeping hours of people. Through research it has been found that the number of hours a person use laptop has great effect on number of hours they sleep at night. Till now, the two variables in the study are number of hour’s use of laptops and other variables in sleeping hours. In this example, number of hours spend on laptop is independent variable which significantly affect dependent variable that is sleeping hours,

Moderator Variables: Example

Now, you can add a moderator variable that is mental health. In the above example, mental health can influence both a person able to work on a laptop and sleeping hours.

If in case, Smith has poor mental health he will not able to work for long hours on a laptop and would not be able to sleep properly. It is the moderator variable in research that intervenes in the relationship between dependent and independent variables.

In case, Smith has good mental health he would able to work more on a laptop and he will be able to sleep properly.

Note: Changes in the mental health of people has a significant effect on several working on laptop and sleeping hours.

Reasons for including moderating variables in the research study

There are several reasons due to which you should include moderating variables in the research study are:

Acknowledgment of complexity in behavior

It is the moderator variable in research that helps in acknowledging the complexity of behavior. Moderator variables assist in analyzing the experiences of people.

Generalisability of results

Another reason is that it is the moderation analysis that helps in determining an appropriate technique to test whether the particular intervention has the same influence across different groups.

Moderator as a test of the theory

Testing theory

You can include moderator variables in the study for testing theory. There might be few circumstances where the effects of intervention can be theoretically expected in a single group but not in another group. For instance, different medicines are given to boys and girls for helping them in reducing the consumption of tobacco. Different medicines are given to boys and girls as they may have a unique reason for smoking.


From the above article, it has been concluded that moderator variables in the study have a great influence on the relationship between cause and effect. Another fact which has been found from the above is that moderator variables also alter the influence which independent variables have on the dependent variable.

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