What does say, changing the 8k slider do? Lets say the slider goes from 4k, next one over is 8 k, next one over is 16 k. What is each one changing?
What doe specific sliders change in EQ's
It depends on the EQ, but generally yes changing one frequency can affect adjacent frequency bands. So boosting 8k will also boost 11k, although to a lesser degree than the targeted freq.
Will it effect the frequencies below it like 7k?
It really depends. It depends on the "Q" (or width) of the adjustment you are making. With most EQ's you will never know exactly what is going on.
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If you do want to know exactly what's going on, you need to use a good parametric EQ with a GUI like electri-q.
x2... Jason nailed it pretty much. And to make it even more confusing a bad EQ (poorly designed one) will have differing "Q" slopes from slider to slider.
The link i posted explains all these types of questions. I really suggest you study that interactive chart. It will help you to decide how to EQ to your liking.