Types of variables in research methodology

Characteristics of variables in research

Ah ha, two ways extraneous variables can be tricksters! By keeping the ice cubes' sizes and shapes the same, it's easier to measure the differences between the cubes as they melt after shifting their positions, as they all started out as the same size. You may be surprised about how much research is presented to all of us each day that has some very serious flaws or confounders in the study that no one ever talks about. These types of variables can be tricksters for researchers as it is often difficult to observe them directly, yet extraneous variables impact what we see in the data. If you're still not sure, consult with your professor before you begin to write. Identifying the independent and dependent variables in a study will come quickly for you as you review a few research publications; however, the extraneous variables and specific mediator and moderator variables are a bit more difficult. In the ice cube experiment, one constant or controllable variable could be the size and shape of the cube. Your Homework Your homework is to pop over to the open access journal listing and search for a few studies that use a quantitative methodological approach. These are known as constant or controlled variables. In the first instance, the independent variable directly causes the dependent variable. The first two statements are known as causation and correlation respectively.

What is meant by "environmental sustainability"? If you are not familiar with the basic differences between quantitative and qualitative methodology approaches, click on Issue 1: Quantitative versus Qualitative Research Methodology.

types of variables in research pdf

As you increase your skills regarding quantitative methodology, you will be able to critique the results of studies you hear about in the media. And, of course, if you're at the nominal level you're stuck with recording it at that level. The fitness level of a participant is directly related to exercise the extraneous variable, fitness level is related to the independent variable, exercise.

It may change from group to group, person to person, or even within one person over time. The scale is made up of values that represent many different characteristics.

What is variable in research

Extraneous variables are dangerous. In other words, the variation in the dependent variable depends on the variation in the independent variable. The single most important concept thus far in our research methodology series is to absolutely, without a doubt understand the difference between causation, where the independent variable causes the dependent variable versus correlation, where the independent and dependent variables are associated in some specific way. Researchers measure moderator variables and take them into consideration during the experiment. Independent Versus Dependent Variables The independent variable is the variable that the researchers would like to change or alter during the process of completing the study. In the introduction, this information can be presented in a paragraph or two when you describe how you are going to study the research problem. Choose a few articles and simply read through and identify both the independent and dependent variables. For example, if the use of a particular teaching technique is the independent variable and mastery of the objectives is the dependent variable, then the language learning processes used by the subjects are the intervening variables. Don't Dilute Your Variables The important thing is to avoid diluting your measures. We discuss measuring variables and some important aspects of the values attached to variables. In the first instance, the independent variable directly causes the dependent variable. In the second case, where an independent variable is correlated with a dependent variable, it means the two variables associated but the independent does not necessarily cause the dependent variable to occur. These variables are expected to change as a result of an experimental manipulation of the independent variable or variables.

In the first instance, the independent variable directly causes the dependent variable. It is not possible to consider every variable in a single study. At the most basic level, there are two main types of variables known as the independent and the dependent variable.

Types of variables in research methodology with examples pdf

In the methods section, you build on the literature review of prior studies about the research problem to describe in detail background about each variable, breaking each down for measurement and analysis. All the values for each variable in the study make up the data. The fitness level of a participant is directly related to exercise the extraneous variable, fitness level is related to the independent variable, exercise. The best approach for researchers is to always include all extraneous variables that are known about before the study begins by ensuring they are in the design of a research study; however, that is not always possible. An example of a more complex variable from medical research would be a scale that is used for diagnosing a condition or illness. Another type of lurking variable includes the confounding variable, which can render the results of the experiment useless or invalid. The dependent variable is what the researchers are interested in examining as the outcome of their study. Also, consider if there are any variables you think mediate or moderate the study results. Identifying the independent and dependent variables in a study will come quickly for you as you review a few research publications; however, the extraneous variables and specific mediator and moderator variables are a bit more difficult. A correlation or association may be a positive or negative relationship and when we look at statistical data analysis for quantitative methods we will cover this in more detail.

Critical Consumer of Research Information At first, do not get discouraged in trying to sort out all the different types of variables as it becomes easier over time.

For example, if studying the use of a specific teaching technique for its effectiveness, the technique represents the independent variable, while the completion of the technique's objectives by the study participants represents the dependent variable, while the actual processes used internally by the students to learn the subject matter represents the intervening variables.

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Research Methodology Series: Issue 2 Variables