The Scientific Method

The Scientific - Read this document about the SCIENTIFIC METHOD outside of class and keep it as a reference Make sure you read about Experimental

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1 Read this document about the SCIENTIFIC METHOD outside of class and keep it as a reference. Make sure you read about Experimental Protocols at the end of the document. Textbook Reference pages 13-1. First, make an OBSERVATION. A good scientist is observant and notices things in the world around him/herself. (S)He sees, hears, or in some other way notices what’s going on in the world and becomes curious about what’s happening. This can and does include reading and studying what others have done in the past because scientific knowledge is cumulative . Scientific inquiry involves the testing of proposed explanations involving the use of conventional techniques and procedures. In lab, you will devise ways of making observations to test proposed explanations. Below are the major steps involved in testing a proposed explanation (hypothesis). It is important to remember to avoid bias in an experiment. In science, bias means lacking quantifiable data. In science, it is also important to repeat experiments, use a large sample size, and data collection needs to be objective. Ask a QUESTION. The scientist then raises a question about what (s) he sees going on. The question raised must have a “simple,” concrete answer that can be obtained by performing an experiment . For example, “What is causing my sore throat?” could be answered by doing an experiment, but “Why did I have to get a sore throat?” couldn’t really be answered by doing an experiment. Create a HYPOTHESIS. When exposed to an irritant, a sore throat will occur. The independent variable is the irritant, and the dependent variable is the sore throat. A hypothesis is a tentative answer to the question, a testable explanation for what was observed. The scientist tries to explain the cause of what was observed. In a cause and effect relationship, what you observe is the effect, and hypotheses are possible causes. A generalization based on inductive reasoning is not a hypothesis. A hypothesis is not an observation, rather, a tentative explanation for the observation. For example, I might observe the effect that my throat is sore. Then I might form hypotheses as to the cause of that sore throat, possibly a bacterial infection, a viral infection, or screaming too much at a ball game.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course BIOSCI 0050 taught by Professor Carollafarve during the Fall '07 term at Pittsburgh.

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The Scientific - Read this document about the SCIENTIFIC METHOD outside of class and keep it as a reference Make sure you read about Experimental

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