An independent variable (sometimes called an experimental or predictor variable) is a variable that is being manipulated in an experiment in order to observe the effect this has on a dependent variable (sometimes called an outcome variable). Some of these starting phrases are highlighted in of American men and women exceed their daily calorific allowance?For example, if we were interested in investigating the relationship between gender and attitudes towards music piracy amongst adolescents, the independent variable would be gender and the dependent variable attitudes towards music piracy. All descriptive research questions have a dependent variable. However, how the dependent variable is written out in a research question and what you call it are often two different things. When a company, non-profit group, or politician needs to find out how their stakeholders or constituents feel, they often create and implement a questionnaire.
There is no "one best way" to structure a quantitative research question.
However, to create a well-structured quantitative research question, we recommend an approach that is based on four steps: (1) Choosing the type of quantitative research question you are trying to create (i.e., descriptive, comparative or relationship-based); (2) Identifying the different types of variables you are trying to measure, manipulate and/or control, as well as any groups you may be interested in; (3) Selecting the appropriate structure for the chosen type of quantitative research question, based on the variables and/or groups involved; and (4) Writing out the problem or issues you are trying to address in the form of a complete research question.
What percentage of American men and women exceed their daily calorific allowance?
In the section that follows, the structure of comparative research questions is discussed.
Once you identifying the different types of variable you are trying to measure, manipulate and/or control, as well as any groups you may be interested in, it is possible to start thinking about the way that the three types of quantitative research question can be structured. The structure of the three types of quantitative research question differs, reflecting the goals of the question, the types of variables, and the number of variables and groups involved. Take the following examples: How many calories do American men and women consume per day?
By structure, we mean the components of a research question (i.e., the types of variables, groups of interest), the number of these different components (i.e., how many variables and groups are being investigated), and the order that these should be presented (e.g., independent variables before dependent variables). How often do British university students use Facebook each week?If you are unfamiliar with the different types of variable that may be part of your study, the article, Types of variable, should get you up to speed.It explains the two main types of variables: categorical variables (i.e., nominal, dichotomous and ordinal variables) and continuous variables (i.e., interval and ratio variables).This example also highlights the need to identify the group(s) you are interested in. In the examples below, we have illustrated the name of the dependent variable and highlighted how it would be written out in the ).In this example, the group of interest are adolescents. Sometimes it makes more sense for the dependent variable to appear before the group(s) you are interested in, but sometimes it is the opposite way around. When deciding whether the dependent variable or group(s) should be included first or last, and whether the dependent variable should be broken into two parts, the main thing you need to think about is : Does the question flow? Sometimes the name of the dependent variable provides all the explanation we need to know what we are trying to measure.So the dependent variable is still daily calorific intake, but the research question aims to understand a particular component of that dependent variable (i.e., the percentage of American men and women exceeding the recommend daily calorific allowance).In the second example, the research question is not only interested in what the factors influencing career choices are, but which of these factors are the most important.In this article, we discuss each of these four steps, as well as providing examples for the three types of quantitative research question you may want to create: descriptive, comparative and relationship-based research questions.The type of quantitative research question that you use in your dissertation (i.e., descriptive, comparative and/or relationship-based) needs to be reflected in the way that you write out the research question; that is, the word choice and phrasing that you use when constructing a research question tells the reader whether it is a descriptive, comparative or relationship-based research question.What are the most important factors that influence the career choices of Australian university students?What proportion of British male and female university students use the top 5 social networks?