The Scientific Method The scientific method is a systematic, organized series of steps that ensures maximum objectivity and consistency in researching a problem (Schaefer and Lamm, 1992:35). The following are some components of the scientific method. A. Test Ideas Don't take assumptions for granted. Don't rely on common sense. Don't rely on traditional authority figures. B. Evidence must Be Observable Evidence should be observable because other Sociologists might want to perform the same study in order to verify or refute findings. 1. Social Facts Henslin (1999:16) notes that Durkheim stressed social facts. He calls them "patterns of behavior that characterize a social group." Appelbaum & Chambliss (1997:12) defines social facts as "qualities of groups that are external to individual members yet constrain their thinking and behavior." For example, one may display a particular behavior when with friends, but feel constrained to act differently when in a more formal setting. The
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