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Scientific method

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When we refer to the term scientific method many different types of definitions can arise and this happens because in reality, it is a complete term due to its conceptualization , however, it is generally seen as a type of research method with which it is possible to arrive at obtain or elaborate all the knowledge that is related to the field of science and with the acquisition of knowledge through the use of instruments that provide a high level of reliability.

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What is the scientific method?

The scientific method is a means by which knowledge can be obtained through its methodology which consists of carrying out observations , experiments , measurements , analysis, creation of hypotheses and formulations of theories .

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  • What does it consist of
  • Characteristics of the scientific method
  • Source
  • History
  • What is the scientific method for?
  • Elements of the scientific method
  • Beginning
  • Models
  • Steps
  • Importance of the scientific method
  • Experiments
  • Other examples

What does it consist of

The scientific method consists of a series of steps that must be followed in order to get to the end , a knowledge of such science . It is an effective means to be able to carry out different investigations guaranteeing a true solution in the end. In summary, we can say that it is the form or process by means of which a proposal is made , the scientific hypothesis is tested and then analyzed .

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Characteristics of the scientific method

Among the main characteristics of the scientific method, the following are mentioned:

  • It is empirical in nature and based on facts .
  • It has empirical type verification .
  • You can correct or adjust the conclusions obtained when necessary.
  • It is based on a series of general formulations .
  • It is totally objective because it is always in search of a factual truth.
  • It always has an explanation for things and for this reason it is considered to have rationality .
  • It is also systematic since all its elements are related to each other.
  • It is therefore analytical to study events in detail.
  • It has precision and clarity .
  • It can be communicated to other people.
  • It is completely methodical .

Source

The origin of the scientific method was born together with Galileo Galilei , an astronomer , mathematician, physicist and philosopher who is considered the precursor of the method. It is considered that the method was born as a need to be able to understand nature, to increase knowledge and well-being. It is considered that its origin began in ancient Egypt hand in hand with the doctors of the time.

History

The development of the different rules to establish scientific reasoning and research has been a very long process and it has not been easy. Throughout history , the method has been the object of study and debate by philosophers and scientists. Many currents focused on debates about the method and in the late 19th and early 20th centuries , the debates focused on realism and antirealism .

With the passage of time, the method was gaining strength and during medieval times, mainly in Europe , many studies were carried out on the process and during modern times, thanks to René Descartes , it was possible to establish the importance of finding the truth in the science.

What is the scientific method for?

This method is widely used in the field of science as part of research processes . It serves to be able to know a specific topic with greater certainty and to produce accurate knowledge . It is the ideal means by means of which a hypothesis or idea can be affirmed and later obtain tests and verifications about how things are produced.

It also serves to organize all the ideas that can be demonstrated by means of an experimental method to later be able to test the established theories . It is also very functional to be able to find solutions to the different problems related to the human being seen from the social, health and economic point of view.

It is a method widely used in daily life as a form of reasoning that is used mainly to answer a series of questions that arise every day. It is the way in which a problem is posed and then a solution is sought to achieve a result that is considered satisfactory.

Elements of the scientific method

The elements that are part of the scientific method are the following:

  • Questions : they are proposed during the first step of the method and can be open or specific.
  • Research : consists of finding evidence on everything related to what is being investigated.
  • Hypothesis : that tell us what is being studied or looking for.
  • Experimentation : process used to determine whether the hypothesis is valid or not.
  • Analysis : this part is done after the experiment is concluded and all the results obtained are written in it.
  • Conclusions : if the hypothesis is correct and if the answer that had been raised is answered thanks to the analysis of the results obtained, then the conclusions can be drawn.

Beginning

There are two fundamental principles that the scientific method has, these are:

  • Reproducibility : it is the ability to repeat an experiment in a controlled environment and to achieve the same results so that the scientific statement can be verified by the scientific community.
  • Refutability : this principle is the one that establishes that the scientific statements that are supported in an experiment can be refuted by means of an experimental counterexample that manages to highlight the non-universality of the theory.

Models

The first model of scientific method is known as the inductive experimental method , this is the one that is most used and is learned from childhood where an observation is usually made through the senses which send impulses to the brain where it is achieved form a picture of the world. In this case, the induced law must be tested and must always be fulfilled in order to confirm the hypothesis .

The second model is known as the theoretical or deductive method and was widely used by Einstein. It starts with a theory and axioms or definitions in order to obtain results. This is a theoretical model from its starting point but it is also experimental when validated. It is less used than inductive and basically consists of being able to extract or deduce consequences from a certain principle or assumption .

Steps

There are several steps that must be followed to correctly apply the scientific method. These steps are explained below:

  • Observation : it is the first step of the scientific method and consists of the collection of facts related to the object of study. Its main function then is to find all kinds of information using the sense of sight. Without proper observation, the correct analysis of the information would not be possible.
  • Statement of the problem : the person who applies the method must address the problem in this step because from this, the unknowns will arise about what should be done and how the desired results can be obtained.
  • Hypothesis : it is an anticipated response that is formulated as a consequence of a possible solution to the problem that arises, however, this must be subsequently verified through experimentation.
  • Experimentation : they are a series of laboratory experiments that can be carried out under a series of special conditions. It has the ability to add or eliminate variables that influence the research process in order to verify the hypotheses that have been previously raised.
  • Conclusions : after having carried out the previous steps and having collected all the data, it is possible to determine if the hypothesis was true or missing in order to issue a conclusion and a theory.

Importance of the scientific method

The scientific method is one of the most important means of collecting data , providing information and using knowledge to solve problems. In the field of social sciences it is very important because it is the ideal means to conduct various investigations that can provide results of such objectives and valid .

Experiments

An example of an experiment using the scientific method is as follows:

A scientist many years ago did a study on smallpox, which is deadly to humans but, when it occurs in livestock, is harmless and easy to cure. In the observation, the scientist considers that there is immunity from contagion by cattle and creates the hypothesis that ensures that the contagion of smallpox from cattle has the ability to create immunity in humans.

At the time this experiment was carried out, the scientist used a type of experimentation that at present would not be accepted since he took material from the sore of a cow wound and applied it to the arm of a child. The boy became ill with smallpox, however, he was able to fully recover within a few days. He then reapplied infected material to the child’s arm and it was not observed that there was any type of disease or contagion. He was finally able to confirm his hypothesis.

Other examples

Other examples of the scientific method are as follows:

  • computer that does not work properly is the problem, the observation is based on seeing that the machine turns itself off and opens pages that have not been requested. The hypothesis that is formulated is the presence of a virus, the prediction indicates that if an antivirus is acquired the problem will be solved and the experimentation consists of installing the antivirus on the computer and verifying if it works properly. The result is based on the fact that the antivirus managed to eliminate the virus and put the machine back into operation.

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