Standard Article

Dependent Variables

  1. Clifford J. Drew

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0261

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Drew, C. J. 2010. Dependent Variables. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.

Author Information

  1. University of Utah

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Dependent variable is a term used in research methods and refers to the attribute being measured. In experimental research the dependent variable is what is being assessed to determine the effect of manipulating the independent variable. The term dependent variable is also labeled as the criterion measure by some research methodologists. The dependent variable or variables (it is not unusual to record multiple measures in an investigation) may involve behavioral, physiological, or social characteristics, depending on the nature of the study. It may involve assessment of performance, such as the amount of information a participant might learn as measured by the number of correct responses on a test.


  • research methods;
  • research design;
  • research measure;
  • criterion measure