VolunteerPro – Expert Training for Volunteer Coordinators › Forums › Volunteer Surveys for Insight & Impact › Lesson 11 Q&A › Reply To: Lesson 11 Q&A
@Barb: Sure — it sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. 🙂 The Dependent Variable is what you are studying — for example, volunteer satisfaction ratings or intent to stay. The Independent Variables are what may impact the Dependent Variable — for example, volunteer tenure, what department they work in, their role, demographics, etc.
There’s also another kind of variable — the Confounding Variable — which can affect both Dependent and Independent Variables. You can find a fun example here — https://www.psychologyinaction.org/psychology-in-action-1/2011/10/30/what-is-a-confounding-variable. The basic guideline when it comes to variables, is to 1) know what you are studying, and 2) be extra cautious about claiming one variable causes another. Rather, point out the correlations between things.