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 & VariablesWhat 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