lect1-S08whatisscience2 (2)

lect1-S08whatisscience2 (2) - What is Science? Lecture 1...

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What is Science? Lecture 1
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Assumption • The goal of science is to make general statements about the universe. • Science aims to reduces all empirically obtained knowledge to several all-encompassing theories
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Scientific Thought Science has been able to achieve its goals due to a specific way of thinking. Science has changed the world in the past 200 years more than the world changed in the previous 2000 years Assumes regularity in nature. Requires honesty in reporting of results. Science would have gotten nowhere if cheating were as prevalent in business as reported in the Wall Street Journal. Has increased knowledge as its only objective. It is non-materialist in nature. Is non-dogmatic and is always open to change. Relies on human curiosity to ask questions to which answers can be obtained by experiment or observation. Utilizes mathematics whenever possible.
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Scientific Method Uniquely Distinguishes Science KEY FEATURE = EMPIRICISM Data gathered by observation Phenomenon is observable and measurable in some way {compare “temperature” with “memory”} 1. OBJECTIVE - individual biases, expectations or goals must not affect measure -measures & outcomes not idiosyncratic to a given observer -data not selectively used to fit pre-conceived notion 2. SYSTEMATIC -same method or instrument of measurement applied -predetermined, unbiased scheme of making measurements
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Levels Of Explanation LAW: principle that is repeatedly tested and verified by many experimental findings across all situations intended to explain {the endpoint of experimentation} THEORY: an “interim” explanation --pulls together several observations --organizes information into a unified scheme --should generate novel predictions --predictions should apply to a variety of conditions --predictions are specific; theory is general HYPOTHESIS: a specific prediction about the relationship between two or more variables {what is tested directly in a scientific study}
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Building Scientific Knowledge
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This note was uploaded on 10/26/2010 for the course GS 101 taught by Professor Passer during the Summer '09 term at University of Washington.

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lect1-S08whatisscience2 (2) - What is Science? Lecture 1...

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