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58 Cards in this Set

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The basic underlying principles that we accept as being true when testing a hypothesis. Can be other hypotheses, laws, or theories that are NOT being tested directly. Example: All experiments accept as true that the fundamental laws of nature are always the same regardless of time or place.
A tendency to see the world in a certain way even if the evidence does not support your views. It can be negative (prejudice, stereotypes) or positive (rose-colored lens). It can lead to experimental design flaws or faulty conclusions that incorrectly support the experimenter’s pre-conceived view of the world.
Occurring at a particular frequency due only to the inherent qualities of the phenomenon. Example - flipping a coin. Only the nature of the coin and the toss determines the frequency of getting heads or tails (unless you cheat).
A graphic representation of data. Usually refers to graphs, sometimes also tables, maps, etc.
Chemical Indicators
Most commonly, substances that change color to show the presence or absence of a target chemical. Other ways they "show" the presence of other substances are by producing gases (bubbles), or turning cloudy (forming a precipitate). Example: Iodine shows the presence of starch by changing color.
A method of separating the colors in a mixture based on the different weights of the molecules that make up the different pigments in the mixture.
The parts of a system or complex structure, living or otherwise.
In science, ideas or models of how some aspect of the world is structured or how it functions. Theories, laws, hypotheses are examples.
The logical interpretation of the results of a test or experiment - In science, it expresses either support or rejection of the hypothesis.
A general agreement among scientists about the validity of a particular scientific concept. Does not imply universal agreement.
Control group
In an experiment, the group of samples or subjects that receives no treatment or standard treatment or a placebo.
Controlled experiment
One way of testing a hypothesis. Involves setting up a situation where only one variable is manipulated to observe how it affects another variable.
Controlled variables
All the variables, other than the independent variable, that might affect the outcome of the experiment and are therefore kept the same among the different groups in the experiment. Also known as "constants."
Standard, typical, or customary methods or tools. In contrast to "alternative" or "experimental" approaches.
The observations, usually numerical, collected during an experiment and typically organized in a table.
Data table
A chart with columns and rows for collecting and organizing observations, measurements, etc.
Dependent variable
The variable that is expected to change IN RESPONSE to another variable. The experimenter has no direct control over this variable, it changes "automatically" if at all.
Visual representations. Usually 2-dimensional. Drawings, flow-charts, etc.
One of the major areas of science, including Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, and others.
Electronic balance
A device for measuring the mass of an object that gives you a digital reading of the mass.
A way of treating living things, including humans, in an experiment or study that does minimal or no harm, physically, emotionally, financially. In humans this requires informed consent along with guidelines for what is acceptable research even with informed consent.
One way of testing a hypothesis. Involves setting up a controlled situation where a single variable can be manipulated to observe how it affects another variable.
Experimental Group
In an experiment, the group of subjects or samples that are treated with a range of non-standard conditions to see how they respond to those conditions.
Expressed data
The data presented from an experiment or observations. Also refers to how data are presented, in what format, quantitative, qualitative, as percentages, as raw measurements, etc.
Mathematical formulas, more or less, representations of one's ideas in mathematical form. Can also refer more generally to the way an idea is expressed, either mathematically or in words.
The inference of basic rules or universal patterns based on (relatively) limited observations.
Graduated cylinder
A long thin vertical tube with regularly-spaced markings for measuring volume, usually of a liquid.
A visual representation of the major trend or trends in a set of data. Has an X and Y axis on which the independent and dependent variables are plotted.
plural form. Predictions coupled with logical explanations that are tested by observation or experimentation. If the observations (results) match the predictions, then these are supported.
Independent variable
The variable that is being tested in an experiment to determine how (or if) it affects another variable. It is the variable that the experimenter determines or manipulates.
To make a logical statement about a phenomenon - can be a statement about the cause of the phenomenon, a prediction about the effect, or future occurrences, etc.
Produced by human design. Refers to technology, both physical (tools, e.g.) and mental (procedures, e.g.).
A measurement of the size of an object in one dimension of space - head-to-tail, for example. Compare with volume.
The boundaries of what a particular experiment can reasonably conclude. No single experiment can provide absolute, definitive answers to a question.
The use of a curved lens to make objects viewed through it appear larger than they really are.
The measurement of the amount of "stuff" a thing is made of. Usually measured on an electronic or triple beam balance. Determines the weight of an object and often confused with this term.
Strategies for carrying out a scientific study. A detailed description of how an investigation will be set up and what data will be collected.
adjective. Refers to a system of standard measuring units divided by powers of 10. Basic units include the meter and the gram.
Our experiences of the world that register with our 5 senses or tools designed to magnify those 5 senses (microscopes, chemical indicators, etc.).
Peer review
A process in which the work of a scientist (or group of scientists) is subjected to scrutiny (reviewed) by other scientists before their work is published in a scientific journal.
A fancy word for “events” or simply “something that happens” in the world. Examples: Hurricanes. Migration. Etc.
A logical, informed statement about what might happen as a result of an experiment or test or at a particular time in the future.
A detailed plan or suggestion for a study or for the use of a particular strategy or technology to solve a problem.
Using logic to figure out an answer, solve a problem, or plan an action
Sample size
The number of subjects used in an experiment or study. Generally, the larger the better.
A method of determining how the world works using logic combined with observations (evidence) gathered by the 5 senses and or tools designed to extend those 5 senses.
Scientific inquiry
Asking and seeking answers to questions using the scientific method.
adjective. Relating to a particular group of people at a particular time in history (including the present). Commonly refers to norms, values, mores, conditions, needs, resources, capabilities, etc. of those groups.
A collection of people living together as a group in a particular place at a particular time in history, including the present.
An object of study. In biology usually refers to a living thing being studied in a laboratory setting, as opposed to a living thing being studied in the field. Also usually a dead and/or preserved organism or sample of tissue from an organism.
Staining technique
A method of using special dyes or pigments to allow the observation under magnification of structures that are difficult or impossible to see without those dyes. Methylene blue is an example of a dye used in this procedure.
Statistical analysis
Looking at large amounts of data to find trends. patterns, cause & effect relationships, etc. Involves finding the mean, mode, median, and other trends.
In science, a well-supported explanation of some natural phenomenon. Subject to change and revision, but does not become a ”law.” The GOAL of science is to formulate these.
A tool designed to measure the average heat (kinetic energy) produced by an object or substance. Simply: tells you how hot or cold something is.
Triple-beam balance
A tool for measuring the mass of an object or substance by comparing the unknown mass to a known mass.
Unifying theme
A big idea that allows us to make sense of a large and seemingly unrelated number of phenomena. In biology the biggest of these ideas is evolution.
The behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes that are considered important by an individual or society. In science they can be a driving force for research, discourage particular kinds of research, or influence the manner in which research is conducted.
A measurement of the size of an object in 3 dimensions of space - length, width, & height, for example Often defined as the total amount of space an object or substance occupies.