Flash Cards

Thinking Like a Scientist

Term Definition
Ethics the study of principals about what is right and wrong, fair and
Qualitative observation an observation that deals with characteristics that cannot be
expressed in numbers
Observing the process of using one or more of your senses to gather
Evaluating comparing observations and data to reach a conclusion about
Models a representation of a complex object or process, used to help
people understand a concept that they cannot observe directly
Classifying the process of grouping together items that are alike in some
Quantitative observation an observation that deals with a number or amount
Inferring the process of making an inference, an interpretation based on
observations and prior knowledge
Predicting the process of forecasting what will happen in the future
based on past experience or evidence
Science a way of learning about the natural world through observations
and logical reasoning; leads to a body of knowledge
Skepticism an attitude of doubt
Deductive reasoning a way to explain things by starting with a general idea and then applying the
idea to a specific observation
Experimental bias

a mistake in the design of an experiment that makes a particular result more
personal bias

an outlook influenced by a person’s likes and dislikes
Cultural bias a way to explain things by starting with a general idea and then applying the
idea to a specific observation
Objective describes the act of decision-making or drawing conclusions based on
available evidence
Inductive reasoning using specific observations to make generalizations
Subjective describes the influence of personal feelings on a decision or conclusion
Variable a factor that can change in an experiment
Scientific theory a well-tested explanation for a wide range of observations or experimental

a sequence of actions in a system
System a group of parts that work together as a whole
Data facts, figures and other evidence gathered in through
Scientific Law a statement that describes what scientist expect to happen
every time under a particular set of conditions

material, energy, or information that goes into a system

material, energy, result or product that comes out of a system
Feedback output that changes a system or allows the system to adjust
SI version of the metric system used by scientists
for quantitative data
controversy a public disagreement between groups with different views
safety symbols a sign used to alert you to possible sources of accidents in an investigation
field any area outside of the laboratory
Science the ongoing process of discovery in science; the diverse ways in which scientists study the
natural world and propose explanations based on evidence they gather
Manipulated variable the one factor that a scientist changes during an experiment; also called independent variable
Responding variable the factor that changes as a result of changes to the manipulated, or independent, variable in
an experiment; also called dependent variable
Hypothesis a possible explanation for a set of observations or answer to a scientific question; must be
Controlled Experiment an experiment in which only one variable is manipulated at a time

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