Independent, dependent, and other variables in health care and chaplaincy research
This article begins by defining the term variable and the terms independent variable and dependent variable, providing examples of each. It then proceeds to describe and discuss synonyms for the terms independent variable and dependent variable, including treatment, intervention, predictor, and risk factor, and synonyms for dependent variable, such as response variables and outcomes. The article explains that the terms extraneous, nuisance, and confounding variables refer to any variable that can interfere with the ability to establish relationships between independent variables and dependent variables, and it describes ways to control for such confounds. It further explains that even though intervening, mediating, and moderating variables explicitly alter the relationship between independent variables and dependent variables, they help to explain the causal relationship between them. In addition, the article links terminology about variables with the concept of levels of measurement in research.