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  Voter Turnout sweep of the House and  Party Message Senate, variables (or  # of Open Seats factors) that may have played a part would  Redistricting include:  # 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  Intentionally left alone Controlled  Measured Vary at known rate  Vary at unknown rate Cause  Effect
  7. 7. Example: What affects a student’sarrival to class?Variables: Type of School – Liberals Arts v. University Type of Student – Athlete? Gender? GPA? Time – 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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