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Chapter 1 VocabularyAnecdotal evidenceAn informal observation that has not been systematically tested.Testable Describes a hypothesis that can be supported or rejected by carefully designed experiments or observational studies.Peer ReviewA process in which independent scientific experts read scientific studies before they are published to ensure that the authors have appropriately designed and interpreted the study.FalsifiableDescribes a hypothesis that can be ruled out by data that show that the hypothesis does not explain the observation.ExperimentA carefully designed test, the results of which will either support or rule out a hypothesis.HypothesisA tentative explanation for a scientific observation or question.Experimental groupThe group in an experiment that experiences the experimental intervention or manipulation.ScienceThe process of using observations and experiments to draw conclusions based on evidence.Sample sizeThe number of experimental subjects or the number of times an experiment is repeated. In human studies, sample size is the number of participants.Control groupThe group in an experiment that experiences no experimental intervention or manipulation.Scientific theoryAn explanation of the natural world that is supported by a largebody of evidence and has never been disproved.PlaceboA fake treatment given to control groups to mimic the experience of the experimental groups.Statistical significanceA measure of confidence that the results obtained are "real" and not due to chance.
Placebo effectRandomized clinical trialA controlled medical experiment in which subjects are randomly chosen to receive either an experimental treatment or a standard treatment (or a placebo).*Independent variableThe variable, or factor, being deliberately changed in the experimental group.*Dependent variableThe measured result of an experiment, analyzed in both the experimental and control groups.EpidemiologyThe study of patterns of disease in populations, including risk factors.CorrelationA consistent relationship between two variables.Chapter 2 VocabularyHomeostasisThe maintenance of a relatively stable internal environment, even whenthe external environment changes.Element A chemically pure substance that cannot be chemically broken down; each element is made up of and defined by a single type of atom.ProtonA positively charged subatomic particle in the nucleus of an atom.EnergyThe ability to do work, including building complex molecules.MatterAnything that takes up space and has mass.ElectronA negatively charged subatomic particle with negligible mass.MetabolismAll the chemical reactions taking place in the cells of a living organism that allow it to obtain and use energy.