A research variable or study variable is a term used to refer to any type of cause and effect relationship. What are the 3 types of variables?
In general terms, a variable represents a measurable attribute that changes throughout an experiment by checking the results. These attributes have different measures, depending on both the variables, the context of the study or the limits that the researchers consider.
3 Types of variables in a research
There are different types of variables in an research, which depend on their level of operability, the relationship they have with other variables and the type of scale that allows them to be measured.
Next, we have for you the classification of the different types of variables in an research:
1-Variables according to their operability
Operating variables are among the most popular for an research because it is possible to give them a numerical value and operate from them. These types of variables are classified as:
- Qualitative variables: Qualitative variables are also known as categorical variables. It is characterized by not using numerical values, but rather describes the data by categories or characteristics without a natural order. What are the 3 types of variables?
Qualitative variables can be:
- Dichotomous: This type of variable only allows taking two possible values, for example “yes or no” “up or down”.
- Politomics: They allow multiple values to exist, of which one can be selected and the others omitted.
- Quantitative variables: Quantitative variables are numerical, that is, they represent a measurable quantity.
The quantitative variables are classified as:
- Discrete: They are the variables that do not allow the use of intermediate or decimal values.
- Continuous: In this type of variables intermediate values can be found.
2-Variables according to their relationship with other variables
There are different types of variables in an research that are established thanks to their relationship with others. An element can even be of one type of variable and belong to another depending on the study carried out. What are the 3 types of variables?
1.Dependent variables : This type of variable is the one that is tested or measured in a scientific experiment. Can be modified as the experimenter changes the independent variable
2. Independent variables: It is the type of variable that is changed or controlled in a scientific experiment to test the effects on the dependent variable.
3. Moderator variables : This type of variable is responsible for changing the effect or relationship that exists between the dependent variable and the independent variable.
4. Strange variables: They are the type of variables that are not considered during an research, but that somehow affect the result.
3-Variables according to their scale
This is the last of the variables in an research. They have different characteristics and are responsible for comparing the information obtained.
Nominal variable: The nominal scale is used to name or label variables, without any quantitative value, so it does not have an order and does not allow mathematical operations.
Ordinal variable: The ordinal scale is a type of variable, the order of the values is important and significant, but the differences between each one are not really known. What are the 3 types of variables?
Interval variable: The interval scale are numerical scales in which we know both the order and the exact differences between the values.
Ratio variable: This ratio scale reports the exact order and value between units. They have an absolute zero, which allows a wide range of descriptive and inferential statistics to be applied.
Knowing the types of variables in research allows a study that is easy to measure. However, researchers should not limit themselves to these to understand a phenomenon. It is necessary to have a critical posture so as not to make mistakes in the results.