One thing that many people find confusing about statistics is the inconsistency in names of concepts. The names for x and y variables are an example;If we have an equation y = f( x) or y = f(x1, x2, ..., xn) what name do we have for the concept of y and for that of x? Most of us are familiar with x being identified as the Independent Variable, and y as the Dependent Variable. That makes sense, since x can vary independently, but the value of y is dependent on the value of x.(Thanks to Ben Atkinson for pointing out a typo in the originally posted version of this table.)
Some call x the Cause and y the Effect.In Regression and in other uses, x is sometimes called the Predictor Variable, because its value predicts the value of the Outcome Variable, y. y is also called the Response Variable.And then there is Explanatory Variable and Criterion Variable. Explanatory and Independent are often used interchangeably. But some authors make a distinction, using the term "explanatory" when it is not certain that the variable is independent.
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## AuthorAndrew A. (Andy) Jawlik is the author of the book, Statistics from A to Z -- Confusing Concepts Clarified, published by Wiley. ## Archives
October 2017
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