Ipsos Encyclopedia - External Variables (aka Extraneous Variables or Confounding Variables)

External Variables (aka Extraneous Variables or Confounding Variables) are factors that are not manipulated as part of an experiment, but they may exert some influence on the dependent variable under study.

Definition

​External Variables (aka Extraneous Variables or Confounding Variables) are factors that are not manipulated as part of an experiment, but they may exert some influence on the dependent variable under study. By way of an example, let's assume we are conducting a study on likelihood to try a new frozen food product in a single market. However, it was discovered after the completion that free samples of the product were widely distributed in the market during the period of survey. The free samples could impact the results but were not included in the study.

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