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Quantitative Skills for AP Biology
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Terms in this set (51)
hypothesis
A plausible and testable explanation for observed phenomena.
independent variable
The experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied.
dependent variable
The variable that responds to manipulations of the independent variable. The data.
confounding variable
Any extraneous variable that affects the variables being studied so that the results do not reflect an actual relationship between the variables under investigation.
quantitative data
Data based on quantities (numerical data).
qualitative data
Data based on qualities (non-numerical data).
continuous data
Data that can be any value on a range.
discrete data
Data that is capable of assuming only particular values. Usually the result of counting or grouping.
control group
The empirical group that does not receive the independent variable. Serves as a basis for comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment.
experimental group
The empirical group that is exposed to the independent variable.
correlational study
A research method that can determine the degree to which two variables are related, but cannot show which variable caused a change in the other variable.
pseudoscience
A body of ideas clothed in the jargon and outward appearance of science but was not created with the standards required of the scientific method.
extrapolation
Estimating a value outside the range of measured data.
statistics
The study of the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data.
population (N)
A complete set of items (people, animals, etc.) that have at least one thing in common and are the subject of the statistical analysis.
sample (n)
A subset of individuals selected from the population.
descriptive statistics
Statistics that quantitatively describe the main features of a data set, especially measures of central tendency and dispersion.
inferential statistics
Statistics that draw conclusions from sample data. Used to test hypotheses and make estimations about the population.
sampling bias
A problem that occurs when a sample is not representative of the population from which it is drawn.
normal distribution
A unimodal, symmetrical, bell-shaped distribution of data.
parametric data
Data that show an approximate normal distribution on a histogram.
nonparametric data
Data that do not show an approximate normal distribution on a histogram. Can be qualitative data.
frequency or count data
Recordings of discrete, or qualitative, data. Generated by counting.
comparative statistics
Statistics that compare variables.
association statistics
Statistics that look for correlations between variables.
standard deviation
A measurement measures the amount of variation or dispersion from the mean.
standard error
A statistic used to make an inference about how well the sample mean matches up to the true population mean.
linear regression
Defines a line of best fit for correlational data that can be used as a prediction of the relationship between two variables.
histogram
A graphical representation of tabulated frequencies.
scatterplot
A graph of plotted points that show the relationship between two sets of data.
bar graph
A graph drawn using rectangular bars to show how large each value is.
box-and-whisker plots
A way of graphically depicting groups of numerical data through their quartiles.
bins
Ranges of numerical values into which data are sorted in statistical analysis.
mean
A measure of central tendency determined by adding all scores together and dividing by the number of scores. Often referred to as the statistical average.
sampling
The selection of a subset of individuals from within a statistical population to estimate characteristics of the whole population.
68-95-99.7 Rule
In a normal distribution, about 68% of values fall within 1 standard deviation of the mean, about 95% fall within 2 standard deviations of the mean, and about 99.7% fall within 3 standard deviations of the mean.
error bars
A graphical representation of the variability of data and are used on graphs to indicate the error, or uncertainty in a reported measurement.
median
A measure of central tendency, represented by the score that separates the upper half of the scores in a distribution from the lower half.
mode
Measure of central tendency that refers to the most frequently occurring scores.
Chi-square test
A statistical hypothesis test that measures the difference between observed frequencies and expected frequencies.
null hypothesis
Hypothesis that predicts NO relationship between variables.
alternative hypothesis
Hypothesis that predicts a relationship DOES EXIST between variables.
degrees freedom
The number of ways by which a dynamic system can move without violating any constraint imposed on it. (n-1)
critical value
A cutoff value corresponding to a given significance level.
p-value
A predetermined choice of test certainty. The smaller the p-value, the more confidence can be claimed.
mathematical modelling
A description of a system using mathematical concepts and language.
r-value
The correlation coefficient that ranges from -1.0 to +1.0. The closer it is to 0, the less two variables are related.
hypothesis testing
A method of statistical inference that determines if a result is statistically significant or if it is likely to have occurred by chance alone.
Occam's razor
A principle that states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.
type I error
False positive. Mistakenly reject the null hypothesis.
type II error
False negative. Mistakenly reject the null hypothesis.
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