Scientific Method

  1. What is scientific method?
    • Process of inquiry & experimentation to explore observations & ans questions
    • Used to seek cause & effect relationship in nature
  2. What are 6 basic steps in scientific method?
    • Ask a question based on observation
    • Background research
    • Construct a hypothesis
    • Test hypothesis w/experiments
    • Analyze data & draw conclusion
    • Communicate results
  3. When doing background research what should we be doing?
    • Learn about topic
    • Read about previous related studies
  4. What is a hypothesis?
    • Testable educated guess about how things work
    • If _________, then __________ will happen
  5. When designing experiments to test hypothesis we have to do what 2 things?
    • Decide what we are testing
    • How we are going to test it
  6. What is a variable?
    Any factor, trait or condition that can exist in differing amts or types
  7. What are the 3 types of variables?
    • Independent
    • Dependent
    • Constant (control)
  8. Describe the independent variable.
    • This is the 1 that is going to be changed by the scientist
    • Gd experiments only have 1
  9. Describe the dependent variable.
    • This 1 is going to be unmanipulated JUST OBSERVED
    • There can be more than one
    • Changes in it are dependent upon the independent variable
  10. Explain the controlled or constant variable.
    • MUST remain constant throughout experiment
    • ie # of cells, Data collection points, Environmental conds
  11. What are ctrl groups?
    • Groups used for comparison to your experimental group
    • This grp gets no tx
    • 2 types - pos & neg
  12. Describe the pos ctrl grp.
    • Has a known effect on the dependent variable
    • Not always used
  13. Describe the neg ctrl grp.
    • Complete absence of independent variable
    • For determination of significant changes in dependent variables
  14. What is the triplicate rule in scientific method?
    At least 3 experimental trials ensure reproducibility of results
  15. What are the 2 types data useful to scientific experimentation?
    • Quantitative (quantity)
    • Qualitative (quality)
  16. Describe quantitative data.
    • Numerical measurement gained w/instruments
    • Can be measured, counted, have a numerical value
  17. Describe qualitative data.
    • Observations
    • Subjective to interpretation
    • ie shape
    • Photos & charts are good
  18. How do we report quantitative data?
    Statistical analysis to make sense of all the numbers
  19. What is the confidence interval?
    • A narrow segment where most of your data should fall.
    • Expressed in a P-value
  20. Explain the P-value.
    This is the probability that you will fall within a 95% CI
  21. If our data supports our hypothesis we should . . . .
    • Report results
    • Conduct more tests to refine
  22. If our data does not support our hypothesis we should . . .
    • Report our results
    • Use it to form new hypothesis
    • Begin testing new hypothesis
Card Set
Scientific Method
Scientific Method 9-23-12