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Ch 1: Basics of Scientific Inquiry

About This Chapter

Allow this chapter to let you think back to early science classes when you learned the basics of scientific inquiry. Review these topics by watching the video lessons and reading the text lessons; then check your retention by answering the quiz questions.

Basics of Scientific Inquiry - Chapter Summary

Brushing up on the basics of scientific inquiry can help you remember important fundamental concepts, like how to create scientific hypotheses, how to put those hypotheses to the test, and the differences between hypotheses and theories. Each of the brief video and text lessons in this chapter have been constructed to help you recall the entire scientific inquiry process, including the following topics:

  • The important relationship between observation and scientific questioning
  • The purpose and function of scientific models
  • The definition of a scientific law and examples
  • Designing experiments with different types of variables
  • Analyzing data and accepting the possibility of experimental error
  • Organizational systems for information, ideas, and concepts
  • Using different kinds of reasoning and reaching logical conclusions
  • Accepted concepts throughout the sciences
  • Scientific discoveries that have led to social changes
  • Comparing scientific and nonscientific research
  • The process of peer review and its purpose

Even if you are a scientific expert, our study materials can still prove valuable. After all, you're probably preparing yourself for an important test, so you want to make sure all the information, even basic information, is fresh in your mind. By using our materials, you can watch short video lessons that discuss the topics above. If you don't want to spend time watching the lessons, you can speed-read through our transcripts to go over major terms and concepts.

A lot of people also use our site for the assessment tools we offer. The lesson quizzes and chapter exams provide challenging, multiple-choice questions. As you work your way through them you can verify how much information you remember and pinpoint the areas which need further study. Additionally, we offer our quiz questions along with answer keys as worksheets you can print for portable use.

17 Lessons in Chapter 1: Basics of Scientific Inquiry
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
How Scientific Observations Lead to Scientific Questioning

1. How Scientific Observations Lead to Scientific Questioning

Scientific observations are a major component of the scientific process because they lead scientists to ask questions about the world around them. These questions may then be refined with continued observation, or they may be tested through experimentation.

Developing a Scientific Hypothesis

2. Developing a Scientific Hypothesis

This video describes how to create a hypothesis and includes the three main things needed to create a strong hypothesis. You'll learn how to make a clear statement that can be both tested and measured.

What is Hypothesis Testing? - Definition, Steps & Examples

3. What is Hypothesis Testing? - Definition, Steps & Examples

A proper hypothesis test consists of four steps. After watching this video lesson, you'll understand how to create a hypothesis test to help you confirm or disprove an assumption.

What is the Scientific Theory? - Definition, Characteristics & Example

4. What is the Scientific Theory? - Definition, Characteristics & Example

In this lesson, you'll learn the definition and characteristics of a scientific theory and understand how theories are formulated. You'll see examples of scientific theories, and after the lesson you can test your knowledge with a brief quiz.

Scientific Models: Definition & Examples

5. Scientific Models: Definition & Examples

What are scientific models and how are they used? Learn about the different types of scientific models, including visual, mathematical, and computer models, and discover some real-life examples of each.

What is a Scientific Law? - Definition & Examples

6. What is a Scientific Law? - Definition & Examples

In this lesson, you will learn about scientific laws. The topic will be defined for you and several types of scientific laws will be described. Finally, examples of scientific laws and theories will be provided to assist you with learning the difference between the two terms.

Experimental Design in Science: Definition & Method

7. Experimental Design in Science: Definition & Method

What are the requirements of a scientific experiment? How do scientists turn hypotheses into theories and laws? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this lesson on the design of scientific experiments.

Research Variables: Dependent, Independent, Control, Extraneous & Moderator

8. Research Variables: Dependent, Independent, Control, Extraneous & Moderator

This lesson explores the terminology of experimental design. What are variables? How do they influence each other? Is it possible that you are seeing connections that don't actually exist?

Identifying Sources of Unavoidable Experimental Error

9. Identifying Sources of Unavoidable Experimental Error

Good data are essential for any experiment. But no matter how hard you try, error in your data is unavoidable. In this lesson, you'll learn about the types of unavoidable experimental error to be on the lookout for and how to reduce their occurrence in your data.

Organizing and Categorizing Ideas, Concepts and Information

10. Organizing and Categorizing Ideas, Concepts and Information

In this lesson, you will learn clear, simple ways to group your ideas together. First, you'll figure out what the paper is about, and then the rest is easy!

Evaluating Data from Scientific Investigation

11. Evaluating Data from Scientific Investigation

After watching this video, you will be able to explain the meaning of the terms 'accuracy' and 'reproducibility,' or precision, as they relate to science experiments. A short quiz will follow.

Inductive vs. Deductive Reasoning: Differences & Examples

12. Inductive vs. Deductive Reasoning: Differences & Examples

This lesson explores the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning in the form of psychological experiments. In addition to defining these terms, the lesson gives examples to explain how this reasoning is applied.

Drawing Logical Conclusions from Experimental Data

13. Drawing Logical Conclusions from Experimental Data

Experimental results are what scientists like to share with each other, but it's important to understand what those data mean. We do this in the final step of the experimental process, when we draw meaningful conclusions from the results we obtained.

Unifying Concepts Common to All Sciences

14. Unifying Concepts Common to All Sciences

After completing this lesson, you will be able to explain what science is and describe some concepts and ideas that are common across all sciences. A short quiz will follow.

How Scientific Discoveries Can Cause People to Change Their Beliefs

15. How Scientific Discoveries Can Cause People to Change Their Beliefs

Personal beliefs are one thing that people hold to very tightly. However, over time, with enough scientific evidence, a critical eye and consistent experiments, science can and does change people's beliefs in ways that simple observations cannot.

Nonscientific and Scientific Research: Definitions and Differences

16. Nonscientific and Scientific Research: Definitions and Differences

Explore the way people 'know' information without using a scientific methodology. Have you ever fallen for nonscientific research and then presented it as fact?

What is Peer Review in Science? - Definition, Process & Examples

17. What is Peer Review in Science? - Definition, Process & Examples

Interested in learning how scientific literature is fact-checked and accepted? In this lesson, you'll learn about the peer review process that happens in science. Examples of the peer review process are included to further your understanding of the lesson.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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