Exploring the Scientific Method in Research


Exploring the Scientific Method in Research

Scientific research relies on the application of the scientific method in research.  This research provides scientific information and theories for the explanation of nature and the properties of the world around us. It makes practical applications possible. Scientific research is funded by public authorities, charitable organizations, and by private groups, including many companies. The scientific method in research refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. A method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical, and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. The scientific method in research consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. The scientific method in research attempts to minimize the influence of bias or prejudice in the experimenter when testing a hypothesis or a theory.

Essential Elements of Scientific Method for Research

Essential elements of the scientific method in research are iterations, recursions, interleaving, and orderings of characterizations, hypotheses, utility function, predictions, and experiments. Characterizations/Operation/ Observations represent the subject of inquiry. Observations can be of structure, color, pattern, measurements with instruments. Hypothesis/model is theoretical, hypothetical explanations of observations and measurements of the subject. A hypothesis is a suggested explanation of a phenomenon, or alternately a reasoned proposal, of the scientific method in research, suggesting a possible correlation between or among a set of phenomena. The utility function is a measure of the usefulness/merits /demerits of the model. Predictions are based on reasoning including logical deduction from the hypothesis or theory. An experiment tests all of the above elements of the scientific method in research.

Generally, research follows a certain structural process in the scientific method in research. Though step order may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher, the following steps are usually part of most formal research, both basic and applied.

 

 

IS THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD IN RESEARCH APPLICABLE UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES?

Exploring the Scientific Method in Research

While the scientific method in research is necessary in developing scientific knowledge, it is also useful in everyday problem­ solving. What do you do when your telephone doesn't work? Is the problem in the handset, the cabling inside your house, or in the workings of the phone company? The process you might go through to solve this problem could involve scientific thinking, and the results might contradict your initial expectations.

Like any good scientist, you may question the range of situations (outside of science) in which the scientific method in research may be applied. From what has been stated above, we determine that the scientific method in research works best in situations where one can isolate the phenomenon of interest, by eliminating or accounting for extraneous factors, and where one can repeatedly test the system under study after making limited, controlled changes in it.

There are, of course, circumstances when one cannot isolate the phenomena or when one cannot repeat the measurement over and over again. In such cases the results may depend in part on the history of a situation. This often occurs in social interactions between people. For example, when a lawyer makes arguments in front of a jury in court, she or he cannot try other approaches by repeating the trial over and over again in front of the same jury. In a new trial, the jury composition will be different. Even the same jury hearing a new set of arguments cannot be expected to forget what they heard before.

COMMUNICATION, COMMUNITY, CULTURE

Frequently the scientific method in research is employed not only by a single person, but also by several people cooperating directly or indirectly. Such cooperation can be regarded as one of the defining elements of a scientific community. Various techniques have been developed to ensure the integrity of that scientific method in research within such an environment.

 

 

 

 

 

Peer Review Evaluation

The Scientific method in research uses a process of peer review, in which scientists' manuscripts are submitted by editors of scientific journals to (usually one to three) fellow (usually anonymous) scientists familiar with the field for evaluation. The referees may or may not recommend publication, publication with suggested modifications, or, sometimes, publication in another journal. This serves to keep the scientific literature free of unscientific or crackpot work, helps to cut down on obvious errors, and generally otherwise improves the quality of the scientific literature prepared through the scientific method in research.

Documentation and Replication

Sometimes experimenters may make systematic errors during their experiments, unconsciously veer from the scientific method in research (pathological science) for various reasons, or, in rare cases, deliberately falsify their results. Consequently, it is a common practice for other scientists to attempt to repeat the experiments in order to duplicate the results, thus further validating the hypothesis.

Hypothesis

Exploring the Scientific Method in Research

It is a limited statement regarding cause and effect in specific situations. It also refers to our state of knowledge before experimental work has been performed and perhaps even before new phenomena have been predicted. A hypothesis is an educated guess, based on observation done for the scientific method in research. Usually, a hypothesis can be supported or refuted through experimentation or more observation. New hypotheses are formed with increasing knowledge in the subject. Generally, a hypothesis is used to make predictions that can be tested by observing the outcome of an experiment. If the outcome is inconsistent with the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is rejected. However, if the outcome is consistent with the hypothesis, the experiment is said to support the hypothesis prepared in the scientific method in research. It might predict the outcome of an experiment in a laboratory setting or the observation of a phenomenon in nature. A common misunderstanding is that by this method a hypothesis can be proven or tested. This careful language is used because researchers recognize that alternative hypotheses may also be consistent with the observations.

 

How are hypotheses written in the scientific method in research? Some examples are:(!) Salt in soil may affect plant growth. (2) Plant growth may be affected by the color of the light. (3) Bacterial growth may be affected by temperature. (4) Ultraviolet light may cause skin cancer. (5) Temperature may cause leaves to change color

Model

In the scientific method in research, the word model is reserved for situations when it is known that the hypothesis has at least limited validity. An often­ cited an example of this is the Bohr model of the atom, in which, in an analogy to the solar system, the electrons are described as moving in circular orbits around the nucleus. This is not an accurate depiction of what an atom "looks like," but the model succeeds in mathematically representing the energies (but not the correct angular momenta) of the quantum states of the electron in the simplest case, the hydrogen atom.

Theory

A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing in the scientific method in research. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. Therefore, theories can be disproven. Basically, if evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, then the hypothesis can become accepted as a good explanation of a phenomenon. One definition of a theory is to say it's an accepted hypothesis. Theories are analytical tools for understanding, explaining, and making predictions about a given subject matter and are important part of the scientific method in research.

Exploring the Scientific Method in Research

Law

A law generalizes a body of observations made in the scientific method in research. At the time it is made, no exceptions have been found to a law. Scientific laws explain things, but they do not describe them. One way to tell a law and a theory apart is to ask if the description gives you the means to explain 'why'. Example: Consider Newton's Law of Gravity. Newton could use this law to predict the behavior of a dropped object, but he couldn't explain why it happened. Newton's laws of motion, Boyle's law, Charles law, Law of land. A Law remains so only as long as it is not refuted by further experimentation.

Principle

In the scientific method in research, a source, or origin; that from which anything proceeds; fundamental substance or energy; primordial substance; ultimate element, or cause; a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct.

Rule

It is a principle or condition that customarily governs behavior; a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct; the duration of a monarch's or government's power in the scientific method in research. Examples: Rules of probability, Rules of the road, British rule.

Concept

Describing a concept in the scientific method in research requires a bit more elaboration than simply naming a principle or topic. An example of a scientific concept in the scientific method in research would be the idea that all matter is composed of atoms, which are themselves composed of smaller particles (protons, neutrons, and electrons) which are further made of fundamental particles, such as quarks; Concept of gene structure; Concept of dominance. These concepts have changed with  new  knowledge  in the  subject.