Confounding Variables

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Confounding Variables

Postby petergreenmusic on June 3rd, 2011, 5:15 pm 

I know I am not in the correct forum but I couldn't find one about research methodology etc.

In a research context, what are confounding variables?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards, Peter
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Re: Confounding Variables

Postby Lincoln on June 3rd, 2011, 6:02 pm 

Confounding variables are things that you don't take into account. Suppose you have a hypothesis about who might be the best runner and you think that it is the tallest people. So you go out and grab a bunch of people and test their running speed, comparing it to their height.

Well, obviously general condition should be taken into account...that will complicate (confound) your measurement. Plus if all the tall guys were went to a bachelor's party the night before and were trying to see who could do the most jello shots and stay standing, they might not be in their best condition the following morning. I'm guessing that hangovers and sprinting don't go together so well.

Confounding variables are variables that will affect the outcome of your measurement, but their effect haven't been taken into consideration.
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Re: Confounding Variables

Postby petergreenmusic on June 6th, 2011, 6:18 am 

Well that was put very simply. Thank you very much! A very easy concept to understand after all.

Regards, Peter
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