Can someone please help me with my science fair project (independent, dependent variable, and constants)?
I always get confused with the independent variable, dependent variable, and the constant variables. I tried to search on the internet for a way to remember how to recognize which is which, so can you please give me a way how? Also I need to find out the independent variable, dependent variable, and the constants in my project. Here is my question: Does the Stroop effect reaction time differ between boys and girls? This is my hypothesis (in "If...then..." format): If a female’s reaction time differs from a male’s reaction time, then the Stroop effect test results (time) from both genders will be different. I will also test if flipping the words upside down helps, using pictures instead of words, etc., makes the test easier and the reaction time faster. I appreaciate the help, Thank you in advance :)
- Ron971Lv 61 decade agoBest Answer
The easiest way to keep straight the difference between the Independent Variable (ID) and the Dependent Variable (DV) is to "match the "D's". That is, remember that the DV is the Data that you are recording. As the experimenter, you choose the IV's that you hypothesize might produce differences in data, or DV's.
Part of your difficulty is in how you are expressing your hypothesis. In effect you said that if there are differences between males and females, then there are differences between the genders...kinda circular...and obvious. Hypotheses are never expressed in "if-then" format. Hypotheses are declarative statements of a relationship expressed as either an experimental hypothesis or a null hypothesis. To use your experiment as an example:
Experimental hypothesis: Male and female participants will have different reaction times in tests of the Stroop Effect.
Null hypothesis: There will be no differences in reaction times between male and female participants in the test of the Stroop Effect.
The distinction between the two hypotheses may seem trivial but there are important epistemological reasons that scientists actually test the null hypothesis in an experiment, but let's save that discussion for another day.
The IV's in your experiment are gender, age (you mentioned "boys and girls", you could see if age makes a difference), colors, words right side up vs. up side down, and words vs. pictures.
The constants or control variables are the things that you want to make sure do not change throughout the experiment such as the same font used for the words, same colors, the same instructions verbatim for each participant, the same manner of presentation of the stimuli, the same room each time the experiment is done, etc.
Oh, and one very important control variable, all participants must have normal color vision -- none who are colorblind. You'll have to include a procedure by which you detect any colorblind individuals and remove them from your study.
You may already know this but just because there is a difference between the male and female groups doesn't mean that it couldn't have happened by chance alone. The difference will have to be large enough that it is very unlikely that it could have happened by chance, say one chance out of twenty or less (the usual minimal standard in research of this kind). You'll have to do a statistical analysis.
- HelgaLv 44 years ago
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The independent variable is the conditions the crystals are growing in. It is called this because it does not depend on anything for it's value. You should have only one independent variable (you should only change one thing). The dependent variable is how the crystals turn out or how fast they grow. this is because it depends on the conditions it grows in. The constants would be everything you don't change which would be, the ingredients, the container. This is because they stay constant, they don't change.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
-The things you aren't gonna change
- The thing you are going to change
-The things that will change since you changed your independent factor
I think it will be clearer if you see these for each experiment independently, so you do these 3 for the first experiment where you change the gender. Then another for the one you flip the words upside down. &then again another for the one you use pictures instead of words. Hope this helps!!
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- davincianLv 41 decade ago
he address one thing and to address the variables just remember that the independant variable is the one you can change, the dependant variable is the one that is changed by the independant, and the constant is the one that stays the same