How many variables should an experiment have?
Credit: Monty Raskusen Cultura Getty Images
Q:

How many variables should an experiment have?

A:

Quick Answer

Ideally, an experiment should have an independent variable, a dependant variable, and a control variable. Researchers take steps to eliminate as many extraneous variable as possible, although eliminating all of them might be impossible in certain scenarios.

  Know More

Full Answer

Experiments generally seek causation, and keeping the total number of variables as low as possible is essential for doing so. However, it is sometimes possible to rule out the effect of extraneous variables using statistical methods. For medical experiments, this is often necessary. These techniques, however, may call an experiment's results into question.

When performing exploratory research, however, scientists often examine as many variables as possible. When determining if a particular drug has detrimental side effects, it is important to look at as many possible effects as the data allows because ignoring potential variables can cause a dangerous side effect to go unnoticed.

Finding a correlation in an exploratory experiment does not prove causation, and one of the hazards of looking at many variables is interpreting coincidence as causation. When examining a large set of variables, correlations are likely to arise simply based on statistical noise. While these results do not show causation, they do give researchers areas for future experimental research to determine if the apparent effect is real or just a statistical fluke.

Learn more about Homework Answers

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How many radians are in one revolution?

    A:

    One radian is approximately 0.017 degrees, and a full revolution is 360 degrees, and there are approximately 6.28 radians in a single revolution. These figures are approximate due to rounding; the exact number without rounding is 2 pi radians.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How many corners does a cube have?

    A:

    A cube has eight corners. The corners of a cube are called vertices. The vertices are points where two adjacent sides of a cube meet.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does "manipulated variable" mean?

    A:

    Manipulated variable refers to variables in an experiment or testing environment where a variable is manipulated to test for a change in outcomes. Manipulated variables are used in many different scenarios, including computer programming, system testing and drug testing.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a master plan?

    A:

    A master plan is a plan that shows an overall development concept that includes urban design, landscaping, infrastructure, service provision, circulation, present and future land use and built form. It consists of three dimensional images, texts, diagrams, statistics, reports, maps and aerial photos that describe how a specific location will be developed. It provides a structured approach and creates a clear framework for developing an area.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore