Intervening Factors Research Paper

Types of Variable > Intervening Variable

What is an Intervening Variable?

An intervening variable (sometimes called a mediating variable) is a hypothetical variable used to explain causal links between other variables. Intervening variables cannot be observed in an experiment (that’s why they are hypothetical). For example, there is an association between being poor and having a shorter life span. Just because someone is poor doesn’t mean that will lead to an early death, so other hypothetical variables are used to explain the phenomenon. These intervening variables could include: lack of access to healthcare or poor nutrition.

Limitations

Intervening variables are hypothetical constructs like personality, intelligence or attitude. As they are not “real” variables, one major limitation is that they cannot be measured. It is therefore impossible to quantify how much of the experimental results are due to the independent variables, and how much are due to each of the intervening variables.

Intervening and Independent/Dependent Variables

Boston University defines an intervening variable as “A control variable that follows an independent variable but precedes the dependent variable in a causal sequence.” So you could also look at intervening variables in terms of the independent variable and dependent variable; the intervening variable intervenes or mediates between the two. In the longevity example above, the independent variable is money (or lack of) and the dependent variable is longevity. Lack or access to healthcare or poor nutrition intervene, or fill the gap, between the independent and dependent variable.
s.

History

The term intervening was first used for variables by behavioral psychologist Edward C. Tolman in 1938 during studies on rat behavior for food rewards. He suggested that hunger was an intervening variable (it could not be observed during the actual experiments). Tolman’s work on intervening variables was an extremely important contribution to cognitive psychology as the concept made it possible to consider and measure unseen behaviors. Source: (a2zpsychology.com, 2002)

An intervening variable is also called a mediating variable or intermediary variable.

Check out our YouTube channel for hundreds of basic statistics videos.

References

(n.d.). Edward c. tolman. Retrieved Dec 12 2016, from www.a2zpsychology.com Web site: http://www.a2zpsychology.com/great_psychologists/edward_c_tolman.htm

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you prefer an online interactive environment to learn R and statistics, this free R Tutorial by Datacamp is a great way to get started. If you're are somewhat comfortable with R and are interested in going deeper into Statistics, try this Statistics with R track.

Comments are now closed for this post. Need help or want to post a correction? Please post a comment on our Facebook page and I'll do my best to help!
  • Asmar, C. (1999). Is there a gendered agenda in academia? The research experience of female and male PhD graduates in Australian universities. Higher Education,38(3), 255–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Aspland, T., Edwards, H., O’Leary, J., & Ryan, Y. (1999). Tracking new directions in the evaluation of postgraduate supervision. Innovative Higher Education,24(2), 127–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Austin, A. (2002). Preparing the next generation of faculty: Graduate school as socialization to the academic career. The Journal of Higher Education,73(1), 94–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Babbie, E. (1979). The practice of social research (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, Inc.Google Scholar

  • Brew, A., & Peseta, T. (2004). Changing postgraduate supervision practice: A programme to encourage learning through reflection and feedback. Innovations in Education and Teaching International,41(1), 5–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Bryman, A., & Teevan, J. (2005). Social research methods. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Buchbinder, S., Alt, P., Eskow, K., Forbes, W., Hester, E., Struck, M., et al. (2005). Creating learning prisms with an interdisciplinary case study workshop. Innovative Higher Education,29(4), 257–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Burnard, P. (1991). Experiential learning in action. Aldershot: Avebury Academic Publishing Group.Google Scholar

  • Cech, T., & Rubin, G. (2004). Nurturing interdisciplinary research. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology,11(12), 1166–1169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Eisenhardt, K. (1995). Building Theories from Case Study Research. In G. Huber & A. Van de Ven (Eds.), Longitudinal field research methods: Studying processes of organizational change (pp. 65–90). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

  • Gilroy, G. (2005). Student Training in SSHRC-funded Research: Final report, Prepared for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Ottawa: Goss Gilroy Inc. Management Consultants.Google Scholar

