A major aim of science is to develop explanations for natural phenomena and events that are supported by evidence. For VCE Psychology students this involves considering the quality of evidence and of explanations that are based upon it so that questions such as ‘Can I rely on the data I have generated when drawing conclusions?’ and ‘Are my investigation results valid?’ are central to any discussion of investigation results prior to formulating a conclusion.
The following section defines important terms. These terms arise from investigations and evaluations of scientific claims presented in the public domain, consistent with the terminology used by scientists but adapted (i.e. simplified without deviation from internationally agreed definitions) for VCE Psychology have been provided below. The main reference source for psychology-specific terminology has been the American Psychological Association’s online Glossary of Psychological Terms .
This is supplemented by the International Vocabulary of Metrology – Basic and General Concepts and Associated Terms, VIM, 3rd edition, JCGM 200:2008 for more generic scientific terminology.