NRS 433 Topic 4 DQ 1 Compare independent variables, dependent variables, and extraneous variables

NRS 433 Topic 4 DQ 1 Compare independent variables, dependent variables, and extraneous variables

NRS 433 Topic 4 DQ 1 Compare independent variables, dependent variables, and extraneous variables

Topic 4 DQ 1

Compare independent variables, dependent variables, and extraneous variables. Describe two ways that researchers attempt to control extraneous variables. Support your answer with peer-reviewed articles.

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Independent variables are something that can be manipulated in a research study. It is checking to see if you make changes to the study will it have the same/different effect. (Cherry 2020). For example, if you are doing a medication study giving a high dose, low dose, and placebo, you are manipulating the outcome of the study because you are controlling the outcome. A dependent variable is something that is being tested in a study, the dependent variable would be measuring blood pressures against medication use, the dependent would be blood pressure results. (Cherry 2022) The dependent and independent variable works together for example the independent would be the amount of blood pressure medications given to the person and the dependent is blood pressure results. The change comes with the manipulated variable if the patient receives a high dose of blood pressure meds the blood pressure will be lower compared to not receiving any and having no change.NRS 433 Topic 4 DQ 1

The extraneous variable is any variable that is not being tested but it can affect the outcome of the study, it is uncontrolled and can lead to not valid results. (Zach 2020) for example like the other example blood pressure meds and results of blood measure, the extraneous variable would be if the participants are diets and exercising that can affect the results or if the patient is consuming extra salt, you didn’t plan on including that in your research, but it can change results if these things are happening. To controlled extraneous variables, you must know what type of study is being done. One method is random sampling which you will divide up the controlled group and experimental group by doing a random name draw. They can also do the standardized procedure which can basically equal out the environment for everyone. For example, with the blood pressure and medication study, the participants can either start diets and exercising or that can make another controlled group.

Experimental studies are crucial in nursing practice as they help in determining how different phenomena are interrelated in evidence-based practice. The main variables that are used in an experimental investigation are dependent and independent. On the one hand, independent variables are the variables that are changed or manipulated by the researcher to determine their relationship with a phenomenon being observed. The experimenter manipulates independent variables and observes whether there are any observable changes in the dependent variable (Titler, 2018). On the other hand, a dependent variable is what the experimenter is measuring in the experiment.

A dependent variable is a phenomenon or variable being tested in an experiment (Eldawlatly and Meo, 2019). Changes in this variable are dependent on the independent variable. In an experiment, independent variables can be thought of as the cause while the dependent variable is the effect because they change depending on the alterations made in independent variables. For instance, in a study to investigate if a low-calorie diet reduces cholesterol levels in overweight patients, low-calorie intake is the independent variable while cholesterol level is the dependent variable.

Extraneous variables are any other variables in an experiment that are not under investigation and could potentially affect the internal validity of the study thus giving inaccurate research outcomes (Eldawlatly and Meo, 2019). Thus, the experimenter should always control for extraneous variables failure which could lead to inaccurate conclusions about the correlation between dependent and independent variables. In the example above, factors such as the age of the patient and other comorbid diseases could alter the results of the study if not controlled.

One of the ways that researchers control extraneous variables is through randomization. In random sampling, the researcher assigns treatments randomly to the experimental and control groups to ensure possible extraneous variables are equally distributed between the study groups, especially when the sample size is relatively large (Falkner et al., 2018). The second approach involves the use of blinding whereby, treatments are kept unknown to both the participant and the researcher.


Eldawlatly, A. and Meo, S. (2019). Writing the methods section. Saudi Journal of Anesthesia. 13(Suppl 1): S20–S22. doi: 10.4103/sja.SJA_805_18

Falkner, A. Et al. (2018). Nursing Research: Understanding Methods for Best Practice (1st Edition). Grand Canyon University Press.

Titler, M.G., (May 31, 2018) Translation Research in Practice: An Introduction. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(2).

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May 1, 2022, 6:42 PM

Please review the chart below to gain more understanding of extraneous variables.

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May 1, 2022, 6:41 PM

I like the breakdown of the variables in this example.

