Q. What is an independent or dependent variable?

Answer

A librarian can not tell you if your variable is independent or dependent (it's just not our area of expertise!).

However, we can point you to resources which will help you determine what is an independent or dependent variable. Our favorite is the database, SAGE Research Methods. You'll find information on variables in their methods map as well as tons more information on all types of research methodologies.

Here's a definition from the SAGE Encyclopedia of Research Design: "In experiments, independent variables are the design variables that are predetermined by researchers before an experiment is started. They are carefully controlled in controlled experiments or selected in observational studies (i.e., they are manipulated by the researcher according to the purpose of a study). The dependent variable is the effect to be observed and is the primary interest of the study. The value of the dependent variable varies subjecting to the variation in the independent variables and cannot be manipulated to establish an artificial relationship between the independent and dependent variables." - page 593

  • Last Updated Jun 15, 2018
  • Views 12
  • Answered By Carolyn Caffrey Gardner

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