Research is not research if there are no variables to study and manipulate. The reason is that the main purpose of any kind of research is to explore the causal relationship between the variables through experiments and the use of other methodologies. The variables can be of different types depending on their purpose in the research study. Response and explanatory variables are also the two variables, and these are the primary variables.
As you are here reading this post, it means you do not know much about these variables. Well, you have come to the right place at the right time. In today’s post, we will define these variables and examine their importance, differences, and some examples. So, let’s start the conversation by defining them first.
What are explanatory variables in research?
Also known as independent or predictor variables, the explanatory variables are ones that you manipulate in the research study. These are variables that observe changes and explain the effect of the change in response variables. It is important to note that there can be two or more explanatory variables in a research study. However, most of the time, you will see a single variable affecting the response variable.
What are response variables in research?
Response variables are also known as dependent or outcome variables. These are the variables that reflect the change which happens in the variables discussed above, i.e., explanatory. As a researcher, you do not play with this variable. You only play with explanatory variables and see how response variables act towards the change in independent variables. Hence, this is the definition of the response variable.
An Example of explanatory and response variables
Suppose you want to study the relationship between height and age. In this study, you want to predict the age of humans based on their height. Now, height and age are the two variables. Do you know which variable is explanatory and which is the response? In this example, height is the explanatory variable because you are predicting the age of the research participants based on their height. You will manipulate the height or take participants of different heights to observe or estimate their age. On the other hand, age is the response variable. Due to the change in height, we are getting an estimate of the age. Hence, this is an example of response and explanatory variables. We believe this example must have strengthened your knowledge about these variables; however, if you still need extra guidance, you can visit dissertation writers UK.
What is the importance of explanatory and response variables?
Explanatory and response variables are important in any research study. Firstly, without having these variables in your study, you cannot answer the research questions as there is nothing to explain. Both these variables are also important in the way that one observes the change and the other gives a response to that change. Thus, this establishes a strong cause-and-effect relationship between the variables, making the study more realistic.
What are the differences between explanatory and response variables?
After reading the information above, you must have got an idea of the differences between these two variables. There are some other differences between these two except the definition. A brief description of those is as follows:
- Explanatory variables are ones that are altered in a research study. These are the variables that observe the change by the researcher. In contrast, response variables are those that are exempt from this. The researcher does not manipulate or change them.
- The second difference between explanatory and response variables is that an explanatory variable represents the expected cause that alters the response variable. On the other hand, the response variable represents the expected effect.
- The third and most important difference between explanatory and response variables is that a change in the response variable is visible only if there is a change in the former variable. In case there is no change in the explanatory variables, you will not see any shift in the response variables.
- The last difference between explanatory and response variables is that response is a dependent variable, and explanatory is an independent variable. Although it is a very basic difference, still, it is a difference.
Hence, these are some of the differences between explanatory and response variables that you must keep in mind. However, if you find any difficulty in understanding these differences, you can consult with an online PhD dissertation help.
All in all, explanatory variables are the ones that observe the change, and response variables are the ones that respond to that change. In light of the differences discussed above, we can conclude that both explanatory and response variables are way too different from each other. So, read them with all your heart.