Language and Linguistics

Difference between Independent vs Dependent variables

Independent Variables

The Independent variable is a type of variable used in experimental sciences, statistical modeling, and mathematical modeling which doesn’t depend on any other variables in the scope of the experiment. Difference between Independent vs Dependent variables

  • An independent variable can be manipulated in an experiment, which in turn affects the changes in the dependent variables.
  • Mostly in mathematical equations, independent variables are denoted by ‘x’.
  • Independent variables are also termed as “explanatory variables,” “manipulated variables,” or “controlled variables.”
  • In a graph, the independent variable is usually plotted on the X-axis.
  • Independent variables are mostly used in experiments to determine their effects on other dependent variables.
  • However, in other cases where their influence is not of primary importance, they are used to account for their potential confounding effect.
  • The concept of independent variables might differ from one sector to another. In statistics, independent variables are those that are manipulated by the experimenter.
  • In research, independent variables are the variables that are selected to determine their possible effects on other variables being studied.
  • Independent variables are required for the existence or study of any dependent variable. Also, one independent variable might affect two different dependent variables.
  • These variables are used in experiments to study the cause-effect relationship where changes in independent variables make up the ‘cause’ part of the experiment.
  • Examples of independent variables depend on the nature of the experiment, and some of these variables with experiments are:
    • In an experiment testing the behavior of moths to light and dark by turning the light on and off, the light is the independent variable.
    • In a study determining the effects of temperature on the plant pigmentation, the temperature is the independent variable.

Dependent variables

The dependent variable is a type of variable used in experimental sciences, statistical modeling, and mathematical modeling which depends on any other variables in the scope of the experiment.

  • A dependent variable cannot be manipulated by the experimenter as the changes are brought by the independent variables.
  • Mostly in mathematical equations, dependent variables are denoted by ‘y’.
  • Dependent variables are also termed as “measured variable,” the “responding variable,” or the “explained variable”.
  • In a graph, dependent variables are usually plotted on the Y-axis.
  • Dependent variables are used in experiments to study their values under the supposition or hypothesis that they depend on, by some law or rule, on other variables, called independent variables.
  • Most experiments are involved in the observation of changes or variations in the dependent variables.
  • The concept of dependent variables might also differ from one sector to another. In statistics, dependent variables are those that are expected to change when the independent variables are manipulated.
  • A dependent variable responds to the one or many independent variables and thus, ‘depends’ on those variables.
  • Dependent variables cannot exist without independent variables, and one dependent variable can only be affected by one independent variable during one study.
  • These variables are used in experiments to study the cause-effect relationship where changes in dependent variables caused due to independent variables make up the ‘effect’ part of the experiment.
  • The effect on the dependent variable forms the basis of any experiment.
  • Examples of dependent variables depend on the nature of the experiment, and some of these variables with experiments are:
    • In an experiment testing the behavior of moths to light and dark by turning the light on and off, the behavior of moths towards the light is the dependent variable.
    • In a study determining the effects of temperature on the plant pigmentation, the changes in plant pigmentation as a response to temperature is the dependent variable.

Key Differences (Independent variable vs Dependent variables)

Basis for Comparison

Independent variable

Dependent variables

Definition The Independent variable is a type of variable used in experimental sciences, statistical modeling, and mathematical modeling which doesn’t depend on any other variables in the scope of the experiment. The dependent variable is a type of variable used in experimental sciences, statistical modeling, and mathematical modeling which depends on any other variables in the scope of the experiment.
Also called Independent variables are also termed as “explanatory variables,” “manipulated variables,” or “controlled variables.” Dependent variables are also termed as “measured variable,” the “responding variable,” or the “explained variable”.
Denoted by In mathematical equations, independent variables are denoted by ‘x’. In mathematical equations, dependent variables are denoted by ‘y’.
Graph In a graph, the independent variable is usually plotted on the X-axis. In a graph, dependent variables are usually plotted on the Y-axis.
Dependence As the name suggests, independent variables of an experiment do not depend on other variables. As the name suggests, the dependent variables of an experiment depend on independent variables.
Changes caused by The changes in the independent variables are brought about by the experimenter. The changes in the dependent variables are brought about by the changes in the independent variables.
Cause-effect Changes in independent variables make up the ‘cause’ part of the experiment. Changes in dependent variables caused due to independent variables make up the ‘effect’ part of the experiment.
Existence Independent variables can exist without dependent variables. Dependent variables cannot exist without independent variables.
Attributes Independent variables take the form of experiment stimulus having two attributes that are either present or absent. Dependent variables have attributes that are direct, indirect, or through constructs.
Examples
  1. In an experiment testing the behavior of moths to light and dark by turning the light on and off, the light is the independent variable.
  2. In a study determining the effects of temperature on the plant pigmentation, the temperature is the independent variable.
  1. In an experiment testing the behavior of moths to light and dark by turning the light on and off, the behavior of moths towards the light is the dependent variable.
  2. In a study determining the effects of temperature on the plant pigmentation, the changes in plant pigmentation as a response to temperature is the dependent variable.

Difference between Independent vs Dependent variables

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