Types of Variables

Extraneous variables

Extraneous variables are factors that affect the dependent variable but that the researcher did not originally consider when designing the experiment. These unwanted variables can unintentionally change a study’s results or how a researcher interprets those results. Take, for example, a study assessing whether private tutoring or online courses are more effective at improving students’ Spanish test scores. Extraneous variables that might unintentionally influence the outcome include parental support, prior knowledge of a foreign language or socioeconomic status.

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