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More generally, the independent variable is the thing that someone actively controls/changes; while the dependent variable is the thing that changes as a result. Thus independent variables act as catalysts for dependent variables. In other words, the independent variable is the "presumed cause", while dependent variable is the "presumed effect" of the independent variable. |
More generally, the independent variable is the thing that someone actively controls/changes; while the dependent variable is the thing that changes as a result. Thus independent variables act as catalysts for dependent variables. In other words, the independent variable is the "presumed cause", while dependent variable is the "presumed effect" of the independent variable. |
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− | In [[design of experiments|experimental design]], an independent variable is a [[random variable]] used to define treatment groups. |
+ | In [[design of experiments|experimental design]], an independent variable is a [[random variable]] used to define treatment groups. |

== Examples == |
== Examples == |
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− | The wages of an employee depend on the time worked. Time is the independent variable that varies among employees, and the wages are calculated directly from a specific amount of time. Thus wages are ''dependent'' on time worked. |
+ | The wages of an employee depend on the time worked. Time is the independent variable that varies among employees, and the wages are calculated directly from a specific amount of time. Thus wages are ''dependent'' on time worked. |

In a study of how different dosages of a [[medication|drug]] are related to the severity of [[symptom]]s of a [[disease]], a researcher could compare the varying symptoms (the dependent variable) for varying dosages (the independent variable) and attempt to draw a conclusion. |
In a study of how different dosages of a [[medication|drug]] are related to the severity of [[symptom]]s of a [[disease]], a researcher could compare the varying symptoms (the dependent variable) for varying dosages (the independent variable) and attempt to draw a conclusion. |
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When graphing a set of collected data, the independent variable is graphed on the ''x''-axis (see [[Cartesian coordinates]]). |
When graphing a set of collected data, the independent variable is graphed on the ''x''-axis (see [[Cartesian coordinates]]). |
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− | In [[mathematics]], in [[functional analysis]], it was traditional to define the set of independent variables as the only set of variables in a given context which could be altered. For, even though any function defines a bilateral relation between variables, and it's even true that two variables might be connected by an implicit equation (for instance, cf. the definition of a circle, <math>x^2 + y^2 = R^2</math>), when computing derivatives it is nonetheless necessary to take a group of variables as "independent", or else the derivative has no meaning. |
+ | In [[mathematics]], in [[functional analysis]], it was traditional to define the set of independent variables as the only set of variables in a given context which could be altered. For, even though any function defines a bilateral relation between variables, and it's even true that two variables might be connected by an implicit equation (for instance, cf. the definition of a circle, <math>x^2 + y^2 = R^2</math>), when computing derivatives it is nonetheless necessary to take a group of variables as "independent", or else the derivative has no meaning. |

== See also == |
== See also == |
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* [[Statistical independence]] |
* [[Statistical independence]] |
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