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Reviewing Variables

Practice what you know

I don't love studying.
I hate studying.
I like learning.
Learning is beautiful.

Natalie Portman

Know the Vocabulary:

Control Group : A group that has nothing done to it; the independent variable is not used or applied to a control group so that it can be used as a comparison. Standard used for comparison in an experiment.

Controlled Variables : Variables that could change, but are not allowed to; also called constants. Factor that stays the same through all phases of an experiment.

Dependent Variable : In an experimental investigation, what is observed and measured; the data. Factor that will be measured in an experiment.

Descriptive Research : Research based on observations

Experimental Research : Investigations that involve variables

Independent Variable : The variable that is changed or tested by the scientist; the thing that is different between experimental groups. Single factor in an experiment that the experimenter changes.

Types of Research:


  1. Answers scientific questions through observation
  2. Sometimes called qualitative research


  1. Answers scientific questions by manipulating and controlling variables
Types of Variables:

Independent variables (sometimes called manipulated variables)

  • The variable that is changed by the scientist
  • What is being tested
  • The difference between experimental groups
  • Tthe cause of the change in the dependent variable

Dependent variables (sometimes called responding variables)

  • The variable that is being observed and measured
  • The data that is collected
  • The 'effect' of the independent variable

Controlled variables (sometimes called constants)

  • The variables that are not allowed to change; those that are controlled by the scientists
  • Variables that stay the same
  • Allow the experiment to be a fair test

Control groups

  • Sample that is treated like the other experimental groups except that the independent variable is not applied to it
  • Provide a comparison group

Check yourself with this review.

Watch a video about variables here.
Find more notes HERE

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