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something that changes; an attribute or property of a person, event, or object that is known to vary in a given study.
dependent variable in a mathematical equation or relationship between two or more variables, a variable whose value depends on those of others; it represents a response, behavior, or outcome that the researcher wishes to predict or explain.
extraneous variable a factor that is not itself under study but affects the measurement of the study variables or the examination of their relationships.
independent variable in a mathematical equation or relationship between two or more variables, any variable whose value determines that of others; it represents the treatment or experimental variable that is manipulated by the researcher to create an effect on the dependent variable.
in experiments, a variable that is influenced by or dependent on changes in the independent variable; for example, the amount of a written passage retained (dependent variable) as a function of the different numbers of minutes (independent variable) allowed to study the passage.