Variable Types

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Group Assignment (Groups of five)

a) Come up with a research topic

b) From the topic indicate the following

1) The dependent variable

2) The independent variable

3) The extraneous variable

4) The Moderating variable

5) The Intervening Variable

Research Topic

Impact of a tattoo on a helping request, Strohmetz, D. B., & Moore, M. P. (2003, March)

A psychologist wondered how people would respond to people with tattoos, so he studied how long people helped a tattooed stranger who was dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt or in a shirt, tie, and dress slacks. In each dress condition, half of the time the tattoo was not visible, and half of the time the tattoo was visible. The confederate asked for help in reading a map, claiming that he had forgotten his glasses. The results showed that people spent the same amount of time with the person when the tattoo was not visible, regardless of attire. When the tattoo was visible, however, people spent more time with the person in sweatshirt and jeans than with the person with shirt, tie, and dress slacks.


• The tattoo – Independent (Binary/dichotomous Tattoo or No tattoo) – The presumed cause in an experimental study. All other variables that may impact the dependent variable are controlled. The values of the independent are under experimenter control.

• Time spent by people helping (how long) – dependent/manipulated – The presumed effect of an experimental study. The values of the dependent variable depend upon another variable, the independent variable.

• Clothes worn – Moderator variable (Jeans and a sweat shirt or a shirt tie and dress slacks) – A variable that influences or moderates, the relationship between two other variables and thus produces an interaction effect.

• No. of People helping – extraneous variable. – are not independent but could affect the dependent variable.

• The confederate...
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