Corroborating evidence

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Corroborating evidence is evidence that tends to support a proposition that is already supported by some evidence. For example, W, a witness, testifies that she saw X drive his automobile into a green car. Y, another witness, testifies that when he examined X's car later that day he noticed green paint on its fender. Or you can have corroborating evidence related to a certain source such as what makes an author think a certain way.

For more information on this type of reasoning see casuistry.

Another type of corroborating evidence comes from using the Baconian method, i.e. the method of agreement, method of difference, and method of concomitant variations.

These are followed in experimental design. They were codified by Francis Bacon, and developed further by John Stuart Mill and consist of controlling several variables in turn to establish which variables are causally connected. These principles are widely used intuitively in various kinds of proofs, demonstrations and investigations, in addition to being fundamental to experimental design.

In law, corroboration refers to the requirement in some jurisdictions, such as Scotland, that any evidence adduced be backed up by at least one other source.

Corroboration is not needed in certain instances. For example, there are certain statutory exceptions. In the Education (Scotland) Act, it is only necessary to produce a register as proof of lack of attendance. No further evidence is needed.

References

Plutchik, Robert (1983) Foundations of Experimental Research Harper's Experimental Psychology Series.

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