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Dependent variables

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In experimental design, a dependent variable is a variable dependent on another variable (called the independent variable).

The dependent variable is also known as the response variable, the regressand, the measured variable, the responding variable, the explained variable, or the outcome variable.

In simple terms, the independent variable is said to cause an apparent change in, or simply affect, the dependent variable.

In analysis, researchers usually want to explain why the dependent variable has a given value. In research, the values of a dependent variable in different settings are usually compared.

For example, in a study of how different dosages of a drug are related to the severity of symptoms of a disease, a measure of the severity of the symptoms of the disease is a dependent variable and the administration of the drug in specified doses is the independent variable. Researcher will compare the different values of the dependent variable (severity of the symptoms) and attempt to draw a conclusion.

In the graphing of data, the dependent variable goes on the y-axis (see Cartesian coordinates).


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