You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

Research Methods - Being in Control

3. Variables

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about variables, focusing in particular on: (i) the importance of operationalising variables for hypothesising and performing statistical analyses; (ii) independent variables as those which you do not control within a study, but that decide the structure of your study; (iii) dependent variables as those which you measure in your study and can be used to compare across the independent variable conditions; (iv) the stages of establishing variables, including defining what they are, establishing the levels you are going to consider, and extraneous variables which need to be accounted for; (v) the importance of variable definition in the context of replication.


In this course, Dr Ashok Jansari (Goldsmiths, University of London) explores points of consideration and control when designing and undertaking a scientific study. In the first lecture, we think about measurement levels by clearly defining nominal, ordinal, and interval data. In the second lecture, we think about how to construct a questionnaire, utilising open and closed questioning. In the third lecture, we think about variables by closely reviewing the role of independent, dependent, and extraneous variables within a study. Next, we think about experimental controls, going beyond just extraneous variables to think about randomisation and counterbalancing. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about demand characteristics and their impact, both as those which originate in the researcher as well as in the participant.


Dr Ashok Jansari is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Dr Jansari’s research interests include memory disorders, prosopagnosia, executive functions, and synaesthesia. Dr Jansari is most famous for his research into prosopagnosia, having made numerous TV appearances, including on BBC1’s The One Show, as well as hosting his own ‘Neuro Talk’ YouTube channel:

Some of Dr Jansari's recent publications include 'Acquired synaesthesia following 2C-B use' (2019), 'Using virtual reality to investigate multitasking ability in individuals with frontal lobe lesions' (2019), and 'Identification from CCTV: Assessing police super-recogniser ability to spot faces in a crown and susceptibility to change blindness' (2018).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Jansari, A. (2022, March 03). Research Methods - Being in Control - Variables [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jansari, A. "Research Methods - Being in Control – Variables." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 03 Mar 2022,

Image Credits