Identifying Independent and Dependent Variables

Not less than 450 words, incorporate at least 2 peer-reviewed sources, 1 biblical integration in APA format, and include substantive content.

Response from student

Question: 16.4

A local health agency is experimenting with two appeal letters, A and B, with which to raise funds. It sends out 400 of the A appeal and 400 of the B appeal (each subsample is divided equally among working-class and middle-class neighborhoods). The agency secures the results shown in the following table.

  Appeal A   Appeal B
  Middle Class Working Class   Middle Class Working Class
Contribution 20% 40%   15% 30%
No Contribution 80% 60%   85% 70%
  100% 100%   100% 100%



a. Which appeal is the best?

Comparing the data collected from the two appeals and assuming all of the contributions were of the same amount, appeal A was better. With both the middle class and the working-class appeal A had a 33% higher contribution rate then appeal B. Looking at the raw numbers with pure responses, appeal A successfully received contributions from 30% of the letters sent or 120 donations where appeal B only received contributions from 22.5% of the letters sent or 90 donations. Overall, appeal A had a 33% higher success rate then appeal B.

b. Which class responded better to which letter?

The working class responded better than the middle class in both appeal A and appeal B. In both appeals the working class had twice as many responses than the middle class. In appeal A there were 40 responses from the middle class and 80 from the working class, in appeal B there were 30 responses from the middle class and 60 from the working class.

c. Is appeal or social class a more powerful independent variable?

Assuming all contributions are equal, social class is the more powerful independent variable. Leatham states, “Students need explicit opportunities to make sense of the meaning of ‘dependence’ and that variation in situations, all the way from real-0world cause-and-effect situations to mathematical functions, need to be compared and contrasted” (Leatham, 2012, p. 357). In an attempt to do this let’s assume all contributions were $100 each from both appeals and both social classes. As the responses stand appeal A would have had 120 responses worth $12,000 and appeal B would have had 90 responses worth $9,000. To prove this lets take the same contribution percentages and send all 400 letters out to one social class instead of split between the two for both appeals. In this scenario appeal A with a 20% response rate from the middle class, there would have been 80 responses worth $8,000 and for appeal B the middle class would have had 60 responses worth $6,000. For the working-class appeal A would have had 160 responses worth $16,000 and for appeal B 120 responses worth $12,000. The highest yield is found with all 400 letters sent to the working class with appeal A ($16,000), the second-highest is a tie with the letters evenly split with appeal A ($12,000) and the working class receiving all the letters in appeal B ($12,000), the third-highest would be the letters split with appeal B ($9,000), the fourth highest, all letters sent to the middle class with appeal A ($8,000), and finally all the letters sent to the middle class with appeal B ($6,000). With all contributions being equal, the most powerful independent variable is the social class.

This is also assuming basic letters were sent to all recipients. Different outcomes would result in more towards the working class or away from them depending on added information within the letters. As Kumru points out, “By first soliciting the high-status donor the fundraiser enables the lower-status donors to associate with someone of higher status and effectively secures donations from both” (Kumru & Vesterlund, 2010, p. 715). The addition of a list of well-known donors could potentially increase the percentage of donors both in the middle and working-class demographics but potentially more in the middle class since they have more disposable income and closer to higher social classes economically.

As a Biblical integration, while not directly applicable, the spirit and gifts of giving come to mind. Scripture states, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7, ESV).  This ties in tightly with the old saying that it is better to give than to receive. The emotional and spiritual benefits along with the riches received in Heaven for giving with humility will always far exceed the gift given when you are a cheerful giver. The true gift is received by the one that is giving and afforded to them by the one that has allowed them the opportunity to give. I make this point because so many Christians filled with pride do not give this opportunity to others. As Christians, when someone offers to give to you, we should allow the giver to receive the blessings found from giving by receiving the gift with humility.


Kumru, C. S., & Vesterlund, L. (2010, August 1). The effect of status on charitable giving. Journal of Public Economic Theory12(4), 709-735. Retrieved from Http://¶mdict=en-US

Leatham, K. R. (2012, October). Problems identifying independent and dependent variables. School Science & Mathematics112(6), 349-358.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV)

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