Control Variables in Research – Meaning and Importance

02/21/2020 | George Orwell | 446

Control Variable: Simple Definition

control variables is a variable which along with the independent variable alters the effect on the dependent variable. It is a term which researcher basically use in the field of scientific research, where finding evidence to support a theory is rarely straightforward.

Conceptual framework: Control variables

The control variable is a variable that remain constant throughout the experiment. These variables have great importance in research, as the accuracy of the experiment is completely based on them. If in case you do not include the control variables in your studies then the outcome will be likely to get affected. Control variables have a significant influence on the dependent variable. The use of control variables is appropriate when you by utilizing the statistical analysis techniques intend to prove for the relationship between cause and effect. The main idea to include control variable in regression is to control confounding variable. Researcher uses control variable statistics in observational studies and in circumstances when experiments are unethical or impractical. You can use Linear regression analysis in order to find control variables in your experiment.

Examples of Controlled Variables

For example, Smith is a student who has got 80 percent in a science exam. As earlier Smith was poor in science subjects, after listening to the score of Smith, his friend felt shocked. When Smith’s friend asked him about the reason he stated that it is the extra time which he has spent on studying science subject helped him in achieving a high score.

Presently there are two variable these are “studying “and the other is “score”, now let’s add control variable that could be “healthy “. Now there can be a debate that after studying for long hour Smith gets prone to specific diseases which can be considered to be the biggest reason because of which Smith has achieved low scores. In this situation, health is a control variable that has highly influenced dependent variable that is exam.

Note: If you are conducting research on human behavior, then it can be quite complicated to study it by using two variables. You will want to at least consider 3 controlled variables.

An example of a control variable

the temperature is  a control variable. But for making the “temperature” control variable you require ensuring that it remains constant throughout the experiment.

Why do we have control variables

  1. Control variables in research have great value and importance in research. As little changes can have a great effect on the research results.
  2.  These variables have high significance by remaining constant these variables allow to analyze the relationship between experiments.
    Selecting Control variables is very much important for making the experiments useful and easily manageable.
  3.  It is a type of variable which is very much important as control variable provides you ease in reproducing experiment and establishing relationship between the dependent and independent variables.

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