Independent Variable and Dependent Variable
What is an independent variable? What is a dependent
variable? It is important to compare independent vs. dependent
variables. The independent variable and dependent varaible are two
different types of variables in an experiment.
Independent Variable Definition
What is an independent variable? The independent variable is
the variable that is manipulated by the researcher. The independent
variable is something that is hypothesized to influence the
dependent variable. The researcher determines for the participant
what level or condition of the independent variable that the
participant in the experiment receives. For example, each
participant in the experiment may be randomly assigned to either an
experimental condition or the control condition.
Dependent Variable Definition
What is a dependent variable? The dependent variable is the
variable that is simply measured by the researcher. It is the variable
that reflects the influence of the independent variable. For example,
the dependent variable would be the variable that is influenced by
being randomly assigned to either an experimental condition or a
Examples of Independent Variable and Examples of Dependent
In order to clarify the concepts of independent variable and
dependent variable, it is important to provide examples.
Imagine that you wished to know whether listening to music would
increase productivity in the workplace. You randomly assign each
participant in this experiment to either an experimental condition or
a control condition. In the experimental condition, participants
listen to music while they work. In the control condition, the
participants do not listen to music while they work. In this example,
listening to music vs. not listening to music is the independent
variable. The dependent variable in this example is productivity.
Now imagine you wish to know whether a one-page or two-page
resume is more persuasive. You randomly assign each participant to
read a one-page or two-page resume, and then they make a
judgment about whether the person should be hired for a job. In this
example, the independent variable is the one-page vs. two-page
resume. The dependent variable in this example is the hiring
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