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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social research Glossary, top quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the writer would welcome any type of e-mail suggestions for enhancements or amendments. Web page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.

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core definition

A change is a non-constant object of enquiry.

explanatory context


The object of enquiry, treated as a variable, is usually defined as an attribute the takes ~ above a variety of values. For example, a piece of society research may be interested in number of variables that a team of people, such as the age of every individual, the gender and party political preference. Hence, 25 years, female and Labour would certainly be values of the variables age, gender, and also political party, respectively.

So, a variable is something the varies, such as age, together opposed come something that is deemed, in ~ a research setting, to be fixed and also unchanging.

Antecedent variable

Antecedent variable is a term supplied in multivariate analysis. The refers to any type of variable that describes (or partly explains) a partnership bewteen two variables (X and Y) through its prior affect on the two variables. For this reason social course may it is in an antecedent change that results an it was observed relationship in between income and political party support. This is occasionally referred to as a coming before variable.

Continuous variable

A continuous variable is one that might assume any kind of value in between two one upper and lower limit. Examples of continuous variables include age and income.

Dependent change

A dependent change is one that has actually been established as the manifestation of part social phenomenon and that is brought about by, or associated with, various other independent variables.

In statistical analysis the dependent change (usually designated Y) is a function of one or more independent variables (usually designated together X).Income may be dependence on age in some professions.

Discrete change

Discrete variables are variables that can take only whole numbers or unique values or scores.For example, the an option of political party in an election would certainly be restricted to the next standing, for example Labour, Liberal, Conservative, and a choice is through one party (or none at all).

Endogenous change

This is the hatchet sometimes offered to dependency variables through causal modellers. As the hatchet implies, an endogenous change is one the is identified or led to by others that room within the causal model or device under consideration.

Explanatory variable

An explanatory change is one that defines the phenomenon in question.

that is the variable the produces or causes changes in one more variable (which is well-known as the dependent variable). Explanatory variables space sometimes recognized as causal or elevation variables. In one experimental case the explanatory change is the one the the experimenter different or manipulates.

Extraneous variable

an extraneous change is one the might also (i.e. And the explanatory variable) describe the phenomenon in question, and that should be ruled out as a feasible explanation by the usage of controls.

Independent change

independent variables space those variables that, to part extent, explain a phenomenon.

one independent change is one the is assumed to create or cause adjust in an additional variable. This last variable is known as the dependence variable.

independent variables are sometimes well-known as causal or explanatory variables.

In statistical evaluation independent variables room the materials of a regression equation the (appear to) have an influence on the size of the dependency variable. Live independence variables room usually designated as X in a regression equation. In speculative research the independent variable is the one systematically differed or manipulated by the experimenter. The effect of this dependent change is studied. Intervening variable

Intervening change is a term used in multivariate analysis. An intervening variable is one the helps explain an observed association bewteen two variables (X and Y). The is a variable the intervenes between the dependent and independent variable. The relationshup between the dependent and also independent variable might then be presented to it is in spurious due to the fact that of the existence of the intervening variable, or the intervening variable may specify the nature of the relationship in between the dependency or elevation variable, and is then described as specificatory variable.

Thus, earnings may be an intervening variable that impacts an observed relationship in between education and political party support. Education and learning may have actually some bearing on income, and also income may be a variable in selection of politics party.

Intervening variables are regularly not straight measured yet may be postulated to clarify an noticeable explanation.

manage variable

A factor held consistent to test the relative influence of an elevation variable.

analytical review

Colorado State university (1993–2013) specifies the following:

Variable: Observable attributes that vary amongst individuals. nominal Variable: A variable identified by category which cannot be ordered, e.g., gender and color.

Ordinal Variable: A variable in i m sorry the stimulate of data points deserve to be determined yet not the distance between data points, e.g., letter grades.

Interval Variable: A variable in i beg your pardon both order of data points and also distance between data points deserve to be determined, e.g., portion scores and also distances. Continuous Variable A variable that may have fractional values, e.g., height, weight and time.

Discrete variable A variable the is measured specifically in totality units, e.g., gender and also siblings.

Dependent change A variable that receives stimulus and measured for the impact the treatment has had actually upon it.

Independent change A variable the is component of the case that exist native which originates the stimulus provided to a dependency variable. Has treatment, state that variable, such as age, size, weight, etc.

Elwell"s nottard ofSociology (undated) defines variable as:

A characteristic the varies in value or magnitude follow me which an object, individual or team may it is in categorized, together as income or age.

Richard Schaefer (2017):

Variable: A measurable properties or characteristic that is subject to readjust under different conditions.

associated issues

related areas

See also


measurement scales

multivariate analysis

Researching the Real world Section 8


Colorado State University, 1993–2013, glossary of an essential Terms easily accessible at, accessed 3 February 2013, still easily accessible 1 June 2019.

Elwell"s nottard ofSociology, undated, obtainable at, ©Frank Elwell, last updated January 1998, page not available 20 December 2016.

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Schaefer, R. T., 2017, "Glossary" in Sociology: A quick introduction, fourth Edition, initially c. 2000, McGraw-Hill. Accessible at, website dated 2017, accessed 11 June 2017.