Dependent Variable

By Renée Grinnell

The variable whose value is measured in a quantitative scientific experiment. The dependent variable changes in response to the independent variable, and is also known as the response, output, or outcome variable.

Example: A researcher wants to examine the effect of a certain fertilizer on the growth rate of plants. Plant growth rate is a dependent variable because the growth rate will change according to the amount of fertilizer the plants receive (the independent variable).


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Dec 2008