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A dependent variable is dependent upon the presence or absence of an independent variable. The dependent variable is what the researcher is trying to measure or explain, and is the object of the research; thus, it is sometimes called the outcome variable. Dependent variables are most often represented in quantitative research where the focus is on using defined variables to measure outcomes. This entry describes the nature of the relationship between dependent and independent variables, offers examples of such relationships, and indicates types of statistical tests used to examine dependent variables.

A researcher’s goal is to determine if and to what extent changes in one variable influence certain types of changes in another, the dependent variable. A researcher will manipulate independent variables to see how dependent ...

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