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What Is Error?

Overview of the six general sources of experimental error (grade 6-8)
by

Jon Bahr

on 8 October 2014

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Transcript of What Is Error?

What is Error?
Results
Notes
San Francisco
Budapest
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
(cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr
(cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr
Stockholm
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
1. Experimental Design Error
2. Operator Error
3. Observation Error
4. Recording Error
5. Calculation Error
6. Measuring Tool Error
Defined as a mistake in...
perception
measurement
process
... caused by human error.
If errors are in the data or results of an experiment, the result is
inaccurate conclusions!
Since most data is numerical, or quantitative, error is usually defined as the difference between the actual value and the measured value.

Example:
Actual = 5.0 grams,
Measured = 3.0 grams
Error = 2.0 grams, or 40% error!
Errerz in teh ritten proceederz.
Thiz culd inclood...
failing to properly control variables
leaving out steps in the procedure
not listing important materials
not writing the procedure clearly
etc... etc...!
Errors made by people performing the experiment incorrectly.
There are a lot of these errors!
Error caused by humans not reading scales or data correctly...
....or by seeing things that don't actually happen the way one thinks!
There are 6 types of error
Error caused by humans not recording data correctly
OR devices not recording correctly.
Errors caused by using a calculator wrong...
or by doing the math wrong in your head!

2.4 + 2.4 = 5.3!
Right?
Wrong!!!
This error occurs by a human not using the correct tool.
Or an imprecise tool.
Or a broken tool!
Be sure to address errors in your conclusion.

Errors are usually the result of
uncontrolled variables
affecting an experiment.

You should always think about:
What type of errors were present in this experiment?
Why did you have this error?
How did this error affect your data?
How could you improve your experiment in the future?
Adapted from Schmied - goscienceseven.com
e.g. using a foot-long ruler when you need a meter stick
For example:
Using a metric ruler when
a meter stick should be used
...and that's all Folks!
Full transcript