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independent variable

Variables are defined, measurable components of an experiment. Controlling variables in an experi‐ ment allows the scien st to quan fy changes that occur. This allows for focused results to be meas‐ ured; and, for refined conclusions to be drawn. There are two types of variables, independent variables and dependent variables.

Independent variables are variables that scien sts select to change. For example, the me of day, amount of substrate, etc. Independent variables are used by scien sts to test hypotheses. There can

If plants grow quicker when nutrients are added, then the hypothesis is accepted and the null

hypothesis is rejected.

Accurate results all hit the bulls‐eye on a target.

Precise results may not hit the bulls‐eye, but they all

hit the same region.


Lab 1: Introduc on to Science

only be one independent variable in each experiment. This is because if a change occurs, scien sts need to be able to pinpoint the cause of the change. Independent variables are always placed on the x‐ axis of a chart or graph.

Dependent variables are variables that scien sts observe in rela onship to the independent variable. Common examples of this are rate of reac on, color change, etc. Any changes observed in the depend‐ ent variable are caused by the changes in the independent variable. In other words, they depend on the independent variable. There can be more than one dependent variable in an experiment. Depend‐ ent variables are placed on the y‐axis of a chart or graph.