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A variable is anything that can be changed or may vary. The independent variable is the variable the experimenter manipulates to have a direct effect on the dependent variable. The dependent variable is the variable the experimenter measures in their experiment. Extraneous variables are all variables, which are not the independent variable, but could affect the results (e.g. dependent variable) of the experiment. There are four types of extraneous variables; demand characteristics, experimenter/investigator effects, participant variables, and situational variables. An example of how a researcher may try to control the extraneous variable would be someone with familiarity with the car: Some people may drive better because they have driven this make of car before. Another example a research on how alcohol affects people using a subject with a full stomach. The effect of alcohol on some subjects may be less than on others because they have just had a big meal.
McLeod, S. A. (2018, Aug 10). Independent, dependent and extraneous variables. Retrieved
Independent, Dependent, and Other Variables in Healthcare and Chaplaincy Research
Pages 161-170 | Published online: 25 Sep 2014, https://doi.org/10.1080/08854726.2014.959374