What is Scientific Variable?
Criminal justice aims to explain and develop precise explanations of realism in the criminal and justice systems. It will depend highly on investigations through methodologies that organize measures to explain the cause-effect occurrences and predict the bearing in which imminent happenings will take (Pyrczak, 2005). In addition, it shows the reasonable and knowledgeable guesses as to why certain things occur and their representations.
Theory without explanation and accurate data is just like a formalized dead end and that both are required for sound criminal justice knowledge. This will ensure effective and efficient decision making that is informed by facts as to why certain things happen and how to go about them through providing amicable solutions.
In search for truth variables must be used, they can be described as entities that can take different values, that is, anything that can vary (Pyrczak, 2005). For example, age is a variable as it can take various values for people at different times, a country can also be assigned a value and hence described as a variable (Rosner, 2006). Different professions engage different types of variables that make it possible for investigating issues both in the social and physical sciences.
Scientific variables are therefore those variables that can be controlled, measured or changed in an experiment, research or investigation (Rosner, 2006). These variables form vital parts of scientific projects and experiments. Scientists or researchers use experiments to search for truths, cause and effect relationships in nature over the premise that changes to an item would ultimately cause a change in something else to vary in a predictable way.
What is the nature of Scientific Variables?
The nature of scientific variables is several and includes continuous; a numerical variable that can have any value and the data represented using line graphs and charts. Discrete nature involves simple numbers whose values can be quantified e.g. the energy levels in atoms. Categorical nature of variables describes something as a label e.g. in colour and are exhibited in pie or bar charts. Ordered nature of variable puts something into size order without being quantified e.g. building stones can be described as large or small. Different variables assume the different nature that provides a platform for collection and analysis of data.
Examples of Scientific Variables
Independent variables are those that a researcher or scientist changes in an investigation to see the response. For example in the experiment of investigating the effect of temperature on solubility, the independent variable is temperature and in performing such an investigation the researcher/scientist changes the independent variable as he or she observes what is happening (Rosner, 2006).
Dependent variable is the variable that a researcher or scientist is measuring or observing and is dependent on the state of the independent variable (Pyrczak, 2005). For example, in the experiment of investigating effect of temperature on solubility, solubility is the dependent variable; the investigator focuses his or her observation on the dependent variable to see how it responds to changes performed in the independent variable (Rosner, 2006).
Controlled variable do not alter in the sequence of execution of an investigation or research. For example, in the above experiment of investigating effect of temperature on solubility, controlled variables include the water used in the experiment, time used in mixing, the size of the containers used in mixing (Rosner, 2006).
Pyrczak. F. (2005). Evaluating research in academic journals. Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.
Rosner, B. (2006). Fundamentals of Biostatistics (6th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Duxbury Press.