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independent variable

Mathematics. a variable in a functional relation whose value determines the value or values of other variables, as x in the relation y = 3 x 2 .
Compare dependent variable (def 1).
Statistics. (in an experiment) a variable that is intentionally changed to observe its effect on the dependent variable.
Origin of independent variable
1850-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for independent variable
  • Here, the independent variable is the length of the straw and the dependent variable is the distance traveled by the spitball.
  • Perhaps you would measure a different, but related dependent variable or evaluate a new independent variable.
  • The language in which the test was administered really does appear to be the only non-random independent variable.
  • Your system has to be fairly robust against incompetence, because competence is not an independent variable.
  • In the world of tenure and promotion, you are the crucial independent variable.
  • Maternal employment status would seem to be an independent variable rather than a dependent variable.
  • In the case of only one independent variable with two levels, these are equivalent.
  • The numerical values are betas, which show the relationship between the independent variable and the predictor.
British Dictionary definitions for independent variable

independent variable

Also called argument. a variable in a mathematical equation or statement whose value determines that of the dependent variable: in y = f(x), x is the independent variable
(statistics) Also called predictor. the variable which an experimenter deliberately manipulates in order to observe its relationship with some other quantity, or which defines the distinct conditions in an experiment See also experimental condition
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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independent variable in Science
independent variable
In mathematics, a variable whose value determines the value of other variables. For example, in the formula for the area of a circle, A = πr2, r is the independent variable, as its value determines the value of the area (A). Compare dependent variable.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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