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Difference Between Discrete and Continuous Variable

March 8, 2017 By Surbhi S Leave a Comment

Variable refers to the quantity
that changes its value, which can be measured. It is of two types, i.e. discrete or continuous variable. The former
refers to the one that has a certain number of values, while the latter implies the one that can take any value
between a given range.

Data can be understood as the quantitative information about a specific characteristic. The characteristic can be
qualitative or quantitative, but for the purpose of statistical analysis, the qualitative characteristic is transformed
into quantitative one, by providing numerical data of that characteristic. So, the quantitative characteristic
is known as a variable. Here in this article, we are going to talk about the discrete and continuous variable.

Comparison Chart

Values are obtained by m Classification Non-overlapping Overlapping Assumes Distinct or separate values. However no values can exist in-between two categories. the number of permitted values that it can suppose is either finite or countably infinite. i.e. invisible categories. . then the variable is said to be discrete.BASIS FOR COMPARISON DISCRETE VARIABLE Meaning Discrete variable refers to the variable that assumes a finite number of isolated values. Any value between the tw Represented by Isolated points Connected points Definition of Discrete Variable A discrete variable is a type of statistical variable that can assume only fixed number of distinct values and lacks an inherent order. because it has separate. Continuous variable allud Range of specified number Complete Incomplete Values Values are obtained by counting. Hence if you are able to count the set of items. So. Also known as a categorical variable. it does not attain all the values within the limits of the variable.

then it is called as a discrete variable. for overlapping or say mutually exclusive classification. In discrete variable. the range for the variable may vary. So. which is not in the case of a continuous variable. It can be understood as the function for the interval and for each function. Key Differences Between Discrete and Continuous Variable The difference between discrete and continuous variable can be drawn clearly on the following grounds: 1. as the name suggest is a random variable that assumes all the possible values in a continuum. it can take any value within the given range. the quantitative variable which takes on an infinite set of data and a uncountable number of values is known as a continuous variable. The statistical variable that assumes a finite set of data and a countable number of values. meaning that it can suppose any values in between the minimum and maximum value. 5. 4. 2. On the contrary. Discrete variable assumes independent values whereas continuous variable assumes any value in a given range or continuum. For non-overlapping or otherwise known as mutually inclusive classification. Discrete variables are the variables. wherein the both the class limit are included. if a variable can take an infinite and uncountable set of values. Continuous variables are the random variables that measure something. A continuous variable is one that is defined over an interval of values. As against this. On the other hand. then the variable is referred as a continuous variable. wherein the values can be obtained by counting. . the range of specified number is complete. is applicable for a continuous variable.Definition of Continuous Variable Continuous variable. is applicable for the discrete variable. Simply put. 3. wherein the upper class-limit is excluded.

 Number of siblings of an individual. a continuous variable which can be indicated on the graph with the help of connected points. both discrete and continuous variable can be qualitative and quantitative. Unlike. Examples Discrete Variable  Number of printing mistakes in a book. Continuous Variable  Height of a person  Age of a person  Profit earned by the company. . A discrete variable can be graphically represented by isolated points. However. these two statistical terms are diametrically opposite to one another in the sense that the discrete variable is the variable with the well-defined number of permitted values whereas a continuous variable is a variable that can contain all the possible values between two numbers. Conclusion By and large.  Number of road accidents in New Delhi. 6.

So. The two most common types of variable are dependent variable and independent variable.Difference Between Independent and Dependent Variable May 12. here in this article. It is similar to the variables used in other disciplines like science and mathematics. we are going to discuss some important points of difference between independent and dependent variable. it will change in response to the change in some other variable. The dependence of the former on the latter is being examined by the statistical models. whose change influence another variable. while if the variable is dependent. A variable is said to be independent. which may vary from one entity to another. 2016 By Surbhi S Leave a Comment In statistics. the most often used word is ‘variable’ which refers to a characteristic that contains the value. Content: Independent Variable Vs Dependent Variable Comparison Chart .

It is a variable. Definition of Dependent Variable A dependent variable is a consequence of an independent variable i. i. It is also known as the criterion or measured variable.e.e. explanatory variable. the values of independent What is it? Antecedent Consequent Relationship Presumed cause Observed effect Values Manipulated by the researcher. Measured by the researche Usually denoted by x y Definition of Independent Variable As its name suggests. its effect on other variables is measured and compared. BASIS FOR INDEPENDENT VARIABLE COMPARISON Meaning Independent Variable is one whose values are deliberately changed by the researcher in Dependent Variable refers order to obtain a desired outcome. Moreover. controlled variable. It is something that . the researcher has control over its selection and manipulation. an independent variable is one which remains unaffected by other variables. the levels can be changed. it is variable that measures the effect of independent variable on the test units. Alternately known as the predictor variable.

while the dependent shows the effect. It is expected to change in response to some other factors. The variable.the experimenter observes during an experiment and is influenced by the experiment. the independent variables are controlled or changed whereas the dependent variables tend to be measured and tested. An independent variable is a presumed cause whereas dependent variable is a measured effect. 2. which changes its values in order to reciprocate change in the values of the independent variable is called dependent variable. Manipulation can be done in the values of independent variable. An independent variable is the one that does not rely on anything else and hence can be manipulated. . In a simple linear regression. 4. Conclusion There can be multiple dependent variables for one independent variable. the value of independent variables is unchangeable. which means y depends on x. The values of the independent variable can be changed as per requirement. but the researcher observes the value of a dependent variable during an experiment. Key Differences Between Independent and Dependent Variable The significant differences between independent and dependent variable are explained in the following points: 1. ‘y’ denotes dependent variable while ‘x’ denotes independent variable. In a scientific experiment. of changes made to the independent variable. 5. Conversely. 3. The revised value of the dependent value depends on the independent variable. by the researcher. The variable whose values are deliberately changed by the researcher in order to obtain the desired outcome is called independent variable.

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