The dependent variable is the variable that is being measured or tested in an experiment. 1 For example, in a study looking at how tutoring impacts test scores, the dependent variable would be the participants’ test scores, since that is what is being measured.

Independent variable causes an effect on the dependent variable. Example: How long you sleep (independent variable) affects your test score (dependent variable). This makes sense, but: Example: Your test score affects how long you sleep


a description of something in terms of the operations (procedures, actions, or processes) by which it could be observed and measured. For example, the operational definition of anxiety could be in terms of a test score, withdrawal from a situation, or activation of the sympathetic nervous system.