Think Like A Scientist - Blazer Fresh | The Scientific Method | GoNoodle
How to Think Like a Scientist
A scientist thinks methodically using a set of principles called the scientific method to solve problems. Thinking like a scientist will help you solve problems more efficiently. It can also help you land better jobs and increase your chances for promotions at work. Everyday decision making, such as where to shop, may benefit from using the scientific method of thinking.
Constructing a Hypothesis
Ask questions.The first step in the scientific method is formulating a question. Make some observation of the world around you, and pose it as a question. You will then use the scientific method to investigate the question and attempt to answer it.
- The scientific method can be applied to all sorts of questions, for example, you could ask “Will I save money if I stop shopping at Store A and buy my groceries at Store B instead?”
Do some background research.It is likely that someone has asked a similar question in the past and gotten some answers. Research your question using the internet, the library, or other records. Even if you do not find an exact answer, you will gain an understanding of the variables that you need to consider in your experiment.
- For example, you might find that someone did a study of the prices of groceries at Store A depending on the time of year. While this doesn’t answer your entire question, it does bring to your attention that you should consider the time of year in your experiment.
Answer those questions with a hypothesis.Once you have a thorough understanding of your question, you will need to develop a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a statement that reflects your educated guess as to what the answer to your question might be. A hypothesis absolutely must be falsifiable, or able to be disproven.
- Start your hypothesis with an educated guess. For example, if you have shopped at Store A and Store B before and you have an instinct that Store B might be cheaper, you could build your hypothesis around that thought.
- A good hypothesis would be “Store B has lower prices than Store A.” A bad hypothesis would be “The prices of Store B are set by invisible magicians that can never be discovered by people.”
Use the hypothesis to make some prediction.Hypotheses are useful because they allow you to predict the outcome of one thing based on your knowledge about it. Then, you can adjust your hypothesis based on whether or not it was disproven. Keep in mind that a hypothesis can never be “proven.”
- For example, your prediction might be “If I shop at Store B, I’ll save money.”
Testing the Hypothesis
Design an experiment.An experiment is a test, or series of tests, to disprove your hypothesis. If the experiment fails to disprove your hypothesis, that means that it may be suitable for making predictions about the question you have posed. If the experiment disproves your hypothesis, it means that the hypothesis does not accurately predict the outcome of the situation.
- You might decide that your experiment will be to shop at Store A and Store B and compare the money you spent at each store.
Carry out the experiment.Once the experiment is laid out, you will need to carry out the steps. It is important not to carry out the experiment with bias. The scientific method does not allow for tweaking the experiment to make the results fit what you want.
- For example, you must commit to buying the same foods at each store for a fair comparison. You should not buy the name brand at Store A, and the off brand at Store B to draw the conclusion that Store B is cheaper.
- In this scenario, the foods serve as your control and the stores are your variables.
Troubleshoot if necessary.Sometimes, experiments do a poor job of testing the hypothesis. When this happens, you have to troubleshoot your experiment. Ask yourself what went wrong, and how can the next experiment address these issues.
- For example, you could compare receipts from each store and think that you are saving per week, but you only notice an extra per week leftover.
- Upon a closer investigation, you realize that you have to buy extra gas each week to get to Store B, and that detracts from your savings. At this point, you would need to redesign your experiment to include gas receipts as well.
Sharing Your Results
Analyze experimental data.Once you have completed your experiment, you will be able to analyze the data. You will either find trends that are consistent with your hypothesis, inconsistent with your hypothesis, or no trend at all. Inconsistent trends, or no trends, will disprove your hypothesis.
- Looking at the receipts from each store would allow you to analyze how money was spent during the experiment.
- If your hypothesis constantly makes accurate predictions, it may become a theory.
Make conclusions based on the data.The data and trends will allow you to draw conclusions about your hypothesis. Sometimes, this will be easiest to express in words, and other times it is more suitable to use graphs or charts to summarize your conclusions. Either way, it is important to keep in mind that even if your hypothesis gave predictions consistent with this experiment, it is still a falsifiable hypothesis.
- You could summarize the conclusions of your shopping experiment by entering the totals you spent at each store into a spreadsheet and generating a graph from the data. This would make it easy to see if Store A or Store B saved you money.
Replicate the experiment.For an experiment or a result to be scientific in nature, it must be replicable. You, or someone else, must be able to reproduce the same results each time you do the experiment. If your results cannot be replicated, then your hypothesis is not supported.
- If you go to the Store B and save money one time, but do not save money consistently when going to Store B, your results are not replicable.
QuestionHow do I become a scientist?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerChoose a field of science that you would like to study. Then gain skills, and preferably a degree, in that area.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I be clear about my hypothesis?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerA hypothesis is a scientific guess based on background knowledge. It is in an "If _____, then _____" statement. Make sure your "if" is your independent variable, and your "then" is what you think will happen in reaction to your "if."Thanks!
I love science so much and I want to be a scientist and I study my books but how can I practice
I love science and I want to become a chemist how can I practice at home?
To think like a scientist, start by defining the question you want to answer or the problem you want to solve. Next, do some background research to familiarize yourself with the data and use that knowledge to form a hypothesis, which is a statement that reflects your educated guess about the question or problem. Then, design and conduct a series of tests to prove or disprove your hypothesis. Finally, collect and analyze the information you gathered from each experiment and use it to draw your conclusions!
- Instead of formal notes, try blogging or a journal online to follow your journey of thinking like a scientist.
- Continually test your guesses. Scientists perform continual tests on their hypothesis, because sometimes not all variables can be covered in one round. New situations come up and, when they do, be prepared by testing again and again.
Video: How to think like a scientist | Quin Patton | [email protected]
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