1.12 Quick review questions

Consider this RQ:

Is the average walking speed the same when texting and talking on a mobile phone?

  1. What is the explanatory variable?
  2. What is the response variable?
  3. What is the outcome?
  1. What individual people are doing with their phones probably explains their walking speed: the explanatory variable is the way in which the mobile phone is being used.
    Notice that 'talking on the phone' and 'texting on the phone' are not variables. They are particular values that the variable can take. That is, 'what people are doing on their phone' is the variable, because it can vary: Sometimes people will be talking, sometimes texting, etc.

  2. Waking speed probably depends on (or responds to) how individual people are using their phone: the response variable is the walking speed.

  3. The outcome is how the response variable is summarised over a group of individuals. The waling speeds from many individuals could be summarised numerically using the average walking speed, which would be the outcome.