What do you think? Do you find this helpful?

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Apr 30, 2022, 7:14 PM

Hi Class,

Dependent and independent variables are more commonly discussed than extraneous variables (Sheppard, 2020). Extraneous variables are important to consider in research, as they can ultimately affect the results of a research study.  Sheppard (2020) asserts that the integrity of a research study could be compromised secondary to extraneous variables. As a researcher, completing comprehensive research, yet it lacks integrity is not desired. Furthermore, the credibility of the researcher is also diminished (Coates, 2014).

NRS 433 Topic 4 DQ 1 Compare independent variables, dependent variables, and extraneous variables

In an attempt to ensure the research is credible, the researcher should implement the necessary controls. Furthermore, maintaining the integrity of the research is also associated with making necessary controls. In research, if an outcome occurs because of an extraneous variable, it is then called a confounding variable (Sheppard, 2020). What is a way to control research to reduce extraneous variables?

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Coates, H. (2014). Ensuring research integrity: The role of data management in current crises. College & Research Libraries News, 75(11), 598–601.

‌Sheppard, V. (2020). Research methods for the social sciences: An introduction. Retrieved from

Posted Date

Apr 30, 2022, 7:13 PM

Also Check Out:  NRS 433 Topic 4 DQ 2 Describe the “levels of evidence” and provide an example of the type of practice change that could result from each

Your discussion of variables is informative. To enhance your understanding, please review the following example.

As a class, let us review this example to look at the differences between dependent and independent variables. I found this example to

NRS 433 Topic 4 DQ 1 Compare independent variables, dependent variables, and extraneous variables
NRS 433 Topic 4 DQ 1 Compare independent variables, dependent variables, and extraneous variables

be easier to understand given its relation to healthcare.

Posted Date

Apr 30, 2022, 7:13 PM


Hi Class,

Is there an unanswered question that remains regarding variables?

I believe there is unanswered questions in research variables, and these are these lead to information gaps. An example in nursing research could include pregnant mothers who start a research trial, and they represent the variable of pregnant mothers who smoke. If she and others in her variable group abandoned the trial, the data that would be collected is not going to be accurate. This can occur when there is a lack of participation in research studies. This can cause a “problem for the overall reliability and generalizability of results when recruitment goals are missed, or participants are lost to follow-up” (Brunsdon, 2019). There are a few ways to avoid this gap.

One is to increase the sample size and the other is to improve retention of participants. In regard to variables, they must be considered operational variable or having “some properties such as good reliability and validity, low bias, feasibility/practicality, low cost, objectivity, clarity, and acceptance” (Kaliyadan, 2019). If these variables are low on the validity scale, there outcome of research will not be reliable leading to unanswered questions in research. Thank youNRS 433 Topic 4 DQ 1

Brunsdon, D., Biesty, L., Brocklehurst, P. et al. What are the most important unanswered research questions in trial retention? A James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership: the PRioRiTy II (Prioritising Retention in Randomised Trials) study. Trials 20, 593 (2019).


Kaliyadan, F., & Kulkarni, V. (2019). Types of Variables, Descriptive Statistics, and Sample Size. Indian dermatology online journal10(1), 82–86.


When conducting research, the researcher manipulates a variable to see the outcome in another variable. The variable that the researcher can control is the independent variable. The independent variable can directly affect the result of the dependent variable. The extraneous variable is the unwanted issue of things that can skew the data in an experiment. The extraneous variable is why all studies are likely to be incorrect because every experiment has a bias (Helbig & Ambrose, 2018).

There are three categories of extraneous variables: situation, personal, and researcher-based. Situations are issues that can personally happen to the subjects in research that could not be determined before the study and are personal only to the subject or community, such as death or a natural disaster. A personal extraneous variable is an individual trait that makes every subject different such as other medical diagnoses and personal life experiences. The final and third type is the researcher-based extraneous variable.

This variable is something that the researcher does that creates inconsistency from one subject, group, or community that may change collected data (Helbig & Ambrose, 2018). What makes research valuable is controlling the variable in an experiment and giving quality data and information. Researchers try their best to keep extraneous variables out of a study to provide validity and consistency to the study, but this can be close to impossible to achieve.

