# What are explanatory variables and response variables? -Voxco (2023)  • 26. August 2021

Sign:What is an explanatory variable?

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In experimental research, a variable is a factor that can and can be changed. These factors can be changed and controlled for an experiment to measure the effect of one variable on the other.

The experiment includes different types of variables. The goal of an experiment is to determine causal relationships between two or more variables. Among many types of variables, two of which we will discuss are explanatory variables and response variables.

(Video) Explanatory and Response Variables

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### Variable explicativa

An explanatory variable is a factor manipulated in an experiment by a researcher. It is used to determine the change caused in the response variable.An explanatory variable is often called an independent variable or a predictor variable.

### response variable

The response variable is the outcome of the experiment in which the explanatory variable is manipulated. It is a factor whose variation is explained by the other factors.The response variable is often called the dependent variable or outcome variable.

For example,

You want to know if alcohol affects your ability to drive. A participant's alcohol consumption determines its impact on his performance behind the wheel. In the experiment, the amount of alcohol consumed provides an explanation for driving ability.

hence the attempt

• Alcohol is its explanatory variable
• Driving skill is your reaction variable.

## explanatory variable vs. response variable

The best way to identify the two variables separately and understand the difference is to remember thisYou change the value of the explanatory variables to see what effects they have and how they affect the response variable.

The explanatory variable explains the variation caused in the response variable. There is a cause and effect relationship between the two variables. The number of variables in each type can be more than one depending on the research question.

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### Examples 1:

You want to see if the protein shake helps you lose weight. Therefore, the goal is to determine the change in your weight as a result of taking protein shakes.

• Explanatory variable: protein shake
• Response variable: weight of participants

### Example 2:

You want to see how much time is spent watching TV and how it affects students' test scores.

• Explanatory variable: hours spent watching television
• Response variable: test result

### Example 3:

(Video) Explanatory and Response Variables, Correlation (2.1)

How does diet affect the health of your skin and hair?

In this experiment you will observe how diet affects the health of your skin and hair. So in this case

• Explanatory variable: diet
• Response variable: skin and hair health

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## The explanatory variable is different from the independent variable

An explanatory variable is often called an independent variable. However, both terms differ slightly in the way they are used in experimental research.

An independent variable must not be influenced by or depend on any other variable present in the experiment. An independent variable can only be manipulated by the experimenter. Assuming you control for the amount of alcohol consumed by each participant in the experiment, alcohol becomes an independent variable.

If the variable is not independent by itself, it is said to be an explanatory variable. In actual observation, the independent variables are influenced by other variables present. These experiments are observational, so "explanatory variable" is a much preferred term.

For example,

Suppose you are looking at the impact of two variables, a balanced diet and physical activity, on weight loss. You might think that diet and physical activity aren't interdependent, but they are.

• A balanced diet provides the right amount of nutrients that the body needs to perform physical activity. Likewise, physically active people such as athletes or dancers have special nutritional needs.

Although the two explanatory variables balanced diet and physical activity are not entirely interdependent, they do explain the changes caused in the weight loss response variable.

So, in such an observational experiment, these factors are called explanatory variables that affect weight loss, which is a response variable.

## Visualization of explanatory and response variables in the scatterplot If you have paired data, you can useScatterplot to demonstrate the causal relationship between the explanatory and response variables.

Paired data implies that you have a variable for each type. This means that the result of each response variable for each participant is linked to each explanatory variable.

In such a case, the explanatory variable is plotted on a scatterplot along the x-axis, that is, h the horizontal axis. The response variable is plotted along the y-axis, that is, h the vertical axis of a Cartesian coordinate system.

Suppose you want to see if there is a causal relationship between the number of hours studied and test performance. They are experimenting with 100 students in a school.

• The explanatory variable of this experiment is the number of study hours
• The response variable is the test score of 100 students.

You can display the result in a scatterplot by plotting the study hours on the x-axis and the test result on the y-axis. Each data point on the scatterplot is the data pair for each student.

## frequent questions

(Video) Explanatory Variables Explained

What is the difference between explanatory variables and response variables?

The way to distinguish between explanatory variable and response variable is

• The explanatory variable explains the variation that it causes in the response variable.
• The response variable is the result of the influence of the explanatory variable.

How do you plot explanatory and response variables on a scatterplot?

In a scatterplot, each data point represents a single participant in the experiment. The explanatory variable is plotted on the x-axis and the y-axis represents the response variable.

What are the other terms for explanatory variables?

The explanatory variable in experimental research is also known as the independent variable and the predictor variable.

What are the other terms for response variables?

