The Scientific Method

I can’t say that I’m new to the scientific method, however I cannot say that I am all too familiar with it either. Except for the 2 mandatory science fairs I competed in in 6th and 7th grade I can’t say that I really used it much at all. I always held that the scientific method had 5 steps: hypothesize, test, observe, analyze, and conclude. I also believed that this method would only work on things held in the scientific field. So only biological, chemical, or physical science could fit in this form of experimentation. I even thought it ironic to have the social sciences be called sciences because that was a stretch in my book.

Be that as it may, I have to say that the readings on the scientific argument provided a compelling argument. There are several instances of problem solving that could easily fall under the scientific method and I’m sure we all use the scientific method much more than we would have noticed. The computer example is a prime way that the scientific method can be used in every day occurrences, as well as for different purposes.

The most interesting thing I pulled out of these articles was how the scientific method could be adapted to more than just the traditional idea of sciences. You can diagnose a computer, car, TV, or a Spider Card issue using this method. More importantly the scientific method is a solid building block to be adapted and advanced to theorize in psychology, sociology, and even politics. The last article shows how marketing is even going to adapt the scientific method to test ideas and the difficulties that adaptation will bring. Unlike with the traditional sciences, there is no way to test something that exist within laws that are present in the traditional sciences in something like the social sciences. This is what makes the scientific method become interesting. The adaptations to take into account the possible oddities that will occur in other sciences are some of the most profound advancements in the respective fields. It has given us a way to say X happens because of Y or lack of Y etc. It gave something that had arbitrary meaning a quantitative meaning that you and I could read on paper.

2 responses to “The Scientific Method

  1. I’m with you in that I never really gave much thought to the scientific method independent of the scope of the hard sciences. Not only has Tuesday’s reading made me more aware of the practical implications of the scientific method within the social sciences, but it has also led me to realize just how prevalent the model is in my everyday problem solving. While I seldom implicitly diagnose problems with research questions or hypotheses, I find myself falling into the same methods of induction and deduction which were detailed within the readings.

  2. Kyle, I think your points are very valid in this post. I would also like to question, if the scientific method can be adapted to many things, how do we incorporate the instances mentioned in the articles about things like luck and serendipity? How are we every able to fully apply the scientific method when elements such as these are bound to occur? As well, I agree that every day we apply the scientific method to many things. However, I believe it is important to note that the majority of the time, this application is subconscious. Even when doing something such as a biology experiment, I personally doubt that an experimenter writes out all the steps of the method and analyzes them. I believe the scientific method has become so regular in our every day lives that we are often unaware of when we are using it.

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