There are several benefits, as well as challenges within the experimental lab process. The main reason that we conduct labs is to apply the concepts that we learn in class. Understanding such concepts is one component but exercising them is another. We must be familiarized with both learning and experience in such fields. There are several benefits that come from doing this such as a more developed understanding of the topics learned in lecture and through the text. It is one thing to read about an experiment, and another to experience it first handedly. There are numerous steps involved in creating the experiment. The first is to see, followed by drafting of a question. From there, we must also form our hypothesis and conduct the experiment at hand. Lastly, data must be analyzed, and conclusions drawn.
There are numerous challenges associated with collecting experimental data. One of these include “ensuring a strong empirical basis for models used to fill gaps in the data knowledge “(Lessler, et. al, p. 1, 2015). Basically, what this means is that many gaps occur, basically because they are expensive or difficult to collect. I am certain that this issue has occurred thousands of times. Experiments can be quite costly, and without a sponsor, many individuals cannot afford to conduct them, which makes collecting data difficult. By using your correlated data and comparing it to other similar data, you will be able to see discrepancies or similarities in the data. If the experiment is under similar conditions, there should not be much differences in the results. By comparing these two, one can discover is their data is accurate.
Determining error in experimental data can be somewhat tricky, however, there are mathematical equations as well as statistical ones that can help fight against error. According to the University of Iowa: “The experimental value is your calculated value, and the theoretical value is your known value. A percentage very close to zero means you are very close to your targeted value, which is good. It is always necessary to understand the cause of the error, such as whether it is due to the imprecision of your equipment, your own estimations, or a mistake in your experiment” (University of Iowa, p. 1, 2017). As we can see, there are ways to test our results and determine error.
There are numerous benefits of conducting lab as one may assume. By conducting these experiments, we are able to college wide ranges of data that help us make conclusions to our questions and hypothesis. We also can find cause and effect relationships to what we are studying, which can increasingly help the scientific world in many ways (JRWPsychology,2011). Drawing conclusions from labs is most likely the most significant step. I mean, logically thinking, we are conducting the lab to determine these results.
- JRWPsychology. (2011, October 14). Lab Experiments? The Benefits and the Drawbacks. Retrieved April 23, 2018, from https://jrwpsychology.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/lab- experiments-%E2%80%93-the-benefits-and-the-drawbacks/
- Lessler, J., Edmunds, W. J., Halloran, M. E., Hollingsworth, T. D., & Lloyd, A. L. (2015). Seven challenges for model-driven data collection in experimental and observational studies. Epidemics, 10, 78-82. University of Iowa. (2017). Percent Error Formula | Imaging the Universe. Retrieved April 23, 2018, from http://astro.physics.uiowa.edu/ITU/glossary/percent-error-formula/