independent variable

Within a particular study, analysis, or model, the independent (or explanatory) variable is the social element whose characteristics or variations shape and determine the dependent variable: for example, the age of marriage can help explain the likelihood of divorce. In an experimental situation, independent variables can be systematically manipulated, so that the effect on the dependent variable can be observed. Whether a variable is treated as dependent or independent is determined by the theoretical framework and focus of a study, but independent variables must precede the dependent variable, and should have causal powers. See also causal modelling.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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  • Independent variable — Variable Va ri*a*ble, n. 1. That which is variable; that which varies, or is subject to change. [1913 Webster] 2. (Math.) A quantity which may increase or decrease; a quantity which admits of an infinite number of values in the same expression; a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Independent variable — Independent In de*pend ent, a. [Pref. in not + dependent: cf. F. ind[ e]pendant.] [1913 Webster] 1. Not dependent; free; not subject to control by others; not relying on others; not subordinate; as, few men are wholly independent. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • independent variable — n. Math. a variable whose value may be determined freely without reference to other variables …   English World dictionary

  • independent variable — noun (statistics) a variable whose values are independent of changes in the values of other variables • Syn: ↑experimental variable • Topics: ↑statistics • Hypernyms: ↑variable, ↑variable quantity …   Useful english dictionary

  • independent variable — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms independent variable : singular independent variable plural independent variables maths in mathematics, a variable whose value does not depend on the value of something else changing …   English dictionary

  • independent variable — nepriklausomasis kintamasis statusas T sritis automatika atitikmenys: angl. independent variable vok. unabhängige variable, f rus. независимая переменная, f pranc. grandeur indépendante, f …   Automatikos terminų žodynas

  • independent variable — nepriklausomasis kintamasis statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. independent variable vok. unabhängige Veränderliche, f rus. независимая переменная, f pranc. variable indépendante, f …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • independent variable — /ˌɪndɪpendənt veəriəb(ə)l/ noun a factor whose value, when it changes, influences one or more other variables called ‘dependent variables’ ● In this model personal income is the independent variable and expenditure the dependent variable …   Marketing dictionary in english

  • independent variable — variable or factor which is predefined and determines the value of dependent variables …   English contemporary dictionary

  • independent variable — noun a) In an equation, any variable whose value is not dependent on any other in the equation. In the equation z = x + y, x and y are the independent variables. b) The variable that is changed in a series of experiments …   Wiktionary

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