Scientific Method by Enzo Mauricio (Staccato)

29 Mar

Science is not defined by what it investigates but how it investigates. As we all know psychology uses science to back up all their claims. But how exactly do they use science? Chapter 2 in psychology talks about the scientific methods in the field of psychology. Like other branches of science psychology also uses the scientific method.

In order for one to use the scientific method one must first have the attitudes to a scientific approach which are: curiosity, skepticism, objectivity and a willingness to think critically. To bring clarity to what those words mean I will further explain.

It is said that being curious is a basic skill on science because curiosity leads to the pursuit of knowledge. Being skeptical is also a basic skill. If one is skeptical then he would question things and not take any answer given. This also leads to the pursuit of knowledge.

Being objective means that one does not just acknowledge his or her own opinion alone but accepts the opinion of others as well. It is true that we gain a lot of knowledge from being subjective but as it is said ” Experience is the most important teacher ” We as a person can only do so much that’s why it is important that we openly accept knowledge form other people who may have experienced what we have not.

And lastly critical thinking means that one would question what other people see as facts. They test the “claims” and see how sound it actually is.

Now that we know the attitudes of the scientific approach we can now move to the scientific method. The scientific method is a method where in you follow a set of steps to organize and draw answers from the problem.

The steps are as follows:

1. Conceptualize the problem

2. Collect research information (data)

3. Experiment (the process to prove or disprove a hypothesis)

4. Analyze data

5. Draw conclusions

Conceptualizing the problem means to see and pick apart the problem. it is to see what the problem really is. From there you see collect the data needed to form a hypothesis on your problem. Once you have your hypothesis you can then perform a experiment to back your hypothesis up. When I say experiment it means a way to gather information to prove or disprove ones hypothesis. I used the word “Experiment” because that is what was thought and is what is most common; it is the general term being used. Once the experiment is complete you can analyze the data taken from the experiment and draw your conclusion. If you are not satisfied with the result it is okay to repeat after all one needs to be skeptic and a critical thinker.

When the word experiment comes to mind I usually think of a laboratory with test tubes and beakers with smoke coming out of them. Experimentation is not limited to such cliché method. We can “experiment” through observation. By doing surveys, interviews, standardized tests, and case studies we are in a way getting information to prove or disprove our hypothesis (experimentation). Of course a experiment should be performed with a moral basis. One should always ask for consent before performing any type of experiment. The information gained through the experiment should be confidential. The subject should know what they got or are getting into. And the ethical issue of not deceiving the subject.

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