Variables – The Basics

This article will cover the basics of Variables! As if you hadn’t guessed by the title…

Simply put, a Variable is something that can vary. Scientists try their best to ensure that variables are accounted for, and in most cases, limited.

Most importantly there are 2 main variables that you, quite simply, HAVE to remember:

Independent Variable:

This is the variable that you control. Well, that was easy.

To give an example: If I was to do an experiment on if someone could eat more chocolate that strawberry ice crem then the independent variable would be the flavour of the ice cream. Because I am changing it.

I’m not happy with that example so I am gonna put another one: In an experiment between whether someone can complete a task better in a room full of spiders or a room without spiders then the independent variable is whether the room has spiders in.

Dependent Variable:

This is the variable that is influenced by the independent variable. To go back to my previous examples: In the example of ice cream the depenedent variable would be how much ice cream they could eat before they were full.

And in the spider example the dependent variable would be how long it takes the subjects to complete the task.

Maybe that didn’t click… check out this creepy and slightly disturbing video:

REMEMBER that scientists do not try and limit the independent or dependent variable.

I’m afraid that’s not all yet! But it should do you until you are ready to take on the more complex stuff that can be found HERE.

This entry was posted in Research Methods. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Variables – The Basics

  1. Pingback: Intefering Variables – A little more Complex | A Level Psychology Revision

  2. Pingback: Experimental Methods – 3 Types Of Experiments | A Level Psychology Revision

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