# Observational Skills: Observations vs Inferences

Contributed by:
Teaching students how to differentiate between observations and inferences. It is important to understand that observation is something that can be easily seen whereas inference is a guess or idea that needs to be supported by evidence.

1. DOSErTAtORS Se TENE
A test of your observation skills...

Contributions by D. Padilla, D. Johnson, & E. Marconi
For more optical illusions go to:
http://www. 12 3opticalillusions.com/

2.
® Use one or more of the 5
senses to gather information
® A noting and recording of....
® Example: There is one TV in
the room.

3.
© Observations: We use our senses to gather
information about the world around us. There are
two types of observations.

4.
© Color, shape, feel, taste, sound.
® Olivia is wearing a blue sweater.
® The lab tabletop is smooth.
© The dog's fur is shiny.

5.
® Quantitative observation: (quantity) How
many. Will always have a number.
° Based on exact measurement.
® The room is 8 meters across.
® Sarah is 141-cm tall.
° Sam weighs 450 Newtons.

6.

® Assuming something is true based on observations
© Conclusions or deductions based on observations.
© The process of drawing a conclusion from given
°® Observations:
- [hear people screaming
- Ismell cotton candy, popcorn, and hamburgers
- Isee a lot of people
Inference = ?

7.
Making Inferences
® You are at the counter in the office to get a
bus pass signed. You see a student leave the
principal's office crying and upset. We could
make an inference as to why the student is
® Could be in trouble (ISS, OSS, expelled)
® Family problems at home (sick, accident)
® Student not feeling well

8.
Note the Differences
® In laboratory exercises, record
observations NOT inferences
© Inferences may be used when
writing the conclusion in your
lab report.

9. Take a good look at this picture

10.
Question 1
Are there cars parked on the sides of the road?

11.
Question 2
What color is the pickup truck driving in the

12.
Question 3
Any minivans around?

13.
Question 4
What does the blue sign say?

14.
Question 5
What's the speed limit?

15.
Question 6
Are there any pedestrians on the road?

16.
17.
Yard Sale
35 mph
ST] Seal ora oa Le

18.
19.

Now what do you think?
Make 2 OBSERVATIONS
Make an INFERENCE

20.
21.

servation vs Inference
® List 3
® List 3 Inferences

22.

~ Observation vs Inference
List 3
List 3 Inferences

23.

List 3 Observations
List 3 Inferences

24.
Observation vs Inference
© On the next slide, state whether the
statement is an observation or an inference.

25.

1. There is a representation of a face on one side
of the coin.
2. The Latin word "Dei" means "God."
3. The coin was made by deeply religious people.
4. The date 1722 is printed on one side of the
5. The coin was made in 1722.
6. The face on the coin is a representation of the
nation's president.

26.

27.

What do you see?

28. This image contains
a picture anda
word. Do you see
both of them?

29.

Look at the chart and say the color, NOT the

YELLOW BLUE ORANGE
BLACK RED GREEN
PURPLE YELLOW RED
ORANGE GREEN BLACK
BLUE RED PURPLE
GREEN BLUE ORANGE
Your right brain tried to say the