Scientific Method in Research: Definition and Process

Definition of Scientific Method

The scientific method is a logical technique that individuals can use to accumulate information about themselves, their environment, and what lies beyond that. It is used as an endeavor to clarify why or potentially how things happen. This strategy includes observing the world around us, asking questions, speculating on possible scenarios, opening up an investigation, experimenting with different hypotheses, breaking down the information, and coming up with a conclusion that answers the original questions with reason. 

This is how the scientific method helps us understand the world we live in. It aids in the comprehension of massive concepts using a systematic approach and breaks them down into smaller intelligible notions. The scientific method is all about finding objective answers without any bias since it depends mostly on hypothesis, experiment, then evidence.

Although it is named after a science-related approach, the use of the scientific method is not restricted to scientists. We may also use it in our everyday life to answer our own questions and reach our own conclusions. The scientific method is for anyone who is looking for answers. It can help with even the smallest scales including things like a school research paper or science project.

There is no specific process to the scientific method as those who use constantly change it to fit their situation. It can be morphed into a more helpful tool depending on the givings of any question requiring an answer. The scientific method can also evolve alongside the experiment itself. If any new givings were to arise, then new hypotheses may arise as well. This creates a chain reaction that ultimately leads to flexibility in the method.

But at the end of the day, it aims to uncover the cause and effect relationships between elements of life through raising questions, investigating evidence, and finding a logical deduction.

The process behind the scientific method

  1. Make an observation

The scientific method begins with a raise of an eyebrow. That means that before we can ask questions and make hypotheses, we must first observe a strange phenomenon or notice an intriguing behavior. 

By looking carefully at the world around us, we could find amazing things surrounding us that could fuel some inquiries. Food for thought is everywhere for those who are searching.

    2.Ask questions

Once we have witnessed something that has moved us, we might be inclined to search further into why or how it occurs. Curiosity is in human nature, so we are always scanning, thinking, processing the mechanisms of our world. That’s why it is our nature to ask about what goes on or what moves things to be a certain way.

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    3.Do your research

By this point, you may be slightly confused with an overwhelming number of questions in your mind. What, who, how, when, and why?

A good starting point is to learn more. Maybe you will find the answers you are looking for and maybe you will find more questions. It is important to dig deeper into what is puzzling you in order to form an educated guess on what could explain it. Without proper research, the following steps of the scientific method are weakened and may actually lead to no serious results.

    4.Form a testable theory

A testable theory is a hypothesis. It is basically your thoughts on how to explain or answer your question. It is what you believe could be behind your inquiry. 

However, without your hypothesis being testable, there is no way of knowing if you are right or wrong. So make sure your theory is measurable, preferably with numbers when it comes to mathematical or scientific ones.

    5.Carry out an experiment

It is now time to get serious about the scientific method. You must prove your hypothesis through a series of actions in an experiment.

First, determine the constant element in your experiment which you will measure the way it will be affected. Next, find a variable element to control yourself in order to trigger different reactions in the constant element. Every other element in the experiment must be neutralized as not to affect the results.

Conduct your experiment steps several times to ensure your results are not accidental or inaccurate. Make sure that you only influence the variable during the experiment while keeping all over elements the same.

       6.Analyze results 

After carrying out your experiment multiple times, collect the data resulting, and analyze it to find the answers you need. 

If the data collected matches the hypothesis you have presented then you have reached the desired conclusion. If not, more experiments must be done with altered hypotheses based on the previous one to reach a proper conclusion. Repeating the same process with your new hypothesis could bring you amazing new insights, or it could lead you down a whole new path which you will again have to investigate.

If you are doing a small scale experiment for school or independently, then analyzing your data will not be much of a challenge. Make your conclusion based on the change inflicted on the constant element. You could purchase a research paper to learn online what you should present to your teachers, colleagues, or professors. 

In the case of a professional experiment by experts, some statistics software may be used to come up with accurate conclusions. Since they usually deal with sensitive elements and precise numbers, a computer’s accuracy is critical to ensure real results.

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