  • Goodlad, S. (1998). Research opportunities for undergraduates. Studies in Higher Education,23(3), 349–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Graybill, J., Dooling, S., Shandas, V., Withey, J., Greve, A., & Simon, G. (2006). A rough guide to interdisciplinarity: Graduate student perspectives. BioScience,56(9), 757–763.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Harman, K. (2002). The research training experiences of doctoral students linked to Australian Cooperative Research Centres. Higher Education,44(3–4), 469–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Healey, M. (2005). Linking research and teaching to benefit student learning. Journal of Geography in Higher Education,29(2), 183–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Johnston, S., & McCormack, C. (1997). Developing research potential through a structured mentoring program: Issues arising. Higher Education,33(3), 251–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Jones, P., & Macdonald, N. (2007). Getting it wrong first time: Building an interdisciplinary research relationship. Area,39(4), 490–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Katz, J., & Martin, B. (1997). What is research collaboration? Research Policy,26(1), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Kezar, A. (2005). Redesigning for collaboration within higher education institutions: An exploration into the developmental process. Research in Higher Education,46(7), 831–860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Kinkead, J. (2003). Learning through inquiry: An overview of undergraduate research. New Directions for Teaching and Learning,93, 5–17. (Spring).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc.Google Scholar

  • Kravetz, K. (2004). Undergraduates and community-based research: Benefits, challenges and opportunities. Comm-Org Papers, Retrieved February 21, 2005 from http://comm-org.utoledo.edu/papers.htm.

  • Lindsay, R., Breen, R., & Jenkins, A. (2002). Academic research and teaching quality: The views of undergraduate and postgraduate students. Studies in Higher Education,27(3), 309–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Lovitts, B. (2005). Being a good course-taker is not enough: A theoretical perspective on the transition to independent research. Studies in Higher Education,30(2), 137–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • McCormack, C. (2004). Tensions between student and institutional conceptions of postgraduate research. Studies in Higher Education,29(3), 319–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Panelli, R., & Welch, R. (2005). Teaching research through field studies: A cumulative opportunity for teaching methodology to human geography undergraduates. Journal of Geography in Higher Education,29(2), 255–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Patton, M. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

  • Pearson, M., & Brew, A. (2002). Research training and supervision development. Studies in Higher Education,27(2), 135–150.Google Scholar

  • Qin, J., Lancaster, F., & Allen, B. (1997). Types and level of collaboration in interdisciplinary research in the sciences. Journal of the American Society for Information Science,48(10), 893–916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Reimer, B. (2002). A sample frame for rural Canada: Design and evaluation. Regional Studies,36(8), 845–859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Reimer, B. (2006). The rural context of community development in Canada. Journal of Rural and Community Development,1(2), 155–175.Google Scholar

  • Riege, A. (2005). Three-dozen knowledge-sharing barriers managers must consider. Journal of Knowledge Management,9(3), 18–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Russell, S., Hancock, M., & McCullough, J. (2007). Benefits of undergraduate research experiences. Science,316(5824), 548–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Schuetze, H., & Slowey, M. (2002). Participation and exclusion: A comparative analysis of non-traditional students and lifelong learners in higher education. Higher Education,44(3–4), 309–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Schuller, T. (2001). The complementary roles of human and social capital. ISUMA,2(1), 18–24.Google Scholar

  • Twale, D., Schaller, M., Hunley, S., & Polanski, P. (2002). Creating collaborative community in multidisciplinary settings. Innovative Higher Education,27(2), 113–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Uiterkamp, A., & Vlek, C. (2007). Practice and outcomes of multidisciplinary research for environmental sustainability. Journal of Social Issues,63(1), 175–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Umbach, P., & Wawrzynski, M. (2005). Faculty do matter: The role of college faculty in student learning and engagement. Research in Higher Education,46(2), 153–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Van Den Berg, M., & Hofman, W. (2005). Student success in university education: A multi-measurement study of the impact of student and faculty factors on study progress. Higher Education,50(3), 413–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Wear, D. (1999). Challenges to interdisciplinary discourse. Ecosystems,2(4), 299–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Weber, P., & Sleeper, B. (2003). Enriching student experiences: Multidisciplinary exercises in service-learning. Teaching Business Ethics,7(4), 417–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Yegedis, B., Weinbach, R., & Morrison-Rodriguez, B. (1999). Research methods for social workers (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar

  • Younglove-Webb, J., Gray, B., Abdalla, C., & Thurow, A. (1999). The dynamics of multidisciplinary research teams in academia. Review of Higher Education,22(4), 425–439.Google Scholar

  • 0 Thoughts to “Intervening Factors Research Paper

    Leave a comment

    L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *