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# What is the Scientific Method - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

What is the Scientific Method?. 1. Observation : often based on reading about work of others; leads to Question 2. Hypothesis : an educated guess Leads to specific predictions for testing Consider Alternative Hypotheses

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## PowerPoint Slideshow about 'What is the Scientific Method' - ostinmannual

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Presentation Transcript

2. Hypothesis: an educated guess

• Leads to specific predictions for testing

• Consider Alternative Hypotheses

• Null Hypothesis: if able to reject  evidence for hypothesis

3. Gather Data and/or Conduct Experiment:

• Data obtained carefully; quantitative data measured (vs. estimated)

• Experimental Approach

• Manipulation of variable in Treatment Group

• Control Group meant to account for all other potential sources of variation; used for comparison to Treatment Group

4. Interpretation of Results:

• Summary statistics: mean, standard deviation, etc.

• Hypothesis testing (via statistics): can null hypothesis be rejected?

5. Conclusions:

• Suggestions for subsequent studies commonly arise

• Note potential sources of error (ex., accuracy of measurements)

• Not science done badly – An attempt to mimic the authority, credentials of science (to seem scientific)

• Often debatable/contentious if pseudoscience

• “Marks” of pseudoscience

• Refusal to revise, even in light of validated criticisms, admitted errors

• Pre-set agenda; non-objective; ignore results that weaken agenda; search for data that support agenda

• Main arguments based on analogy and/or logically weak

• Selected Examples of Pseudoscience (past and present)

• Spirit photography (when cameras were new and mysterious)

• Crystal power (Sedona, Arizona - a mystical nexus?)

• Anti-cancer craze with shark-cartilage pills (clinical study with large sample size showed no effect on spread of cancers)

• Foot baths for treating autism and removing “toxins”

• Examples from Junk Science (healing transmitted via radio waves, bite-mark expert, nuclear fusion?)