Guidelines: Scientific Process
Main Conceptual Flow 
Subconcepts 
Biological Example: Moth Color 

1. Observe/Question: 
Moths are hard to see when they rest on certain backgrounds; they are cryptic. 

2. Wonder/Speculate/Think: 
I wonder if cryptic coloration of moths hides them from predators. 

3. Generate Biological Hypothesis

Deduction (if....then logic) 
If cryptic coloration hides moths from predation, then number of survivors will be higher for moths with nonaltered coloration than moths with altered coloration. 
4. Determine Experimental Design: A. Independent Variable(s)

Experimentation:
Observation:

Experiment: alter wing coloration (with neon spray paint) = treatment; 
B. Dependent Variable(s)

Categorical variable 
Dependent Variable = count of number of altered and nonaltered moths recaptured and not recaptured 
C. Replicates  Sample size per treatment 
Sample size = 100 moths/treatment 
5. Collect Data:  
6. Analyze Data: A. Create Data File 

B. Calculate Descriptive Statistics  Types of Distributions (Frequency distributions)


Descriptors of Central Tendencies of Distributions


C. Graph Data  Horizontal axis (x, independent variable) Vertical axis (y, dependent variable) Types of graphs


D. Calculate Analytical (Comparative) Statistics  What is question? What is hypothesis? Choice of statistical test 
Difference between distributions ⇒χ^{2} contingency test 
Null H_{o}/Alternate H_{1}

H_{o}: # nonaltered recaptured = # altered recaptured H_{1}: # nonaltered recaptured > # altered recaptured 

Probability/Level of Significance Relate to SD + distributions Type I, II error  α = .05 (p<0.05 of rejecting true H_{o})  
Interpretation of statistical output  n.s. = nonsignificant; p > 0.05 Failure to reject null hypothesis (H_{o})  
7. Reach Conclusion:  Fail to reject H_{o}; Support for H_{1} No proof  No evidence that cyptic coloration hides moths from predators. 
Assumption may have been violated.  Predators may not see altered coloration as well as humans. Need to test that assumption. 