Variables of the Study in the Research Paradigm: Which Ones to Include?

One of the doctor in educational administration students in my advanced statistics class once asked: “How do you choose the variables of the study? Which ones should be included in the research paradigm?”

This concern comes up when dealing with research problems involving several variables. Such studies employ multivariate analysis like multiple regression, factor analysis, discriminant analysis, among others. Many quantitative dissertation papers use these statistical tests. Therefore, the variables of the study need to be properly identified prior to data gathering.

Of course, to put everything in its proper context, the paradigm of the study appears in the later part of the formal research paper. Choosing the variables of a study requires a good understanding of the topic under investigation. A good understanding of the topic comes after a thorough review of related literature. However, you need to be clear beforehand on what issues or problems you want to investigate.

Thus, choosing the variables that will form part of the paradigm requires clear thesis statements.  Given that the graduate students’ pursue a doctoral degree in educational administration, they must look into issues or problems related to their specialization.

In view of the foregoing, a doctor of education degree prepares individuals to serve as leaders in schools or colleges, or work for school districts or government organizations. Doctor of education holders usually do research for policy making purposes. Hence, exploration of educational administration topics precedes any research activity.

Variables of the Study

Research titles reflect the variables of the study. For example, the following issues or problems on educational administration may be looked into by graduate students of educational administration:

  1. Efficacy of peer supervision,
  2. Factors affecting the impact of professional development programs on teachers’ performance,
  3. Factors affecting students’ self-efficacy in elementary education,
  4. Classroom factors affecting students’ academic achievement, and
  5. Factors affecting the effective integration of information technology in the classroom.

The above titles expressly state or imply the variables of the study. Specifically, in the specific order given above, the variables considered include:

  1. peer supervision or arrangements where peers work together for mutual benefit;
  2. professional development programs, teachers’ performance;
  3. factors affecting students’ self-efficacy such as performance experience, vicarious experience, social persuasion, imaginal experience, and physical and emotional states (Bandura, 1988), students’ self efficacy;
  4. classroom factors, students’ achievement; and
  5. factors affecting the use of information technology, effectiveness of information technology.

Meanwhile, for statistical tests to be properly applied, the variables must be measurable. The variables belong to any of the four types of variables namely nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio.

Finally, an illustrated example hammers the idea in. The following paradigm demonstrates the relationship of variables in the study on students’ self-efficacy:

variables of the study
Factors affecting self-efficacy [Source: LaRocca (2017)].

Finally, I believe that practice makes perfect. Try to work on the other four examples to test your understanding.


Bandura, A. (1988). Organisational applications of social cognitive theory. Australian Journal of management, 13(2), 275-302.

LaRocca, B. (2017). Self-efficacy tookit. Retrieved on September 24, 2018 from

© 2018 September 24 P. A. Regoniel

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick (September 24, 2018). Variables of the Study in the Research Paradigm: Which Ones to Include? [Blog Post]. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from

By Regoniel, Patrick

Dr. Patrick A. Regoniel is a graduate school professor of Palawan State University. He loves writing about a wide range of topics under the sun. Aside from blogging and writing books, he tinkers with LaTeX codes, does systems analysis, layouts books and instructional materials, tweaks his websites, engages in photography and editing svg, jpeg and png files, does a little QGIS mapping, did some SCUBA diving for work and pleasure, runs 3 miles 3-4 times a week, and ah well... cooks on the sides. :-)

3 replies on “Variables of the Study in the Research Paradigm: Which Ones to Include?”

Hello, My name is Stephen! I am a family practice Doctor of 35 years with the enlightening and frightening realization; many people do not know how to discern fact from fiction.

I stumbled upon your article 08/18/2013 and would like to offer you what I have discovered as to how best to distinguish fact from fiction with complete clarity!

All you have to do is turn off your human and anything in and everything it humans people create is fiction.

Humans are the only creatures who can create so everything that we create re-create co-create is fiction, magic, manipulation, and unfortunately, virtual reality made solid.

You can think of this as do re mi is the anything and everything of the universe.

People then take all of that and capture it into mathematics 1 2 3. Then we take mathematics and try to turn it into words ABC.
For example, the word car is a loaded word because you have to define what is a car vs. what is not a car vs. all of the billions of variations of cars.

I discovered pain; the word is tragically misunderstood by almost all of the worlds medical doctors.

Pain is muscle, my, mental, emotional, spiritual, situational resolved with 10 combined therapies. Most importantly every muscle cell, myofibril requires force of release stretching, massaging, spinal unwinding, and most importantly acupuncture and hypodermic intramuscular stimulating needling.

In 1940 a group of orthopedic surgeons betrayed humanity by a picture professing bone-on-bone with a godlike belief that they could fix what God created with knives bone saws amputations auto-parts and glue. Joint replacements nerve repair spinal fusions any procedure with a knife is always wrong to treat stress and strain pain.

The world orthopedic surgeons have carte blanche, immunity, impunity to ritualistic use bone saws amputating living tissue fixing God’s creation with handtools bone saws and glue. Glue! Glue! I believed at one time that it was possible for people to use glue and fix the human body. Now that I know fact vs. fiction it is inconceivable that the whole world now believes in vampires requiring the corpse to be exhumed hearts removed, burned in the city square, and a stake placed in the body to hold him down, so they do not move out of the grave.

Pain is a feeling from within all senses from within is the truth. You treat people with pain with compassion, and their suffering will dissipate just like mother nature intended it to be.

Pain is not anything else, for example, joint pain, nerve pain, arthritis, rheumatism, bone-on-bone, joints wearing out, cartilage, migraine, bursitis, fibromyalgia, or anything derived from a picture or blood test.

The pain everyone experiences from within are TRUTH – The universe is made of materials forces, and energies frequencies so do re mi! To the trained ear if a musician misses one note in an entire sonata, they will catch it. Less than masterful years will not. It is impossible to full mother nature and mathematics because if the numbers do not add up or match it is the sun, the moon

Anything that we construct into words is all manipulated thus fictional.

Everything that people take away from everything and anything that is natural becomes contaminated.

So what you believe? If it did not fit mathematical models, it is fiction.
If it did not fit the five elements or steps within of scientific methodology, it is fiction.

First have an indelible reference grounded in do re mi, 1 2 3, ABC = Cause-effect, problem-solution = resolution Repeatable to 99.999% of the time.

Thanks for the helpful article. I read your articles and they were all helpful to me. But you stopped writing. When will your new article be released? From your articles, I collect information for my college essay. If you do not write new articles, I will not have a source of information and I will need to contact the homework helper to help me with my homework to college. Thank you very much.

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