How do I prevent confounding variables from interfering with my research?

There are several methods you can use to decrease the impact of confounding variables on your research: restriction, matching, statistical control and randomization.

In restriction, you restrict your sample by only including certain subjects that have the same values of potential confounding variables.

In matching, you match each of the subjects in your treatment group with a counterpart in the comparison group. The matched subjects have the same values on any potential confounding variables, and only differ in the independent variable.

In statistical control, you include potential confounders as variables in your regression.

In randomization, you randomly assign the treatment (or independent variable) in your study to a sufficiently large number of subjects, which allows you to control for all potential confounding variables.