16 terms

Experimental Design Key Vocabulary

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Analyze
To examine methodically and in detail—typically for purposes of explanation and interpretation.
Conclude
To arrive at a decision based on the analysis of data.
Constants (Controlled Variables)
The parts of the experiment that remains the same throughout to prevent affecting the outcome. These are all the materials, measurements, and methods that you want to stay exactly the same so that the only thing responsible for change is the independent variable chosen. These variables should be exactly the same for every trial (e.g. the type of plant used should be exactly the same; the target for the ball is always the same distance away).
Control
The part of the experiment that is not being tested and is used for comparison; standard of comparison, in the "natural" state.
Data
Information collected during an experiment.
Dependent Variable
The part of the experiment that is affected by the independent variable; The variable that is measured in the experiment.
Experiment
An orderly procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, refuting or establishing the validity of a hypothesis (i.e. to determine if a hypothesis is correct or not).
Hypothesis
A supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation (i.e. an educated guess or prediction).
Independent Variable
The part of the experiment that is changed by the scientists performing the experiment.
Inference (Infer)
Coming to a conclusion based on your existing knowledge; an attempt to explain or interpret observations or to identify the cause of what was observed.
• Example—seeing a student wearing a sports team jersey and concluding the student likes that team.
Observe
To watch, listen, notice and making comments about.
Qualitative data
Data dealing with descriptions; data is observed.
• Examples— colors, textures, smells, tastes, appearance, beauty, etc.).
Quantitative data
Data dealing with numbers; data that can be measured.
• Examples—length, height, area, volume, weight, speed, time, temperature, etc.
Results
Outcome of the experiment.
Tentative
Not certain or fixed; provisional.
Variable
Any factor, trait, or condition that can exist in differing amounts or types. An experiment usually has three kinds of variables: independent, dependent, and controlled. The independent variable is the one that is changed by the scientist.