What is Scientific Method? ‘“ An Introduction
Scientists use scientific method as way or process of constructing a precise representation of the world, which is reliable, non- subjective and consistent. Scientific method is used by scientist to develop a theory. Scientific method minimizes the influences of human’s personal and cultural beliefs thus preventing errors in formulating theories. In short, scientific method removes the prejudice in any experiments when testing hypothesis or any theory.
Through scientific method, scientists were able to establish principles that direct scientific research and carrying out tests. Scientists practice the method within a framework of scientific thinking, which is based on empirical evidences, practical logical reasoning, and being skeptical.
The scientific method uses five steps.
Observation – The first step is the examination and explanation of a phenomenon or group of phenomena. This is where scientific method begins and it may also be called as the ‘research’ phase. This is where you will decide what problem to solve. The research materials will be the starting point of your experiments therefore you will need to have many reliable sources.
Hypothesis ‘“ This is the step when an experimenter formulates a tentative description of a phenomenon. It is something that is consistent with what the experimenter observed. Hypothesis may also mean a possible solution to a problem. It can also be an outcome that you think will be the result of your experiment. However, hypothesis must always be based on knowledge and research and not on your own bias. Hypothesis is just a general statement of an outcome.
Prediction ‘“ By using the hypothesis, the experimenter can predict the existence of other phenomena. As mentioned earlier, hypothesis is a general statement. However, prediction is different in a way that you will need to get more specific about an outcome. This phase will tell you how to demonstrate that your hypothesis is true. There will be times that your prediction will be incorrect. However, this does not mean you failed the experiment. Failure to prove your prediction is just a new window that brings out new facts to light.
Experiment ‘“ This is where proper performance of experiments is performed. In this step, several experiments are performed by different experimenters. This is also the part of the scientific method where the hypothesis is put to the test. During the experiment, you design it as a tool to find out if your ideas about a problem is right or wrong. Scientists agree that the experiment is the most important part of the scientific method. Sometimes they call it the logical process to learn about the world.
Conclusion ‘“ This step compares the result of several experiments against theoretical predictions. Differences are attempted by experimenters to reconcile. Actually, this is the summary of the results of your experimentation. You will be asking yourself if your hypothesis match the results of the experimentation.
For your conclusion, you may either reject or accept your hypothesis. However, the important point is that you cannot accept that your hypothesis is true unless you do several unbiased experiments. Remember hypothesis not matching your result is not a failure. Instead, try to explain why the hypothesis did not match the results of the experimentation.