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Experimental method is a systematic and scientific approach to research in which the researcher manipulates one or more variable and controls to measure change. (source)
The variable that depends on other factors that are measured. These variables are expected to change as a result of an experimental manipulation of the independent variable or variables. It is the presumed effect.
The variable that is stable and unaffected by the other variables you are trying to measure. It refers to the condition of an experiment that is systematically manipulated by the investigator. It is the presumed cause.
Cramer, Duncan and Dennis Howitt. The SAGE Dictionary of Statistics. London: SAGE, 2004; Penslar, Robin Levin and Joan P. Porter. Institutional Review Board Guidebook: Introduction. Washington, DC: United States Department of Health and Human Services, 2010; (USC)
Find SAGE Research Methods about experimental research [Use the database link above or click on Methods Map image below].