Studies in Science

Relationships Used in Scientific Modeling


When we create a model we need to define the relationships between our variables.


Suppose that we wish to create a model that explains the resulting change in the velocity of an object when we change our pushing force and change the mass of the object. During the course of our class we determine that both Force and Mass have an effect on the accleration of an object, as shown below:


Sketch 2
Force Concept Map

We Need to Now Examine the possible relationships that could be assigned

This means that for each variable, Force and Mass in this case, we need to ask ourselves:

  1. Does the acceleration increase or decrease as I change the Force?
  2. Does the acceleration increase or decrease as I change the Mass?
  3. What type of increase or decrease will I have for each variable?
  4. How will I know if I am correct?

An Increase in the force causes
the acceleration to Increase By:

Click on the Graph to interact
and see the Data Points

About The Same - Notice that the
slope of the line is One

Same Slope

A Lot - Notice that the
slope of the line is much greater
than the first graph

 Large Slope

A Little - Notice that the
slope of the line is much flatter
than the first graph

Small Slope

More and More - Notice that the
curve gets steeper and steeper

Increasing Slope

Less and Less - Notice that the
curve gets flatter and flatter

Decreasing Slope


A Decrease in the force causes
the acceleration to Decrease By:

Click on the Graph to interact
and see the Data Points

About The Same - Notice that the
slope of the line is Negative One

Same Slope

A Lot - Notice that the
slope of the line is much more negative
than the first graph

 Large Slope

A Little - Notice that the
slope of the line is a less negative
than the first graph

Small Slope

More and More - Notice that the
curve gets steeper and steeper

Increasing Slope

Less and Less - Notice that the
curve gets flatter and flatter

Decreasing Slope