Can percent error be negative?


in chem?

i got -4.01%…is this acceptable or should it just be 4.01%?

  • It most certainly can. Negative error means your actual yield is higher than your theoretical yield. This happens mainly because of contamination or weighing errors.

    For example, let’s say you’re trying to create water. If your beaker contains water already, then your actual yield may be more than the theoretical.

  • Definition Of Percent Error

  • Can Percent Error Be Negative

  • Percentage error is usually an absolute value, i.e always positive. A percentage gain can be negative (if it is actually a loss), and a percentage loss can be negative (if it is actually a gain). However if the term “percentage error” is used, to me that would always be positive. That’s because the term gives no indication of what direction deviation would mean positive, and which would mean negative.

  • It’s certainly not wrong, but many teachers ask for the absolute value. And to clarify, negative should only come up when you actually fall short of the theoretical yield, not when you are above it.

  • percent error can be negative it just means your value was less. It really is an absolute value that we are concerned with. % error has its limits when it comes to very small numbers like specific heats.

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    Can percent error be negative?

    in chem? i got -4.01%…is this acceptable or should it just be 4.01%?

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