A graphical representation of the mediated effect

Matthew S. Fritz, David P. MacKinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Mediation analysis is widely used in the social sciences. Despite the popularity of mediation models, few researchers have used graphical methods, other than structural path diagrams, to represent their models. Plots of the mediated effect can help a researcher better understand the results of the analysis and convey these results to others. This article presents a method for creating and interpreting plots of the mediated effect for a variety of mediation models, including models with (1) a dichotomous independent variable, (2) a continuous independent variable, and (3) an interaction between an independent variable and the mediating variable. An empirical example is then presented to illustrate these plots. Sample code for creating plots of the mediated effect in R and SAS is also included, and may be downloaded from www.psychonomic.org/archive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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