What Is a Contextual Variable?

In its most basic definition, a contextual variable is a variable that is constant within a group, but which varies by context. The concept is used in sociological and business research, as well as in the fields of statistics and information technology.

In the field of information technology and specifically the study of data sets, a contextual variable is constant within the group and is calculated based on other variables within the group, which may or may not remain constant.

In the study of sociology or business, contextual variables may involve elements such as technology, financial resources and local environments or cultures, and how these affect specific industries or populations.