1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

What Is a Dependent Variable?

What Is an Dependant Variable in a Scientific Experiment

By

The dependent variable is the one you change or test.

The dependent variable is the one you change or test.

B2M Productions, Getty Images

A dependent variable is the variable being tested in a scientific experiment.

The dependent variable is 'dependent' on the independent variable. As the experimenter changes the independent variable, the change in the dependent variable is observed and recorded.

For example, a scientist is testing the effect of light and dark on the behavior of moths by turning a light on and off. The independent variable is the amount of light and the moth's reaction is the dependent variable.

A change in the independent variable (amount of light) directly causes a change in the dependent variable (moth behavior).

If the dependent and independent variables are plotted on a graph, the x-axis would be the independent variable and the y-axis would be the dependent variable.

Experiments & Variables

What Is an Experiment?
What Is a Variable in Science?
What Is an Independent Variable?
What Is a Control Group?
What Is an Experimental Group?
Difference Between Control and Experimental Group

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.