The world is filled with unknown ideas and conceptions waiting to be discovered. Innovations and inventions from the scientific community also emanate from the hidden knowledge in the natural and social science spectra. Yet, the human mind is limited by social misconceptions, biases, and prejudices. Human psychology forces people to reason within the proverbial box of their perceptions, limiting their ability to remain objective and critically analyze observations. As a result, society experiences hindrances to expanding knowledge and wisdom due to the inability to produce reliable and factual conclusions. The “dollow,” or the assumption of smartness, limits the expansion of knowledge. In that case, the scientific method is designed to overcome the prevailing misconceptions, biases, and prejudices that inhibit scientific advancement. It provides standardized approaches for experimentation with a focus on objectivity and result orientation.
What is the importance of scientific method?
The scientific method is a systematic approach to exploration and experimentation through which scientists and researchers assess their understanding of the natural world and conceptions of various phenomena. It requires the explorer to observe issues through an objective lens overcoming intrinsic and extrinsic biases that force laypeople to prioritize and filter information based on existing knowledge. Without the scientific method, people would still argue that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it. Allowing one’s brain to conceptualize issues from an observer’s point of view with no subjectivity can unveil hidden knowledge.
Based on the definition, the scientific method is systematic and objective, implying that the researcher must follow a predefined plan and ignore prevailing knowledge. This assumption also implies that the scientific method is a process that can be replicated and whose results can be generalized to explain natural phenomena. In its most commonly used form, the scientific process has several steps, including observation, problem identification, hypothesis formulation, data collection, analysis, and conclusion development.
The steps in the scientific method
Make an observation
Science is the true quest for knowledge, where an individual sees an opportunity to enhance their field in everyday life. Scientists are keen to understand natural phenomena, taking a deeper look into issues that an ordinary observer would consider normal. For instance, Isaac Newton observed an apple falling from a tree and became interested in the event. This marked the first step in developing the scientific theory that governs research in physics to date.
Ask a question or identify the problem
The next step is developing an interest in the presenting event and seeking to understand it further. It involves asking questions about the phenomenon and identifying missing information. In the Isaac Newton allegory, the question may have been, why did the apple fall instead of rising upwards or moving sideways? Noticing a problem in a natural phenomenon invokes the need to search for answers to this question. A curious mind will attempt to answer the questions with available information, marking the next step of the scientific method.
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Make an educated guess
This is the first step in the problem-solving process. An informed person will try to make educated guesses about the phenomenon they just observed. This step is called hypothesis formulation. In such a case, the scientist tries their best to answer the emerging questions using available and relevant information. However, the scientific method does not stop at potential explanations. Hypothesizing implies developing testable and falsifiable guesses that can be disproved or confirmed through experimentation. Sir Isaac Newton could have guessed that an invisible force pulled the apple towards the ground. This assumption is testable as a researcher can confirm or disprove it using various experiments.
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Test the hypothesis using data
To test the hypothesis, the scientist then formulates an experiment and collects the required data. For instance, one could release an apple from midair to test the assumption that a hidden force must have pulled the original apple towards the ground. The scientist collates data from the experiment by recording the outcomes or observations.
Analyze the findings
The next step is to analyze the findings, comparing the results to existing knowledge and backing them up with proper documentation or records. The findings of a simple experiment must not corroborate the researcher’s assumption or prediction. The scientific method leaves room for contradicting the hypothesis, allowing the experimenter to change their earlier assertions or conduct another test. Result analysis involves critical thinking and comprehension of the arising knowledge.
Make a conclusion
The researcher then makes a conclusion based on the findings. They may also make recommendations if the problem requires solving or share new knowledge about a natural phenomenon. The conclusion is a reasonable explanation of the findings compared to earlier predictions.
What is the importance of scientific method?
Why is scientific method important? The scientific method has been used in experiments in various scientific fields, including physics, chemistry, and biology. Professional scientists rely on the systematic approach to explore the natural world and formulate steps others can replicate. This reliability and general acceptance in the scientific community illustrate the importance of the scientific method.
The importance of the scientific method to scientists
Researchers use the scientific method to analyze their observations and hypotheses. The approach provides a systematic and objective process of analyzing different phenomena. In doing so, the scientific method creates platforms for the scientific community to exchange knowledge and expand their understanding of everyday life. The process helps interpret the psychological underpinnings of human behavior and mental illnesses in psychology. On the other hand, in biology, chemistry, and physics, scientists use the scientific method to explain various concepts about nature.
The scientific method allows researchers to conduct systematic investigations with structured procedures. In that case, current scientists can pass knowledge to the next generation by demonstrating the proven methods of experimentation. Hence, the scientific method helps add to the existing body of knowledge. It also enables the comparison between different approaches eliminating ineffective methods so that people do not repeat others’ mistakes. The strategy is also critical in medicine as medical researchers use it to understand diseases and test treatments. Thus, the scientific method is the primary basis of the scientific search for the truth and the need to solve problems continuously. Instead of seeking to justify assumptions and observations, scientists use this approach to focus on problems from a negative perspective, trying to falsify their hypotheses through experiences and search for alternative concepts. Instead of proving themselves right, they seek to prove their ideas wrong and in the process identify the truth.