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### Manipulated and Responding Variables

```
Date: 01/13/2002 at 15:59:11
From: Katie
Subject: Variables

What are manipulated variables and responding variables?
```

```
Date: 01/14/2002 at 14:17:27
From: Doctor Achilles
Subject: Re: Variables

Hi Katie,

Thanks for writing to Dr. Math.

Let's say I'm doing some sort of scientific study. The manipulated
variable is what I change, and I see how the responding variable
reacts.

Here are a few examples:

1) In physics. I want to see how the time to go a fixed distance
changes with speed. So what I do is I have a 1 mile course. I send one
car down the course at 5 miles per hour, one car at 20 miles per hour,
and one car at 60 miles per hour. So the thing that I am messing
around with (or "manipulating") is the speed. The thing that I'm
measuring (i.e. measuring its response) is the time.

2) In politics. I want to see how age relates to voting behavior. So I
survey a thousand people who are between 20 and 30, a thousand people
who are between 30 and 50, and a thousand people who are over 50. I
then see what percentage of each group votes regularly. So the
variable that I'm messing with (or manipulating) is age. And the
variable that I'm measuring the response of is percentage who vote.

still stuck, please write back. If you'd like more help, I can
probably give you a more specific answer if you write back with a
problem or two that you've been stuck on.

- Doctor Achilles, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
High School Basic Algebra
High School Statistics

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