The other terms used to refer to the response variable are: dependent variable and outcome variable.

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## FAQs

### What is the explanatory variable and response variable? ›

An explanatory variable is what you manipulate or observe changes in (e.g., caffeine dose), while a response variable is what changes as a result (e.g., reaction times). The words “explanatory variable” and “response variable” are often interchangeable with other terms used in research.

What are explanatory and explained variables? ›

❖ The variable that researchers are trying to explain or predict is called the response variable. It is also sometimes called the dependent variable because it depends on another variable. ❖ The variable that is used to explain or predict the response variable is called the explanatory variable.

What are the explanatory and response variables quizlet? ›

A response variable measures an outcome of a study. An explanatory variable attempts to explain the observed outcomes.

What is the response variable answer? ›

Response Variable is the result of the experiment where the explanatory variable is manipulated. It is a factor whose variation is explained by the other factors. Response Variable is often referred to as the Dependent Variable or the Outcome Variable.

What is the difference between explanatory and response variable questions? ›

The response variable is the focus of a question in a study or experiment. An explanatory variable is one that explains changes in that variable. It can be anything that might affect the response variable.

What are examples of responding variables? ›

For example, let's say you were investigating how light affects plant growth. The variable you change would be the amount of light. The responding variable would be the height of the plants. In other words, the plants are responding to changes in light that you, the researcher, make.

What is the explanatory variable quizlet? ›

Explanatory Variable (also commonly referred to as the independent variable) (X) the variable that claims to explain, predict or affect the response; and. Response variable (also commonly referred to as the dependent variable) (Y) the outcome of the study.

What is a response variable in an experiment? ›

Response Variable. Also known as the dependent or outcome variable, its value is predicted or its variation is explained by the explanatory variable; in an experimental study, this is the outcome that is measured following manipulation of the explanatory variable.

What is a responding variable simple definition? ›

Responding Variable: The variable that might change because of what the scientist changes – what is being measured. Variables. There are 2 main types of variables: Manipulated Variable: The variable that is changed by the scientist; the 'I control' variable.

What is a dependent responding variable example? ›

For example, a test score could be a dependent variable because it could change depending on several factors such as how much you studied, how much sleep you got the night before you took the test, or even how hungry you were when you took it.

### What are response and predictor variables examples? ›

What are response and predictor variables?
SubjectPossible predictor variablesPossible response variables
Cake recipeBaking time, oven temperatureMoisture of the cake, thickness of the cake
Plant growthAmount of light, pH of the soil, frequency of wateringSize of the leaves, height of the plant

What is the dependent or responding variable? ›

The dependent variable is the change that. occurs because of what the experimenter does; it gets changed by. the independent variable le. It is sometimes called the responding. variable.

What is an exploratory variable? ›

An Explanatory Variable is a factor that has been manipulated in an experiment by a researcher. It is used to determine the change caused in the response variable. An Explanatory Variable is often referred to as an Independent Variable or a Predictor Variable.

Is independent variable explanatory or response? ›

Independent variables are also called: Explanatory variables (they explain an event or outcome) Predictor variables (they can be used to predict the value of a dependent variable)

What is the response variable in this experiment quizlet? ›

What is the response variable? The response variable is the dependent variable, which is the variable that is being measured or tested in response to changes in the independent variable. In this case the response variable is time spent studying.

What is another name for response variable? ›

For example, another common name for the response variable is "dependent variable". The response variable is also simply called "the response" for short. Other names for the predictor variables include "explanatory variables", "independent variables", "predictors" and "regressors".

What are the 3 types of variables and what are they? ›

An experimental inquiry typically has three main types of variables: an independent variable, a dependent variable and controlled variables.

What are the 3 types of variables briefly explain? ›

There are three main variables: independent variable, dependent variable and controlled variables. Example: a car going down different surfaces. Independent variable: the surface of the slope rug, bubble wrap and wood. Dependent variable: the time it takes for the car to go down the slope.

What are 4 examples of variables? ›

Height, age, income, province or country of birth, grades obtained at school and type of housing are all examples of variables.

What are the two main types of variables? ›

Experiments require two main types of variables, namely the independent variable and the dependent variable. The independent variable is the variable that is manipulated and is assumed to have a direct effect on the dependent variable, the variable being measured and tested. Experiments even have controlled variables.

### How do you identify types of variables? ›

You can usually identify the type of variable you're working with, by asking two questions: “What type of data does the variable contain?” and “What part of the experiment does the variable represent?” Researchers organize variables into a variety of categories, the most common of which include: Independent variables.

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