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PPGPortal > Home > Concept Dictionary > T, U, V > Variable



An attribute of a case or unit of analysis that takes on different values from one case to another or, for a given case, from one time to another.

(Manheim, J.B., Richard, C.R., Willnat, L., & Brians, C.L. (2008). Empirical political analysis: Quantitative and qualitative research methods (7th ed.). New York: Pearson.)


A variable is a characteristic of a unit being observed that may assume more than one of a set of values to which a numerical measure or a category from a classification can be assigned (e.g. income, age, weight, etc., and "occupation", "industry", "disease", etc.).


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