Dependent v. independent variables

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Dependent v. independent variables

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Dependent v. independent variables

  1. 1. Dependent v. Independent Variables What’s the difference?
  2. 2. What is a Variable?    Simply, something that varies. Specifically, variables represent persons or objects that can be manipulated, controlled, or merely measured for the sake of research. Variation: How much a variable varies. Those with little variation are called constants.
  3. 3. Examples of Variables  In the recent GOP sweep of the House and Senate, variables (or factors) that may have played a part would include:       Voter Turnout Party Message # of Open Seats Redistricting # of Incumbents Wellstone Funeral
  4. 4. Independent Variables     These variables are ones that are more or less controlled. Scientists manipulate these variables as they see fit. They still vary, but the variation is relatively known or taken into account. Often there are many in a given study.
  5. 5. Dependent Variables    Dependent variables are not controlled or manipulated in any way, but instead are simply measured or registered. These vary in relation to the independent variables, and while results can be predicted, the data is always measured. There can be any number of dependent variables, but usually there is one to isolate reason for variation.
  6. 6. Independent     V. Dependent Intentionally manipulated Controlled Vary at known rate Cause     Intentionally left alone Measured Vary at unknown rate Effect
  7. 7. Example: What affects a student’s arrival to class? Variables:  Type of School –  Type of Student –  Athlete? Gender? GPA? Time –  Liberals Arts v. University Bedtime, Waking, Arrival Mode of Transportation
  8. 8. Graphing Dependent v. Independent Variables  The dependent variable is placed on the y-axis, while the independent variable is placed on the x-axis.  Example: Stock Market Graph

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