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Thursday, September 13, 2012.docx

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Natural Science
NATS 1840
Carol Bigwood

Science, Technology and the Environment (SC NATS 1840A) – Thursday, September 13, 2012 READINGS CHAPTER 19.5, 19.1, 26, 28 (DUE NEXT WEEK) Statistical significance & scientific (un)certainty: The outcome of any measurement is characterised by  Accuracy: How close the outcome is to the ‘true’ value.  Precision: The degree to which repeated measurements yield the same value. Uncertainty in a measurement descries the range within which the ‘true’ value most likely lies. (Example: Podium width= 55.35 cm (estimate) + 0.05 cm + 14% uncertainty Average weight 144.2 pounds + 20 pounds + 8.6% Average weight 144.6 pounds + 12 pounds Lies between 132.2 pounds to 156.2 pounds Statistical Significance: Controlled experiment with N1 subjects and N2 controls (or measurements). Averages differ and have some uncertainty. Is the difference real? Or just the result of random chance? Male vs. Female weight Tuesday: 19 Males, average = 164 pounds + 38 pounds (23%) 39 Females, average = 133 pounds + 23 pounds (17%) Is the difference real? To be statistically significant the difference In the averages must be greater than the error ranges Random fluctuations might mimic a real response in a controlled experiment. Statistical significance ensure by  Conducting experiment with many subjects and controls.  Repeating several times. Repeatability: An experiment should be describable in sufficient detail to allow any independent replication to yield the same o
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