intervening variable

noun
in·ter·ven·ing variable | \ ˌint-ər-ˌvē-niŋ- \

Medical Definition of intervening variable 

: a variable (as memory) whose effect occurs between the treatment in a psychological experiment (as the presentation of a stimulus) and the outcome (as a response), is difficult to anticipate or is unanticipated, and may confuse the results

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