Observation Inference Presentation [Compatibility Mode]

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Observation Inference Presentation [Compatibility Mode]

  1. 1. Observation & Inference In Understanding History The “What” compared to the “Why”
  2. 2. What is Observation? • Observation is the act of looking at a particular object, text, or individual and making an assumption. • We make observations using our 5 senses: – Sight – Smell – Sound – Taste – Touch • Observations can be qualitative or quantitative
  3. 3. Qualitative Observation • These are a description of what we see • Qualitative=Quality (or how something appears) Qualitative=Quality • Example: The bowl is red • Example: It feels like a newspaper
  4. 4. Quantitative Observation • These are the number of items we observe • Quantitative=Quantity (number) Quantitative=Quantity • Example: The red bowl has three yellow stripes around it. • Example: The paper item has six columns on the front.
  5. 5. Inferences? • An inference explains your observation • An inference is based on prior or background knowledge • “Observations are information we gather directly through our five senses…inferences help explain those observations!”
  6. 6. Examples of Inference… • Observation: The floor in the doorway of class is wet. • Possible Inferences: – There is a leak from the ceiling – Someone spilled water – The janitor is preparing to scrub the floor • These are all possible explanations as to why the floor is wet. We know that ceilings sometimes leak, people spill water, and water and soap are used to scrub floors
  7. 7. A Couple Historical Examples • What can we observe? • It is a gun: – Barrel – Trigger – Hammer • It looks old: – Made of wood – No place for bullets to load – Has some kind of rock on the hammer
  8. 8. A Couple Historical Examples…Cont’d. • What can we infer? – Most modern pistols are not made of wood – Most modern pistols have a clear location for loading bullets – Modern pistols DON’T have a rock on the hammer • We can then use inference to tell us that this is definitely an old weapon that uses a rock and metal in its operation
  9. 9. A Couple of Historical Examples…Cont’d. • Now, using text, what can we observe? – Looks like music – Has two dates (1763-1816) (1763- – Talks about dying and eternity
  10. 10. A Couple of Historical Examples…Cont’d. • What can we infer? – Belongs to an old tradition – Is meant to be sung – Used as part of a religious exercise or ceremony

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