NRS 433 Compare independent variables, dependent variables, and extraneous variables

NRS 433 Compare independent variables, dependent variables, and extraneous variables

NRS 433 Compare independent variables, dependent variables, and extraneous variables

Independent variables are variables that can be manipulated such as a treatment, drug, and/or a procedure that is being investigated to determine the value of the dependent variable. Independent variables can stand alone.  A dependent variable is dependent on the independent variable and changes when the independent variable changes.  Extraneous variables are not known or foreseen when the study is initiated (Falkner et al., 2022).

Ways to control for extraneous variables in an experiment are having randomization, a consistent environment and the experimental design.  An example of this is seen in a study investigating the effects of mindfulness-based mandala coloring in nature on individuals having musculoskeletal pain.  To control the extraneous data the researchers randomly chose a control group who were untreated in an urban environment.  The experimental group’s interventions were tested but the positive results were thought to be a result of the design of the experiments instead of the treatment.  Due to this, the attempt to control extraneous variables was made by controlling the food eaten by the participants, the time food was eaten before, during and after the experiments, and completing the same experiment with all groups in different environments except the control group which was in an urban environment (Choi et al., 2021).

Another study involved the used of crossword puzzles to improve learning.  The extraneous variables in this study were controlled by including participants with various abilities in the spelling pre-tests in the control and experimental groups (Shawahna & Jaber, 2020).

_Falkner, A., Green, S., Helbig, J., Johnson, J., McNiff, P., Petrick, M., & Schmidt, M. (2022). BibliU – Reader. Bibliu.com; Grand Canyon University. https://bibliu.com/app/#/view/books/1000000000588/epub/Chapter5.html#page_134

 

Choi, H., Hahm, S.-C., Jeon, Y.-H., Han, J.-W., Kim, S.-Y., & Woo, J.-M. (2021). The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Mandala Coloring, Made in Nature, on Chronic Widespread Musculoskeletal Pain: Randomized Trial. Healthcare, 9(6), 642. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060642

Shawahna, R., & Jaber, M. (2020). Crossword puzzles improve learning of Palestinian nursing students about pharmacology of epilepsy: Results of a randomized controlled study. Epilepsy & Behavior, 106, 107024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2020.107024

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Independent variables are factors in an experiment or research study that can be changed or manipulated in order to get different responses (Helbig, 2022). The dependent variable is the way the experiment or research responds to the independent variable. An example of this is growing plants. The amount of water we use to water a plant is the independent variable and the variable that we are able to control and manipulate. The dependent variable would be the amount of time, size, growth, or other responses the plant would show when receiving the different amounts of water that we would give it. An extraneous variable is a variable that is not being directly investigated, but can ultimately affect the outcomes of the research. The extraneous variable using the example above could be the amount of sun that the plan is getting. If one day it is very sunny, and the next day it’s very cloudy, that could be an extraneous variable that may affect the study and should be considered.

Helbig, J. (2022). Nursing Research: Understanding Methods for Best Practice. (GCU). https://bibliu.com/app/#/view/books/1000000000588/epub/Chapter1.html#page_91

Independent variables are the part of an experiment that is being manipulated. For example an independent variable

NRS 433 Compare independent variables, dependent variables, and extraneous variables
NRS 433 Compare independent variables, dependent variables, and extraneous variables

can stand alone and is usually being tested on effectiveness such as a drug or treatment of some kind. A dependent variable is the variable that is being evaluated in the study and it is dependent on the independent variable because it changes based on the independent variable (Helbig, 2022). An extraneous variable is a variable that was not predicted when the study was started. One way researchers attempt to control extraneous variables is through standardization. This technique is used to combine groups into subgroups for evaluation (Kalton, 1968). Another method to control extraneous variables is randomization. This method is used to help investigate the efficacy of interventions (Rvachew, & Matthews, 2017).

Rvachew, S., & Matthews, T. (2017). Demonstrating treatment efficacy using the single subject randomization design: A tutorial and demonstration. Journal of Communication Disorders, 67, 1–13. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1016/j.jcomdis.2017.04.003

 

Kalton, G. (1968). Standardization: A Technique to Control for Extraneous Variables. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics), 17(2), 118. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.2307/2985676

 

Helbig, J. (2022). Nursing Research: Understanding Methods for Best Practice. (GCU). https://bibliu.com/app/#/view/books/1000000000588/epub/Chapter1.html#page_91

Independent variables are the variables that are manipulated or changed in an experiment, while dependent variables are the variables that are observed or measured to determine the effects of the independent variable. Extraneous variables are variables that may have an impact on the dependent variable but are not being intentionally manipulated in the experiment. It is important for researchers to control extraneous variables in order to ensure that the results of their experiment are valid and reliable.

