Difference Between Independent and Dependent Variables

The two significant variables in an experiment are known as the independent and dependent variables.

An independent variable is a variable that is changed or controlled in an experiment to observe and test the effects on the dependent variable.

dependent variable is tested and assessed in an experiment.

Remember that the dependent variable is dependent on the independent variable. Therefore, when the researcher changes the independent variable, its effect on the dependent variable is observed and documented.

Independent vs. Dependent Variable

  • There can be several variables in an experiment; however, the two key variables always present are the independent and dependent variables.
  • The independent variable is the variable that the researcher changes or controls.
  • The dependent variable is the element that the research measures. It changes in reaction to the independent variable or is dependent upon it.

Independent and Dependent Variable Cases

For example, a researcher wants to determine if one drug is more effective than another at regulating high blood pressure. Again, the independent variable is the drug, while the patient blood pressure is the dependent variable. In some ways, this experiment resembles the one with breakfast and test scores. However, when comparing two treatments, such as drug A and drug B, it’s usual to add another variable called the control variable. The control variable, which in this case is a placebo that contains the same inactive ingredients as the drugs, makes it possible to tell whether either drug affects blood pressure.

How to Tell the Variables Apart

The independent and dependent variables may be viewed as cause and effect. If the independent variable changes, a product is seen in the dependent variable. The values of both variables may be altered in an experiment and are recorded. The disparity is that the independent variable is the variable controlled by the researcher, while the value of the dependent variable can change in response to the independent variable.

Independent vs. Dependent Variable Key Takeaways

  • The independent and dependent variables are critical in a science experiment.
  • The independent variable is the one the researcher can manipulate. The dependent variable changes based on the behavior and action of the independent variable.
  • The two variables may be linked by cause and effect. For example, if the independent variable is altered, the dependent variable is impacted.


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