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Predictor variable is the name given to an independent variable used in regression analyses. The predictor variable provides information on an associated dependent variable regarding a particular outcome. The term predictor variable arises from an area of applied mathematic that uses probability theory to estimate future occurrences of an event based on collected quantitative evidence.

Predicted outcomes have become part of colloquial phrases in modern language. People speak about having higher risks associated with certain lifestyle choices, or about students' predicted academic performance in a university setting based on scores from standardized assessments. Examples abound in common language regarding predictive variables, yet confusion and fundamental misunderstandings surround the topic. Because of the frequent use and communication of predictor variables in behavioral and medical sciences, it is ...

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