Difference Between Independent vs Dependent Variables

What is variable?

The term variable is a conception or speculated idea that can be expressed in quantifiable terms. It is implied by a characteristic, quality concerning the object, person or situation in focus. In other words, a variable is a classification of goods, possibilities, thoughts, feelings, time or other things we are trying to measure. As a consequence, we distinguish variables between the following two types of variables: independent variables and dependent variables. Independent and dependent variables can be regarded as logical situations or outcomes. When assuming that the independent variable has changed, we can see an effect on the dependent variable. It may be noted that the magnitude of both variables may change during the test and is recorded. The value of the independent variable must be constrained by the experimenter, whereas the value of the dependent variable only changes due to the independent variable.

What is an Independent Variable?

An independent variable is as the name implies an independent variable. Its meaning is that it is a variable that cannot be changed by another variable. The independent variable is also referred to as a predictor or factor to be considered independently. This means that it is a variable that is incapable of being modified in any way. A person’s age does not change depending on several other factors, such as what they eat, how many classes they attend, how much TV they watch, and so on. When we look for any kind of association between variables, we are trying to determine whether the independent variable influences another variable, and that is the dependent variable. The value and changes of the independent variables could only be updated by the author himself or herself. It is important to know that the independent variable has the strength to make difference in the results and analysis of the research findings.

What is Dependent Variable?

A dependent variable is a variable that is measured or tested through an experiment. It is postulated to be modified by the results of activities that are made by you. Hence, for example, your grade is a dependent variable because it can be affected by some factors, such as how you thought about the exam, how much rest you got the night before the exam, or how healthy you were when you took the exam. When we look for a relationship between two things, we usually try to find the factors that change the dependent variable.

Some people have difficulty remembering the independent and dependent variables. There is an obvious way to remember them is to incorporate the names of the two variables used throughout the paper together. Then you can clarify at this point which is the independent variable and which is the dependent variable. One cannot conceive that (the independent variable) is responsible for the adjustment of (the dependent variable) and that (the dependent variable) is responsible for the adjustment of (the independent variable).

Examples of Independent and Dependent Variable

To understand the difference between these two types of variables here is some examples.

Example: 1

Assume that a mother requires her five children to inquire about their overall scores on a science test. In doing so, the mother needs to know why the other students are doing better than her children. In this case, she doesn’t have any idea of how to proceed further. She thinks there could be two reasons: either some learners invest more energy in changing for their exams, or many learners might be smarter than their children. The mother chose to analyse the impact of the revision time as she considers the evidence of her five children.  If you concern about the upper case, the dependent variable could be the ‘Test score’ which is measurable from 0 to 5. On the other hand, the independent variables for this case would be the ‘revision time which is measure in hours as well as the intelligence of the children are measured by IQ scores of the children.

Example: 2

Another example of the independent and dependent variable in the present case is mentioned as if you can imagine that (study time) causes an increase in (test score) and that (test score) causes an increase in (study time). In this text, one should consider ‘study time’ as the independent variable and ‘grade’ as the dependent variable, as it doesn’t work the other way around. In this manner, it should be important to know that the study time has a direct impact on the test performances of the students.

Difference between Independent and Dependent Variable

Independent Variable

An independent variable is a variable for which its result does not depend on another variable or a researcher. Moreover, Independent variables are pragmatic and do not suffer from complex numerical methods or perceptions. The adjustment of the independent variable also influences the dependent variable. Along with that, the independent variables are located in the horizontal plane of the graph presentation.

Dependent variable

The dependent variable is a variable whose value depends on other variables such as the independent variable. Dependent variables can be obtained through longitudinal studies or by working with complex numerical conditions. When the dependent variable changes, the independent variable is no longer affected. Furthermore, dependent variables lie vertically on the graph presentation.

Do’s and Don’ts



  • Variables whether dependent or independent should be identified on the basis of research requirements and objectives.
  • The independent variables should be covering all aspects of the research.
  • Dependent variables should not be same as independent variables.

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