Q:

What is a manipulated variable?

A:

Quick Answer

The manipulated variable in an experiment is the independent variable; it is not affected by the experiment's other variables. HowStuffWorks explains that it is the variable the experimenter controls. When there are control and experimental groups, the manipulated variable is the treatment supplied to the experimental group and denied the control group.

  Know More
What is a manipulated variable?
Credit: PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou Brand X Pictures Getty Images

Full Answer

When a scientist graphs the results of an experiment, he graphs the manipulated variable on the x-axis of the graph. One common manipulated variable is time. The scientist controls the time at which he makes the measurements. The y-axis represents the response or dependant variable. Temperature is a common response variable.

Because it is easy to confuse variables in the experiment, About.com offers the mnemonic DRY MIX to help students. It translates: dependant, response, y-axis; manipulated, independent, x-axis. Another way to help keep these values from being confused is through remembering that the independent variable is the "I do" variable.

In addition to manipulated variables and response variables, experiments often include controlled and extraneous variables. Controlled variables are those which the experimenter attempts to keep the same for both groups. Extraneous variables often change the outcome of the experiment in an accidental or unanticipated way. While the experimenter does not graph these variables, it is important for him to keep a record of them in his notes.

Learn more about Calculus

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How many variables should an experiment have?

    A:

    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.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Is calculus hard?

    A:

    Calculus is hard, and the level of difficulty depends on the individual student. A student who is not well-versed in the prerequisites for calculus may find the subject more difficult than someone who has strong mathematical preparation.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is latent function?

    A:

    A latent function is an unintended or unrecognized consequence of an institution or social phenomenon. Unexpected negative consequences are typically called latent dysfunctions. School, for example, has the explicit, or manifest, function of educating individuals, but a latent function of teaching students about navigating social structures and relationships and keeping children off the streets for six to 10 hours a day.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are three ways to calculate a dividend payout ratio?

    A:

    Three ways to calculate a dividend payout ratio are by using net income, a retention ratio or a per-share basis. These figures all show how dividends paid out to stockholders relate to the reported net income of a company.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore