Qualitative and Quantitative Observations

Observations • An observation is made when you use your 5 senses to take in information about your surroundings • Types of observations: – Qualitative – Quantitative

Qualitative Observations • Observations about: – How something looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes – Does NOT involve numbers or quantities • Example: I observe that the fish is pink and orange with white spots

Quantitative Observations • Observations that are about numbers or quantity • Example: I observe that there are 3 kittens in the box

Qualitative or Quantitative? • Try to decide if the following observations are qualitative or quantitative: 1. 2. 3. 4. There are 10 students in the classroom The room smells like popcorn There are 5 mice in the cage The dog’s eyes are blue

Solutions: 1. There are 10 students in the classroom: Quantitative: involves numbers 2. The room smells like popcorn Qualitative 3. There are 5 mice in the cage Quantitative: involves numbers 4. The dog’s eyes are blue Qualitative

Observations can be BOTH! 1. There are 10 students in the classroom that are male and 12 that are female. 2. The 4 rooms in the house smells like buttered popcorn 3. There are 5 brown, baby mice in the metal cage. 4. The Huskie’s 1 eye is blue and the other eye is brown. • These types of observations will often lead to the best scientific questions!!