qualities on which units of analysis vary. Thus, if a person is the unit of analysis in, say, a social survey, examples of variables might be their social class, gender, attitudes to politics, and so on. Variables can be measured at a variety of levels, according to which they can be subjected to specific mathematical operations. In considering relationships between variables it is important to define which is a causal (or independent) variable, and which is an effect (dependent) variable.
Refers to things in the world that can be measured and that can vary. go to glossary index
A variable is something that can vary/change: such as thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, the subject matter of psychology. In psychological experiments we control, observe, and measure a number of different types of variable. These would include the independent variable, the dependent variable, and extraneous variables. The control, observation, and measurement of such is the hallmark of the experimental method in science.