A health psychologist wants to learn more about how stress influences memory. In this example, the dependent variable might be test scores on a memory test and the independent variable might exposure to a stressful task. A psychologist is interested in studying how a therapeutic technique influences the symptoms of psychological disorders.

In this case, the dependent variable might be defined as the severity of the symptoms a patient is experiencing, while the independent variable would be the use of this specific therapy method. In a psychology experiment, researchers want to discover if listening to classical music helps students earn better grades on a math exam.

In this example, the scores on the math exams are the dependent variable and the classical music is the independent variable. Researchers are interested in seeing how long it takes people to respond to different sounds. In this example, the length of time it takes participants to respond to a sound is the dependent variable, while the sounds are the independent variable.

Researchers want to know whether first-born children learn to speak at a younger age than second-born children.

## Independent and Dependent Variables: Which Is Which?

In this example, the dependent variable is the age at which the child learns to speak and the independent variable is whether the child is first- or second-born. Researchers are interested in looking at how alcohol use influences reaction times while driving. The amount of alcohol a participant ingests is the independent variable, while their performance on the driving test is the dependent variable. Which variable is the experimenter's measuring? If it is something that varies in response to changes in another variable, it is a dependent variable.

In many psychology experiments and studies, the dependent variable is a measure of a certain aspect of a participant's behavior. In an experiment looking at how sleep impacts test performance, the dependent variable would test performance because it's a measure of the participants' behavior. The dependent variable is dubbed dependent because it is thought to depend in some way on the variations of the independent variable.

Which variable does the experimenter's manipulate? The independent variable is deemed independent because the experimenters are free to vary it as they need. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign Up. What are your concerns? Article Sources. Experimental Psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth; Weiten, W.

Psychology: Themes and Variations. An example of this would be Boyle's Gas Law where the pressure of a gas is inversely proportional to its volume as long as the temperature remains constant. In order to have come up with the equation for what is now Boyle's Law, Boyle himself would have had to conduct a series of experiments that measured the effect that altering the independent variable pressure had on the dependent variable volume. This would have put both independent and dependent variables into a real life, practical context.

Boyle was then able to devise his equation based on his observations of the independent and dependent variables.

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## What are Examples of Variables in Research?

Knowing the differences between independent and dependent variables will help as you sharpen your problem solving skills and explore new concepts within the fields of mathematics and the science. By continuing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Please set a username for yourself. People will see it as Author Name with your public flash cards.

Generally speaking, in any given model or equation, there are two types of variables: Independent variables - The values that can be changed or controlled in a given model or equation. They provide the "input" which is modified by the model to change the "output.

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Using Independent and Dependent Variables The definition of an independent or dependent variable is more or less universal in both statistical or scientific experiments and in mathematics; however, the way the variable is used varies slightly between experimental situations and mathematics. Example of Variables in Scientific Experiments If a scientist conducts an experiment to test the theory that a vitamin could extend a person's life-expectancy, then: The independent variable is the amount of vitamin that is given to the subjects within the experiment.

This is controlled by the experimenting scientist. The dependent variable, or the variable being affected by the independent variable, is life span.

### Get examples of each and learn how to graph them

Here are some other examples of dependent and independent variables in scientific experiments: A scientist studies the impact of a drug on cancer. The independent variables are the administration of the drug - the dosage and the timing. The dependent variable is the impact the drug has on cancer. A scientist studies the impact of withholding affection on rats.

### Independent and Dependent Variables

The independent variable is the amount of affection. The dependent variable is the reaction of the rats. A scientist studies how many days people can eat soup until they get sick. The independent variable is the number of days of consuming soup.