control variables

What Do We Mean By Control Variables? Why Are They Important?

As the name suggests, a control variable is a component or element in the research study that represents something consistent or limited. It's common for a researcher to look at how an independent variable affects a dependent one. As a result, it serves both the study's purpose and the experiment's control. Control variables may have an impact on the inquiry and its outcome.

When measuring the connection between a dependent variable and an independent variable, extraneous or confounding variables need to be considered. There are several sorts of variables in a study. Simple values which can vary over time are variables. Two variables are necessary for a formal investigation: the independent variable as well as the dependent variable.

control variable

Let us look at some control variable examples. Imagine that you get home after a tiring day of work and turn on your room’s AC. However, after a couple of hours, you catch a cold. The control variables throughout this example are temperature and duration. The growth of a plant depends on the fertility of the soil, humidity, temperature and light. These are considered the control variables. Now that we can define control variables let us look at other variables in a study.

How Do Researchers Attempt To Control Extraneous Variables?

Before discussing the steps followed by researchers to control extraneous variables, we must first understand what they mean. There are factors that you do not want to investigate in your experiment or test called extraneous variables. With an investigation, you're examining the relationship between two variables by looking at the effect of one on the other dependent variable.

Idealistically, you'd experiment and see what happens. However, it can be more complicated than that. Other factors, some of which you may not have considered, may affect the results of an experiment. They're termed extraneous variables since they're unwanted.

The different types of extraneous variables are listed below:

types of extraneous variables

Random sampling is one method of controlling extraneous variables. Samples are chosen randomly, but this does not eliminate any unnecessary variables; it guarantees that they are equal across all groups of individuals. An extraneous variable can have a significant impact on the study findings if random sampling isn't employed.

Why Are Control Variables Important?

In experiments with control groups and control variables, perplexing and other extraneous variables are minimised via the use of control variables. This aids in the establishment of an association among your variables of interest, whether they be correlative or causative.

Every variable - even those that are independent and dependent - should be controlled. Uncontrolled variables may not allow you to prove that they did not affect your results. There are other causes for your results that are not controlled factors.

What Are The Ways To Control Variables?

There are several measures that you can take to control variables. You can spontaneously allocate companions to different circumstances in experimental trials with other groups. For example, the random assignment can assist balance the characteristics of different groups.

You can maintain the balance and verify that there are no systematic disparities between the two as well. Assigning members in this way eliminates the possibility of member variables varying between groups and affecting your findings.

The same methods must be followed by all groups while doing the same experiment. During the modification of the independent variable, only one group should vary. As a consequence, its influence on the dependent variable may be separated from the findings.

Difference Between Control Variables And Control Group

An experimental control group is not equivalent to an experiment with a control variable in terms of its definition. Researchers can use a consistent parameter to evaluate control variables. The experimental and control groups can be accessed at any time during the research. The experimental groups and control groups have a common independent variable.

In medical research, there is a control group that does not receive the experimental therapy, and its findings are contrasted with those of the experimental group's. In a control group, there is no therapy, a commonly used standard treatment, or a placebo treatment.

Everything in an experiment process, except for the research treatment, must be the same in both the control as well as experimental groups.

How Can I Understand Control Variables Better?

Science students often come across control variable experiments during the duration of their course. Research is the standard procedure to understand the types of variables and groups.

Students should always know about the methodology observed during control group studies to determine different variables and groups efficiently.

Comprehending the significance of control variables in chemistry might be a strenuous task to accomplish for students who are busy managing their time between lectures, practicals, exams etc.

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About Author

Nick is a multi-faceted individual with diverse interests. I love teaching young students through coaching or writing who always gathered praise for a sharp calculative mind. I own a positive outlook towards life and also give motivational speeches for young kids and college students.

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