# Purpose Of Random Assignment

The independent variable is that first factor: the one whose influence we're trying to measure.

An independent variable doesn't change based on the other variables.

In your experiment, you will manipulate whether or not students listen to music while studying, so listening to music is the independent variable.

The dependent variable then will be the subjects' scores on the test.

You have been taking psychology courses, and armed with the love of science, you decide to conduct an experiment to see if your hypothesis is correct.

You decide to test your hypothesis on the 300 students in your college introduction to psychology class.The dependent variable shows the effect of the manipulation.To test the independent variable, you will need an experimental group and a control group.What is the independent variable in your experiment?Remember that the independent variable is the part of the study that is manipulated or changed to determine a result.Suppose one day while studying for a test, you notice that you seem more focused and productive while you are listening to music.In fact, you think it's possible that listening to music while studying helps you earn better grades on tests.The important piece is that subjects are equally likely to be in the experimental group.Random assignment is the best way to assure that the only difference between the control group and the experimental group is whether or not they receive the treatment.But to know if the music has an effect on test scores, you will also need to compare the results of the experimental group to a control group, a group which doesn't receive the critical part of the experiment.In this case, our control group won't listen to music while studying.

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