1. (noun) A set of attributes or values.
2. (noun) Any characteristic, number, or quantity that can vary among a sample or population that can be measured.
3. (noun) The symbol like X or Y that represents a measurable characteristic.
Example: Ethnicity, occupation, political view
Audio Pronunciation: (var·i·able)
Download Audio Pronunciation: variable.mp3
- Plural: variables
- A variable must have at least two attributes.
- A variable is contrasted with a constant, which is a characteristic or value that does not change.
- The variables of ethnicity, occupation, political view correlate to the attributes or values of Native American, lawyer, and liberal.
- A variable must be observable and measurable to be studied.
- Social constructed variables such as class and ethnicity are measurable through operationalization.
- Also called:
- variable quantity
- Variables are (adjective) variable and vary (adverb) variably by exhibiting (noun) variableness and (noun) variablity.
- Quantitative Research Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “variable” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
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How to Cite the Definition of Variable
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Seaman, C. E. 2015. “variable.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary, edited by Kenton Bell. Retrieved March 25, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/variable/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
Seaman, C. E. (2015). variable. In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/variable/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Seaman, C. E. 2015. “variable.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary, edited by Kenton Bell. Accessed March 25, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/variable/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
Seaman, C. E. “variable.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2015. Web. 25 Mar. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/variable/>.