Last modified on 12 October 2007, at 02:37

Introduction to Psychology/Scientific method

Scientific Method is a misleading term because there is no single method of science.

A more accurate term would be Scientific Best Practices.

Science is a search for truth about the natural world.

In the past, Science was called Natural Philosophy.

Philosophy is a discipline that humans use to discover truth.

Natural is a word we use to describe anything not made by humans.

So then, Science is the search for truth about nature.

Different scientists use different methods depending on what they study.

The field of science that studies stars and galaxies is called Astronomy. It is not possible for humans to perfrom experiments on stars and galaxies. Chemistry studies how atoms and molecules react to form different molecules. Chemists can experiment directly with the atoms and molecules that they study. Both Astronomy and Chemistry are sciences. But each science uses very different methods to discover the truth about nature.

In general all sciences use two kinds of information to study nature. Observations of natural phenomenon are recorded and are called Data. Ideas that explain observations are called a Hypotheses. Scientists share data, the steps used to collect the data, and their ideas that explain the data. When many people have reproduced a set of observations and think that a particular hypotheses is true, the hypothese may become a Theory.

The open sharing of information has been part of science for hundreds of years. In recent years, some sharing of information has become controlled by greed. Corporations attempt to own scietific discoveries that their employees make.