Holly Borkowski

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Re:Topic 4 DQ 1

A researcher has the ability to control the environment of an experiment allowing less influence over dependent variables by extraneous variables. The more control a researcher exhibits, the more valid the results. The independent variable in a study produces a desired effect on a dependent variable.

An extraneous variable has the ability to change the relationship between the independent and dependent variable thus changing the outcome of the study. Controlling the extraneous variables is method deployed by researchers to keep the study pure, unbiased, accurate, and valid.

According to Grove, Gray & Burns (2015) “Extraneous variables are of primary concern in quantitative studies because they can interfere with obtaining a clear understanding of the relational or causal dynamics within these studies” (p. 154). Extraneous variables are evident to some degree in all research. The key is to limit the extraneous variables as much as possible.

Examples of extraneous variables include climate, weather, sound, light, personal temperaments, traits, heritage, weight, and height. Once extraneous variables have been identified researchers can control them through; experiment location setting, acquiring informed consent, strict adherence to direction and training methods, choice of sampling employed, strict observation and measurement methods, personal interactions with subjects that do not create bias, research techniques, framework, and control group. Sampling methods used can have an enormous influence on extraneous variables. The setting of the experiment can be partially controlled or highly controlled as in a laboratory which is where the most strict control can take place (Grove, Gray & Burns, 2015, p. 38). A random sampling of subjects to randomly assigned groups will significantly decrease the effect the extraneous variable has on the dependent variable.

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