Keeping extraneous variables out of a study makes the study reliable and accurate. However, there is no way to make an experiment 100% free of extraneous variables because people conduct these experiments, and error is human.

However, researchers try to limit extraneous variables in experiments to include strategies such as the purification principle. The purification principle acknowledges the bias and produces a biased estimate. In addition, the purification principle recognizes the error percentage of skewed data and the percentage of data omitted in the study (Bernerth et al., 2018). Acknowledging this bias and calculating the potential of error is how researchers can control the probability of inaccurate data and skewed information from the experiment.


Bernerth, J. B., Cole, M. S., Taylor, E. C., & Walker, H. J. (2017). Control variables in leadership research: a qualitative and quantitative review. Journal of Management, 44(1), 131–160.

Helbig, J., & Ambrose, J. (2018). Applied statistics for health care.

Thank you for your very thorough post,

Extraneous variables are fascinating, they can cause all types or disparities in an experiment because they are unexpected. Extraneous variables are almost impossible be controlled (McNiff & Petrick, 2018) but it is important to try for your research to be considered valid. An article on communications and issues with speech in children posed maturation as being a extraneous variable in their study (Rvachew &Matthews, 2017). The study researched apraxia in speech of an 8-year-old.

They used a single case study which used evidence-based practice to decide when and how treatment should begin. With the study they understood the importance of using randomization to ensure the positive outcome (Rvachew & Matthews, 2017). Researchers know there may be differences between the study groups, but the thought of maturation came to them when they looked at the study as being complete and wondered if the improvement was from the intervention or the maturation (Rvachew & Matthews, 2017).

As stated by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, (2022) maturation is the process of maturing, growing up, behavioral changes and development.

This extraneous variable caused the researchers to do more testing to verify that the improvement in speech was from the intervention given. They did not leave their research to chance but ensured a trusted and valid outcome (Rvachew & Matthews, 2017).


McNiff, P. & Petrick, M., (2018). Quantitative Research: Ethics, Theory, and Research. In Grand Canyon University (Eds.), Nursing Research: Understanding Methods for Best Practice.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Maturation. In dictionary. Retrieved April 30, 2022, from

Rvachew, S., & Matthews, T. (2017). Demonstrating treatment efficacy using the single subject randomization design: A tutorial and demonstration. Journal of Communication Disorders, 67, 1–13.

To speak more of extraneous variables, Schmidt (2018) defines extraneous variables as a variable that can influence the relationship between the independent and dependent variables that can be controlled either through research design or statistical procedures. A study was conducted by Perveen et al. (2021) to evaluate stress among nursing students during initial clinical practice. In this study there were a number of extraneous variables that contributed to the student’s level of stress other than the initial clinical practice. These variables are included age of the students, housing, type of family, religion, and monthly family income.

Students in this particular study that experience stress from variables other than nursing school may negatively effect the results of the survey as they may experience a higher level of stress as compared to those who do not experience stress from any other variable. One way to control extraneous variables is through randomization. Randomization prevents the selection bias and ensures against the accidental bias and it permits the use of probability theory to express the likelihood of chance as a source for the difference of end outcome (Suresh, 2011).

Schmidt, M.(2018). Measurement, statistics, and appraisal. Nursing research: understanding methods to best practice.

Suresh K. (2011). An overview of randomization techniques: An unbiased assessment of outcome in clinical research. Journal of human reproductive sciences4(1), 8–11.

Perveen, N. ., Mondal, S. ., & Afrose, S. . (2021). Stress among nursing students during initial clinical practice in Bangladesh. OIRT journal of scientific research1(2), 29–35.

In research you use information or data that assist with determining the outcome of your research. This data is termed variables. A variable can be as simple as the age of the group you are studying to something as difficult as the culture of a particular population, there are 3 types of variables, independent, dependent, and extraneous (McNiff & Petrick, 2018). The Independent variable can be manipulated in an experiment to explore the effects it has on the dependent variable. The dependent variable is expected to change as the due to the independent variable manipulation, the outcome (McNiff & Petrick, 2018). Extraneous variables can be many things it’s the variable you are not investigating but can affect the outcome of your research (McNiff & Petrick, 2018). If extraneous variables are left uncontrolled, they can lead to inaccurate conclusions.

