2005_campbl01c

2005_campbl01c - Chapter 1c: Exploring Life (section 1.5,...

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Chapter 1c: Exploring Life (section 1.5, first lab)
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Experimentation Asking Good Questions Forming Hypotheses Testing Hypotheses As you can see by our continued emphasis of this third section on “testing hypotheses,” a great deal of a scientist’s time is spent hypothesis testing rather than hypothesis making This is why the caricature of scientists is a person in a lab coat working at a bench
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Experimentation Asking Good Questions Forming Hypotheses Testing Hypotheses As you can see by our continued emphasis of this third section on “testing hypotheses,” a great deal of a scientist’s time is spent hypothesis testing rather than hypothesis making. This is why the caricature of scientists is a person in a lab coat working at a bench. "The most creative aspect of science is designing a test of your hypothesis that will provide unambiguous evidence to falsify or support a particular explanation… …Scientists often design, critique, and modify a variety of experiments and other tests before they commit the time and resources to perform a single experiment."
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Experimentation
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Variables To understand how to successful perform experiments, one must understand how to successfully handle (and describe) variables A poorly run experiment often is as much a consequence of poor technique as a consequence of failure to properly identify and control variables We can divide variables into three general types: Independent Variables Dependent Variables Controlled Variables Your goal will be to distinguish between and otherwise not confuse these three variable types
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Dependent Variable Within an experiment, the dependent variable is that which is being measured, the variable that you hypothesize will change as a function of change in one or more independent variables Very often varying an independent variable will result in more than one measurable change in the system Consequently, it is routine for an experiment to have more than one possible dependent variable , though doing so will often increase the size and complexity of an experiment
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Employing Dependent Variables If we were determining the effect of sunshine on plant growth, then some measure of plant growth would represent the dependent variable The hypothesis in this case may have been something to the effect of, “Exposure to sunshine causes plants to grow.“ Note that in order for this to be an effective experiment, the dependent variable must be measurable, the more precisely the better This need for measurability is what makes the "supernatural" off limits to science since the supernatural, by definition, is not a measurable quantity
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Independent Variable The independent variable is that measure that is being purposefully varied in the course of an experiment to test whether such variation results in a change in the dependent variables For example, if we were determining the effect
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This note was uploaded on 06/03/2011 for the course BIO 113 taught by Professor Swenson during the Spring '08 term at Ohio State.

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2005_campbl01c - Chapter 1c: Exploring Life (section 1.5,...

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