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Module 5: Examining the Evidence flashcards |

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  • Sources of Evidence

    Analogy, intuition, personal observation, appeal to authority, case example, testimonial, survey/questionnaire, research study, and personal experience.


    Drawing a comparison between two things in order to show a meaningful resemblance between them. It implies that if two things are alike in one respect, they will be alike in other respects.


    A hunch, "gut feeling," or premonition.

    Personal Observation

    What we seen first hand.

    Appeal to Authority

    Justifying a position by citing an expert or authority who supports it.

    Case Example

    A detailed account of a person or event; a striking or dramatic anecdote.


    An account of someone else's personal experience.


    A research method or instrument for measuring people's attitudes or beliefs.

    Research Study

    A systematic set of observations collected through scientific methods.

    Personal Experience

    What we experience; what we ourselves do or go through.

    Quantitative Evidence

    Evidence that quantifies an observation or phenomenon. Evidence that is often expressed as a number or empirical measure. This is generally the outcome of scientific methods. This type of evidence is concerned with determining causation.

    Qualitative Evidence

    Evidence that describes or recounts an observation or phenomenon. Evidence that communicates understanding and meaning -- the why and how something happened. This is usually derived from participant observation and personal communications. It is the result of unstructured or unscientific gathering of information.

    Dependable Evidence Traits

    Believable, objective, sufficient, relevant, from reputable sources, free of bias, independently verifiable, logically sound, and internally consistent.

    Dependable Evidence

    A direct function of the quality of evidence supporting it. The dependability of a particular claim of causation is inversely related to the number of plausible rival causes.

    Rival Clause

    A plausible alternative explanation for why a certain outcome happened. These show that more than one credible explanation may be the cause.

    Faulty Analogy

    An analogy in which there are important relevant dissimilarities between the two things being compared.


    Based on or derived from practical experimentation and direct observation.

    Research Sampling

    The process of selecting events or people to study.

    Neglect of a Common Cause

    The failure to recognize that two events may be related through the effects of a common third factor.

    Factual Claims

    Beliefs about the way the world is, was, or will be whose credibility depends on the quality of evidence offered to support them.


    Information that is provided to support the dependability of a factual claim.

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