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date: 15 November 2018

extraneous variable

Source:
A Dictionary of Psychology
Author(s):

Andrew M. Colman

extraneous variable n. 

In statistics and research design, a variable that is of no immediate interest to a researcher but is capable of influencing variables that are of interest. In experimental design, such an extraneous variable is capable of influencing the dependent variable, and it is normally controlled by randomization; when it cannot be controlled, efforts are often made to measure and allow for it. Also called a nuisance variable.