Learning ObjectiveDescribe the difference between accuracy and also precision, and identify sources of error in measurement
Key PointsAccuracy refers to how very closely the measured value of a quantity coincides to that is “true” value.Precision expresses the degree of reproducibility or agreement between repeated measurements.The much more measurements girlfriend make and also the far better the precision, the smaller the error will be.

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Termssystematic errorAn inaccuracy caused by flaws in one instrument.PrecisionAlso dubbed reproducibility or repeatability, the is the level to i beg your pardon repeated dimensions under unchanged conditions show the exact same results.AccuracyThe degree of closeness between measurements of a quantity and that quantity’s really (true) value.

Accuracy and Precision

Accuracy is how close a measurement is to the correct worth for the measurement. The precision the a measurement device is advert to just how close the agreement is in between repeated measurements (which are repetitive under the same conditions). Measurements can be both accurate and also precise, accurate yet not precise, an accurate but no accurate, or neither.

High accuracy, low precisionOn this bullseye, the hits space all close come the center, but none are close to every other; this is an example of accuracy without precision.
Low accuracy, high precisionOn this bullseye, the hits are all close to every other, however not near the center of the bullseye; this is an instance of precision without accuracy.

Precision is periodically separated into:

Repeatability — The variation occurring when all efforts are make to keep conditions consistent by utilizing the same instrument and also operator, and repeating the measurements throughout a quick time period.Reproducibility — The variation emerging using the very same measurement process among different instruments and also operators, and also over much longer time periods.Accuracy and Precision – YouTubeThis is basic to understand development to accuracy and precision.


All dimensions are topic to error, i beg your pardon contributes come the uncertainty of the result. Errors can be classified as person error or technical error. Perhaps you are transferring a tiny volume native one tube to another and also you don’t quite gain the full amount right into the 2nd tube since you flood it: this is human error.

Technical error can be broken down right into two categories: arbitrarily error and systematic error. Random error, as the name implies, take place periodically, through no recognizable pattern. Methodical error occurs when there is a problem with the instrument. Because that example, a scale could be improperly calibrated and also read 0.5 g through nothing top top it. All measurements would thus be overestimated through 0.5 g. Uneven you account because that this in your measurement, your measurement will contain part error.

How carry out accuracy, precision, and also error relate to each other?

The arbitrarily error will be smaller with a an ext accurate tool (measurements are made in finer increments) and with much more repeatability or reproducibility (precision). Consider a usual laboratory experiment in which you must recognize the percent of mountain in a sample that vinegar by observing the volume of sodium hydroxide solution forced to neutralize a offered volume of the vinegar. You bring out the experiment and obtain a value. Just to be on the for sure side, friend repeat the procedure on one more identical sample from the same bottle of vinegar. If you have actually excellent this in the laboratory, friend will know it is highly unlikely that the second trial will yield the same result as the first. In fact, if you operation a number of replicate (that is, identical in every way) trials, you will probably achieve scattered results.

As stated above, the an ext measurements that are taken, the closer we can obtain to learning a quantity’s true value. With multiple dimensions (replicates), we have the right to judge the precision that the results, and also then apply simple statistics come estimate just how close the median value would be to the true value if there was no systematic error in the system. The median deviates native the “true value” less as the number of measurements increases.

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Error and Percent Error – YouTubeHow to calculate error and percent error.

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