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SueM How Sci Works

How Science Works Key Words

A fair test An investigation or experiment where only the independent variable has been allowed to affect the dependent variable. This means only changing one variable and keeping everything else the same.
Independent variable The variable that you change to see what happens.
Dependent variable The variable that you measure to see how it has changed.
Controlled variable A variable which might affect the Dependent variable. It must be kept constant to make sure that the only thing affecting the Dependent variable is the Independent variable.
Continuous variables Variables that can have any numerical value. You should use a line graph to show this type of data.
Discrete variables Variables that are described by specific numbers. You should use a bar chart to show this type of data
Categoric variables Variables that are described by labels. You should use a bar chart to show this type of data.
Ordered variables Variables that are put in order but not measured. You should use a list to show this type of data.
Accuracy How close a measurement is to its true value.
Precision How small a measurement is. Millimetres are more precise than centimetres because they are smaller.
Reliability If someone else can repeat your measurements and get the same results then your results are reliable. Carrying out repeat measurements checks the reliability of your results.
Validity Your results must be valid if you are going to be able to draw a conclusion from them. To get valid results you need to carry out a fair test.
Random errors Errors caused by factors we can’t control, like tiny temperature changes in a room. They can also happen if you make a mistake – like pushing the stopwatch button too early.
Systematic errors Errors caused by inaccurate equipment, equipment that doesn’t zero properly or by problems with a method.
Created by: suemcmonagle