The Scientific Method
The Scientific Method
All sciences utilize the scientific method to collect data to answer questions and solve problems. The scientific method is a systematic approach to gathering and analyzing information and serves as an organized way to conduct research. Psychologists utilize the scientific method to conduct psychological studies that attempt to describe, explain, predict and perhaps influence metal processes or behaviors (Cherry, 2013). While the scientific method does not provide a step-by-step guide to handing every specific circumstance, it does provide general guidelines for scientific data collection (Sonderegger,1998). The scientific method involves formulation of the problem, design of the study, collection of data, analysis of data and drawing conclusions from the data (Sonderegger, 1998). Following the scientific method allows other researchers to replicate or refute the findings of a study.
The first step in the scientific method is to form a testable hypothesis (Cherry, 2013). A hypothesis is a “prediction regarding the outcome of a study involving the relationship between at least two variables” (Jackson 2012). The hypothesis serves as the question that your study is attempting to answer.
The next step in the scientific method is to devise a study and collect data (Cherry, 2013). Once the researchers have decided what question they are trying to answer they must devise an empirically sound way to test their hypothesis. There are a multitude of study designs for researchers to choose from. It is important that the study design is a valid way of collecting data pertaining to the particular hypothesis in question.
After collecting data to test their hypothesis, researchers examine the data and reach conclusions (Cherry, 2013). Data can be statistically scrutinized in a number of ways. It is important to consider the most appropriate measures needed to be used in each study to produce the most accurate and reliable analysis of the data. In many studies, researchers utilize charts and graphs to organize and display the data they have gathered. These serve as valuable tools for other researchers who view their work, and could make the study easier to follow.
The final step in the scientific method is for the researchers to report the findings of their study (Cherry, 2013). It is important for researchers to share the knowledge they gain from their experiments so that others can replicate their studies to either refute or validate their claims. Sharing the finding of research studies helps to further investigation into the field the researchers have chosen to investigate, and can serve as a building block for future studies. The Scientific Method - A Way of Seeking Knowledge and Truth The scientific method serves as a tool to help researchers and scientist analyze the world around them in order to find answers to empirical questions. It is a set of principles and procedures that are used by researchers to develop questions, collect data and reach conclusions.(Sonderegger, 1998). Being able to formulate a question and then collect and test relevant data pertaining to it helps scientists to draw conclusions about the world around them. The scientific method provides these researchers with the studies they need to seek knowledge and truth about the world. The scientific method functions as a valid and reliable testing apparatus for individuals seeking truth and knowledge through empirical means. Studies conducted in this manner can be retested and validated by other researchers, ensuring that the knowledge gained from the data is true.
Even from a Christian worldview, the scientific method stands as a valid method for seeking knowledge and truth. Despite the scientific, not sacred, foundation of the scientific method, it is hard to refute as a valid method of gathering and analyzing data. Empirical methods such as this have been...