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What Is a Dependent Variable?

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Definition:

The dependent variable is the variable that is being measured in an experiment. For example, in a study on the effects of tutoring on test scores, the dependent variable would be the participants test scores.

In a psychology experiment, researchers are looking at how changes in the independent variable cause changes in the dependent variable.

Examples of Dependent Variables

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Researchers want to know whether first-born children learn to speak at a younger age than second-born children. In this example, the dependent variable is the age at which the child learns to speak.

More Psychology Definitions: The Psychology Dictionary

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Kendra Cherry

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Psychology Guide

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