When testing a hypothesis, scientists use controlled experiments, modifying one aspect of an experiment to test the hypothesis. In this tutorial, you will learn about dependent and independent variables in an experiment and explore how some variables are manipulated by the experiment. Experiments reveal that some variables react to certain factors and others do not, which is an important aspect of critical thinking. By analyzing experiments, you will be able to identify the independent and dependent variables in a scientific study.
The dependent variable is the variable that changes in response to the independent variable. For example, in the example given, the independent variable is the temperature in the cages (we are purposefully making each cage a different temperature). The response variable then, in this case, would be the amount of crickets the lizard eats. The amount of crickets the lizard eats may change in response to the change in temperature. Does that make sense?
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