# Identifying the independent variable and dependent variable in an experiment. - 12614

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## illusionist

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Identifying the independent variable and dependent variable in an experiment.

Ø  Start by identifying the dependent variable. What is actually being measured in the experiment? In the statement “a researcher is measuring the effect of chocolate on happiness”, the dependent variable is happiness, happiness is affected by chocolate, or happiness depends on chocolate.

Ø  Identify the independent variable. If a researcher is measuring the effect of chocolate on happiness, the independent variable is chocolate. This is the variable that the experimenter will manipulate to see how it affects the dependent variable (in this case happiness).

An example:

A researcher is studying the effect of sleep on aggression, thinking that less sleep will lead to more aggression. She has some people sleep 6 hours per night, some people sleep 3 hours per night and some people sleep as much as they want. She then monitors aggressive behavior during basketball games among participants. ??

Solution Description

The dependent variable is the variable that depends on the independent variable. It cannot be manipulated or varied by the researcher. The manipulation or variation of the independent variable will affect the depe