Corroborate

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Etymology

Latin corroboratus, past participle of corroborare, from com- + robor-, robur strength

Definition

Description

Corroborating evidence 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.

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 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.

References

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