Independent and a dependent variable

Give an example of a research question that includes an independent and a dependent
variable. These are usually presented as, “How does A affect B?”, where A is your
independent variable and B is your dependent variable. Describe the independent and
dependent variables in terms of whether they are nominal (also called categorical), ordinal,
interval, or ratio variables (interval or ratio variables are also called continuous variables).
How would you study this research question?


In any research or experiment, there needs to be two variables. These are the
independent and dependent variables. Independent variables are those variables that are changed,
varied or manipulated by the researcher while dependent variables on the other hand are the
functions of the independent variables and therefore respond according to the changes done on
the independent variable. In other words, dependent variable is the response, which is normally
An example of a research question that includes an independent and a dependent variable
is, “the effects of drug dosage on the severity of the symptoms”. In this case, a researcher will
have to compare the intensity and frequency of the symptoms when the patient is administered
with different doses. Therefore, the independent variable is the dose administered while the
dependent variable is the intensity and frequency of the symptoms.
These variables are categorized as ordinal because they have an inherent order of
relationship among the different categories. Furthermore, the quantitative distance between these
variables is not known, the distances between the levels may not also be same and the meaning
of the different levels may not be same for the various individuals (internet, 2013). For instance,
the frequency or intensity of a certain dose will vary from one level to another if different dosage
is provided such as it may be high, moderate, or low in different individuals. Hence, this is an
ordinal variable.

This research question will be studied by using various subjects with certain symptoms.
These subjects will be given certain dosages and then the intensity or the frequency of severity of
their symptoms will be recorded and then compared to draw conclusion.


Internet. (2013).What is the difference between categorical, ordinal and interval variables?