In the course of writing your thesis, one of the first terms that you encounter is the word variable. Failure to understand the meaning and the usefulness of variables in your study will prevent you from doing good research. What then are variables, and how do you use variables in your research? I explain the concept below with lots of examples of variables commonly used in a study.
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A well-designed science experiment has well-defined controls and variables. Even high-level graduate students get this wrong, according to the University of Colorado. In this regard, examples can be informative and help students better understand the roles these important scientific ideas play in an experiment. Variables come in two forms: dependent and independent. Most experiments have the goal of determining the relationship between the dependent and independent variables. The dependent variable is the variable the scientist is most interested in. Specifically, the scientist is interested in how his changes to the independent variable affect the dependent variable.
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 critical 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 may change from group to group, person to person, or even within one person over time. There are six common variable types:. For example, if the independent variable is the use or non-use of a new language teaching procedure, then the dependent variable might be students' scores on a test of the content taught using that procedure. In other words, the variation in the dependent variable depends on the variation in the independent variable.