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Independent variables are the variables that are manipulated by a researcher in an experimental study in order to determine their relationship to an observed phenomenon. Dependent variables are the outcomes variables, which take on various values in response to the independent variables. An extraneous variable can influence the relationship between independent and dependent variables. It can be controlled either through statistical procedures or research design (Schmidt, 2018).

Extraneous variables are a challenge to both the internal and external validity of the experiment. Two ways researchers try to control the variables can be through first, randomization, treatments are randomly assigned to the experimental groups. Extraneous factors are present equally in all groups. This allows them to consider them statistically equal for all variables at the start of the research. Second, the use of experimental designs, play a crucial role in reducing or completely removing the role and impact of the extraneous variables. It is dependent upon the expertise of the researcher to understand and administer these methods in a way that the best possible results can be obtained.

Schmidt M., Grand Canyon University (Ed). (2018). Nursing research: Understanding methods for best practice.Retrieved from

Tucker-Drob E. M. (2011). Individual differences methods for randomized experiments. Psychological Methods, 16 (3), 298-318. doi: 10.1037/90023349