An example of use of variable was a study to determine disabled students’ ability to learn math problems. The independent variable was called the Schema-based instruction which is teacher taught, with flexibility and observing student performance. The variable in this study was the math problem solving performance of the students, The results were that found suitable in small groups but best if there were less groups in order to give more instructional time to each group (Peltier, Et al., 2020).


Another example of the use of variables, the use of evidence-based management when making decisions for healthcare leaders (Guo, et al., 2017). They used 3 independent variables, attitudes towards evidence -based management, the number of employees in the organization and the job position. The variable was the use of evidence -based management response. The results state that there is high use of evidence-based management being used for making decisions and that this study also had new findings of the practice of evidence-based findings in administration in US healthcare (Guo, et al., 2017). The researcher tries to control extraneous variables by looking for correlations that might exist and the population size that was used. They also increased the number of independent variables used in these studies.

Independent variables are the part of an experiment that is being manipulated. For example an independent variable can stand alone and is usually being tested on effectiveness such as a drug or treatment of some kind. A dependent variable is the variable that is being evaluated in the study and it is dependent on the independent variable because it changes based on the independent variable (Helbig, 2022). An extraneous variable is a variable that was not predicted when the study was started. One way researchers attempt to control extraneous variables is through standardization. This technique is used to combine groups into subgroups for evaluation (Kalton, 1968). Another method to control extraneous variables is randomization. This method is used to help investigate the efficacy of interventions (Rvachew, & Matthews, 2017).

Rvachew, S., & Matthews, T. (2017). Demonstrating treatment efficacy using the single subject randomization design: A tutorial and demonstration. Journal of Communication Disorders, 67, 1–13.


Kalton, G. (1968). Standardization: A Technique to Control for Extraneous Variables. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics), 17(2), 118.


Helbig, J. (2022). Nursing Research: Understanding Methods for Best Practice. (GCU).

Independent Variables, Dependent Variables, and Extraneous Variables

Independent variables are the factors that researchers manipulate in an experiment to see their effect on a dependent variable. In other words, the independent variable is the factor that is being manipulated by the researcher in an experiment. It can be a physical variable (such as temperature), a chemical variable (such as the concentration of a drug), or a biological variable (such as the sex of an animal) (Kaku et al., 2020). The dependent variable is the factor that is measured to see if it changes in response to the manipulation of the independent variable. Dependent variables may also be defined as the measures of success in an experiment; they are what researchers are trying to change by manipulating independent variables (Bloomfield & Fisher, 2019). Extraneous variables are any factors other than the independent and dependent variables that might influence the results of an experiment.

There are a number of ways that researchers can control for extraneous variables in their studies. One common approach is to randomly assign participants to different conditions or groups, which helps to ensure that any differences between the groups are not due to preexisting characteristics of the participants (Wilkins, 2018). Another approach is to use statistical methods, such as regression analysis, to control for extraneous variables in the data. This allows researchers to isolate the effects of the variables they are interested in and rule out the effects of other confounding factors. Extraneous variables are any variables that have the potential to influence the results of a study. They can be single factors or a combination of several factors, and they can either be controllable or uncontrollable (Wilkins, 2018). While extraneous variables can impact research in many different ways, some of the most common impacts include: introducing bias into the results, impacting the validity of the research findings, causing errors in the data collected, and Distorting conclusions that are drawn from the data.


Bloomfield, J., & Fisher, M. J. (2019). Quantitative research design. Journal of the Australasian Rehabilitation Nurses Association22(2), 27-30.

Kaku, A., Mohan, S., Parnandi, A., Schambra, H., & Fernandez-Granda, C. (2020). Be like water: Robustness to extraneous variables via adaptive feature normalization. arXiv preprint arXiv:2002.04019.

Wilkins, A. S. (2018). To lag or not to lag?: Re-evaluating the use of lagged dependent variables in regression analysis. Political Science Research and Methods6(2), 393-411.