Which Axis Does the Dependent Variable Go On?
When graphing data, the dependent variable goes on the Y-axis while the independent variable goes on the X-axis. This allows consistent graph creation and easy data interpretation in the context of a scientific paper, poster or presentation.
In scientific research, a dependent variable is manipulated by the researcher to produce controlled conditions necessary for examining the research question. The independent variable is the measurable result of the experimental condition and is not manipulated by the researcher. Having the dependent variable on the Y-axis and the independent variable on the X-axis allows the viewer to see the results at each level of the dependent variable on one graph rather than having to consult multiple figures.