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What Is an Independent Variable?

What Is an Independent Variable in a Scientific Experiment


An independent variable is the variable that is changed in a scientific experiment.

Independent variables are the variables that the experimenter changes to test their dependent variable.

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 directly causes a change in the dependent variable.

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.

More About Variables

What Is a Variable in Science?
What Is a Dependent Variable?
What Is a Control Group?
What Is an Experimental Group?

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