Statistics: Variables – Independent and Dependent

Understanding a Variable’s Function

Variables, whether quantitative or qualitative, serve a specific function depending on the type of study being performed and it is important to understand each when designing the study.

Independent Variable

When designing the study, note those variables which are changing during the scenario, they are considered independent (IV). For example, if determining the effectiveness of a student’s study time related to their grade (outcome), the amount of hours they study from one night to the next would be the independent variable.

Dependent Variable

Conversely, those variables which are the outcome of the IV variable are the dependent variables(DV).
Using the same example, a student’s changing study hours over time produces a grade (dependent variable) which are the result.

Independent variable represent factors which change and produce dependent variables which are the outcomes.

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