Variables in the Investigation

Variables in the Investigation

Understanding Variables

  • Independent variable: This is what you will change in an investigation. For example, if you’re researching the effect of light on plant growth, the amount of light would be your independent variable.

  • Dependent variable: This is what you’re measuring or observing to determine the outcome of the experiment. Continuing our example, the plant’s growth is the dependent variable.

  • Controlled variable: These are essential to maintain consistency throughout the experiment. In our plant investigation, the type of plant, the soil used, and the water given would be controlled variables.

Identifying Variables

  • Always note which variables could impact your results. This awareness allows scientists to control variables correctly and ensure the experiment tests what it’s meant to.

  • It’s crucial to only have one independent variable. Multiple independent variables can confuse results and make it unclear what caused observed changes.

  • The dependent variable must be something measurable. This can be qualitative (descriptive) or quantitative (numerical) measurements.

Controlling Variables

  • Maintaining the same controlled variables is essential. This ensures that any changes seen in the dependent variable were solely due to the independent variable.

  • If it’s impossible to control a variable, this variable should be monitored and recorded. This allows Its impact on the results to be considered when interpreting data.

Applying Variables to Hypotheses

  • When developing a hypothesis, your variable should be clearly identified. The hypothesis should state how you believe the independent variable will affect the dependent variable.

  • Correctly identifying and controlling your variables enhances the validity of your investigation. This ensures you are conducting a fair test, increasing the reliability of your results.