One way that researchers attempt to control extraneous variables is through randomization. This involves randomly assigning participants to different groups in an experiment to ensure that any extraneous variables are distributed evenly among the groups. For example, in a study by Czaja and Blair (2021) on the effects of mindfulness meditation on attention, participants were randomly assigned to either a mindfulness meditation group or a control group to control for extraneous variables such as age, gender, and pre-existing attentional abilities.

Another way that researchers attempt to control extraneous variables is through the use of statistical techniques. For example, regression analysis can be used to control for extraneous variables by examining the relationship between the independent variable and the dependent variable while holding other variables constant. In a study by Keijsers et al. (2021) on the effects of parenting on adolescent behavior, the researchers used multiple regression analysis to control for extraneous variables such as gender, age, and socioeconomic status.

Controlling extraneous variables is an important part of conducting valid and reliable experiments. Researchers can control extraneous variables through randomization and statistical techniques such as regression analysis. By controlling for extraneous variables, researchers can ensure that their results are more likely to be accurate and meaningful.

References:

Czaja, J. A., & Blair, S. (2021). Mindfulness meditation and attentional control: A randomized controlled study. Mindfulness, 12(1), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-020-01455-8

Keijsers, L., Branje, S., & Meeus, W. (2021). The effects of parenting on adolescent behavior: A multilevel analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 50(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-020-01317-6

The control in an experiment is the version of the experiment that can be used for comparison. In many cases, the control is the unmanipulated version of the experiment, or the “normal” condition of the subject of the experiment. If experimenting to determine the effect of salt on freezing point of water, the control version of the experiment would be freezing water without any salt. If experimenting to determine if plants grow faster in red light, the control version would be plants grown in full-spectrum light.

Unfortunately, experimental terminology can get a little confusing. The control in an experiment isn’t the same as the controlled variables. The controlled variable definition science uses essentially states that controlled variables include all the variables the experimenter controls or keeps constant to prevent interference with the experimental results.

For example, in the water-and-salt freezing experiment controlling the variables would mean using the same type of water for all experiments, using the same amount of water, the same size and shape of container to freeze the water, the same freezer, and the same measurement tool and technique. Every factor of the control (plain water) and the experiment (water One responding variable definition says the responding variable is what will be measured in the experiment. The responding variable, also called the dependent variable, is what the scientist measures as the experiment progresses. The responding variable is the response of the experimental subject to the manipulated variable. The dependent variable depends on what happens during the experiment. The two terms, responding variable and dependent variable, describe the same aspect of the experiment.

Although the experiment should only have one manipulated variable, there may be more than one responding variable. For example, the addition of salt to water may change the freezing temperature or the freezing time or both, or neither. The effect of changing the light wavelength on plant growth might be plant height, chlorophyll production, new leaf production or a combination of these factors. The scientist may define what outcome will be observed, but a good scientist should also collect observations of other outcomes as well. For example, if the scientist sets out to test the effect of light color on plant growth, a lack of growth or negative result in the experimental group would be recorded, but if the experimental group also has reduced leaf growth (all compared to the control group, of course), the researcher should also record this data.

Responding variables need to be measured using objective criteria. Results must be taken without bias or speculation by the scientist. Saying that the plants in full-spectrum light “look healthier” than plants grown in red light doesn’t provide a measurable or objective outcome. Without objective and measurable outcomes, the experiment’s results can’t be authenticated.

 

Judd, C.M. & Kenny, D.A. (1981). Estimating the effects of social interventions. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. 

Morling, B. (2014, April). Teach your students to be better consumers. APS Observer. Retrieved from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2014/april-14/teach-your-students-to-be-better-consumers.html 

Bauman, C.W., McGraw, A.P., Bartels, D.M., & Warren, C. (2014). Revisiting external validity: Concerns about trolley problems and other sacrificial dilemmas in moral psychology. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 8/9, 536-554. 

Fredrickson, B. L., Roberts, T.-A., Noll, S. M., Quinn, D. M., & Twenge, J. M. (1998). The swimsuit becomes you: Sex differences in self-objectification, restrained eating, and math performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 269–284.