Independent Variable Definition and Examples
May 17, · The independent variable (IV) is the characteristic of a psychology experiment that is manipulated or changed by researchers, not by other variables in the experiment. For example, in an experiment looking at the effects of studying on test . The independent variable is the variable the experimenter manipulates or changes, and is assumed to have a direct effect on the dependent variable. For example, allocating participants to either drug or placebo conditions (independent variable) in order to measure any changes in the intensity of their anxiety (dependent variable).
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List of Partners vendors. A variable is something that can be changed or varied, such as a characteristic or value. Variables are generally used in psychology experiments to determine if changes to one thing result in changes to another. Variables play a how to analyze google adwords data role in the psychological research process.
By systematically varying some variables and measuring the effects on other variables, researchers can determine if changes to one thing result in changes in something else. It is important to note that the independent and dependent variables are not the only variables present in many experiments. In some cases, extraneous variables may also play a role. This type of variable is one that may have an impact on the relationship between the independent and dependent variables.
For example, in our previous description of an experiment on the effects of sleep deprivation on test performance, other factors such as age, gender, and academic background may have an impact on the results. In such cases, the experimenter will note the values of these extraneous variables so this impact on the results can be controlled for. There are two basic types of extraneous variables:.
Other extraneous variables include the following:. In many cases, extraneous variables are controlled for by the experimenter. In the case of participant variables, the experiment might select participants that are the same in background and temperament to ensure that these factors do not interfere with the results.
If a variable cannot be controlled for, it becomes what is known as a confounding variable. This type of variable can have an impact on the dependent variable, which can make it difficult to determine if the results are due to the influence of the independent variable, the confounding variable or an interaction of the two. Before conducting a psychology experimentit is essential to create firm operational definitions for both the independent variable and dependent variable. An operational definition describes how the variables are measured and defined in the study.
For example, in our imaginary experiment on the effects of sleep deprivation on test performance, we would need to create very specific operational definitions for our two variables. If our hypothesis is how to transfer recorded programs from dvr who are sleep deprived will score significantly lower on a test," then we would have a few different concepts to define.
First, what do we mean by students? Next, we need to operationally define the sleep deprivation variable. Finally, we need to create an operational definition for the test variable. Students often report problems with identifying the independent and dependent variables in an experiment. While the task can become more difficult as the complexity of an experiment increases, there are a few questions you can ask when trying to identify a variable. What is the experimenter manipulating? The things that change, either naturally or through direct manipulation from the experimenter, are generally the independent variables.
What is being measured? The dependent variable is the one that the experimenter is measuring. Ever wonder what your personality type means? Sign up to find out more in our Healthy Mind newsletter. American Psychological Association. APA Dictionary of Psychology. Your Privacy Rights. To change or withdraw your consent choices for VerywellMind. At any time, you can update your settings through the "EU Privacy" link at the what are types of tissues of any page.
These choices will be signaled globally to our partners and will not affect browsing data. We and our partners process data to: Actively scan device characteristics for identification. I Accept Show Purposes. Confounding Variables If a variable cannot be controlled for, it becomes what is known as a confounding variable. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign Up. What are your concerns? Article Sources.
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Methods in Psychological Research. Experimental Psychology. Stamfort, CT: Cengage Learning; Related Articles. Independent Variable in Psychology Experiments. How Experimental Psychology Studies Behavior. Understanding Internal and External Validity. How Does the Placebo Effect Work?
Recognize and Graph Independent and Dependent Variables
Therefore, we can define the independent variable as the experimental variable or variable that is manipulated by the research and has some effect on the DV. If there is a change or effect, we may conclude that the IV affected the DV. The ultimate here is to establish that the IV caused the change in the DV (this is the magical "cause-effect"). An independent variable is that variable presumed to affect or determine a dependent variable. It can be changed as required, and its values do not represent a problem requiring explanation in an analysis, but are taken simply as given. In a psychology experiment: 1 ?? The independent variable is the variable that is controlled and manipulated by the experimenter. For example, in an experiment on the impact of sleep deprivation on test performance, sleep deprivation would be the independent variable. The dependent variable is the variable that is measured by the experimenter.
An independent variable is that variable presumed to affect or determine a dependent variable. It can be changed as required, and its values do not represent a problem requiring explanation in an analysis, but are taken simply as given.
Depending on the context, independent variables are also known as predictor variables , regressors , controlled variables , manipulated variables , or explanatory variables. Thus independent variables act as catalysts for dependent variables. In other words, the independent variable is the "presumed cause", while dependent variable is the "presumed effect" of the independent variable. In experimental design , an independent variable is a random variable used to define treatment groups.
The wages of an employee depend on the time worked. Time is the independent variable that varies among employees, and the wages are calculated directly from a specific amount of time. Thus wages are dependent on time worked. In a study of how different dosages of a drug are related to the severity of symptoms of a disease , a researcher could compare the varying symptoms the dependent variable for varying dosages the independent variable and attempt to draw a conclusion.
When graphing a set of collected data, the independent variable is graphed on the x -axis see Cartesian coordinates. In mathematics , in functional analysis , it was traditional to define the set of independent variables as the only set of variables in a given context which could be altered.
For, even though any function defines a bilateral relation between variables, and it's even true that two variables might be connected by an implicit equation for instance, cf. This wiki. This wiki All wikis. Sign In Don't have an account? Examples [ edit edit source ] The wages of an employee depend on the time worked. The independent variable is also called the predictor variable. Mathematics usage [ edit edit source ] When graphing a set of collected data, the independent variable is graphed on the x -axis see Cartesian coordinates.
See also [ edit edit source ] Variable Attribute Dependent and independent variables Empirical method Test method Statistical independence This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia view authors. Categories :. Cancel Save.
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