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AQA Biology lab book terminology


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Accuracy
A measurement result is considered accurate if it is judged to be close to the true value.
Calibration
Marking a scale on a measuring instrument. This involves establishing the relationship between indications of a measuring instrument and standard or reference quantity values
Data
Information
Measurement error
The difference between a measured value and the true value.
Anomalies
These are values in a set of results which are judged not to be part of the variation caused by random uncertainty.
Random error
These cause readings to be spread about the true value
Systematic error
These cause readings to differ from the true value by a consistent amount each time a measurement is made. Sources of systematic error can include the environment
Zero error
Any indication that a measuring system gives a false reading when the true value of a measured quantity is zero
Evidence
Data which has been shown to be valid.
Fair test
A fair test is one in which only the independent variable has been allowed to affect the dependent variable.
Hypothesis
A proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations.
Interval
The quantity between readings
Precision
Precise measurements are ones in which there is very little spread about the mean value. Precision depends only on the extent of random errors – it gives no indication of how close results are to the true value.
Prediction
A prediction is a statement suggesting what will happen in the future
Range
The maximum and minimum values of the independent or dependent variables; important in ensuring that any pattern is detected. For example a range of distances may be quoted as either 'From 10 cm to 50 cm' or 'From 50 cm to 10 cm'
Repeatable
A measurement is repeatable if the original experimenter repeats the investigation using same method and equipment and obtains the same results.
Reproducible
A measurement is reproducible if the investigation is repeated by another person
Resolution
This is the smallest change in the quantity being measured (input) of a measuring instrument that gives a perceptible change in the reading
Sketch graph
A line graph
True value
This is the value that would be obtained in an ideal measurement.
Uncertainty
The interval within which the true value can be expected to lie
Validity
Suitability of the investigative procedure to answer the question being asked. For example
Valid conclusion
A conclusion supported by valid data
Variables
These are physical
Categoric variable
??? variables have values that are labels. Eg names of plants or types of material
Continuous variable
??? variables can have values (called a quantity) that can be given a magnitude either by counting (as in the case of the number of shrimp) or by measurement (eg light intensity
Control variable
A ??? variable is one which may
Dependent variable
The ??? variable is the variable of which the value is measured for each and every change in the independent variable
Independent variable
The ??? variable is the variable for which values are changed or selected by the investigator