YOU'VE SEEN IT ALREADY
Anyone who has ever read a mystery novel or seen a “whodunit” on TV, has seen the scientific method in action. Anyone who has ever tried to figure out what happens to the refrigerator light when you close the door, or where that other sock goes after you put it in the drier, has used the scientific method.
The scientific method is not a mystical, incomprehensible rite that only “polyester plaid” science nerds use to solve esoteric problems. Instead, it is a logical, organized mechanism for identifying, getting facts, and solving problems.
IT'S JUST PROBLEM SOLVING!
In life, we MUST "solve problems" and "make decisions". So it stands to reason that we must identify and know how to do those effectively. There is no mystery about this and no magic. We just follow the procedures that have already been designed!!!
If we have learned about the mind and how it works, we know that our perceptions, even visual ones, our memories, and our explanations are often inaccurate, simplistic and incorrect, made up, etc. Basically, we "fill in the blanks" through inference and then believe that we have what is accurate and true - we believe a "made-up" version, which we could appropriately call an "illusion."
Consequently, we must, at least where it is important to be accurate and smart,
1. Examine the facts to see what is actually true
2. Use logic and reasoning to further create and test our conclusions.
3. And then, and only then, can we logically, with thinking, create correctly what to do (and then, even after #1 and #2, test to see if actions produce the desired results!)
The alternative is ignorant conclusions that may have some bad consequences!!
You will find that those who do well employ this process, either deliberately or just by "feel", to live a great life. See Living Life As A Life Champion.
In a way, this discussion is kind of a "duh, isn't that obvious" conversation. Doesn't it make sense that we might come to better conclusions by making sure our information is correct and then by using our logic and reasoning? (Duh!)
Nevertheless, people often insist that their "inferences" and "made ups" are accurate and true - even though the scientific method has completely blown them out of the water.
Choosing to re-form our beliefs and conclusions to what is true and accurate is, in fact, the key way to improve our lives and attain the wisdom to be able to fully harvest our lives for true life-effectiveness and true happiness!!!!
THIS IS THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD IN DETAIL
The scientific method is split up into five major steps:
1. Determining the problem or question. - In this step, you (the researcher) must decide what it is that you will be studying. This sounds like a simple "no big deal" procedure, but it is actually very important. It identifies exactly what you wish to learn and it allows you to focus only on that material.
2. Development of a hypothesis. - The hypothesis (= possible theory) is not a just a random W.A.G (Wild @$$#& Guess) to your problem. Instead, the hypothesis is an Educated Guess. In other words, it involves researching the problem and finding out what other people have learned, and using that information to help devise an answer. An important aspect of the hypothesis is that it should answer the original question, and it should be testable!
3. Design an experiment to test the hypothesis. - Design an experiment whose results will either support or disprove your hypothesis. If your hypothesis is supported, then the results of your experiment will indicate that your hypothesis is correct. However, this does not mean that your hypothesis is 100%, beyond a shadow of a doubt, correct. There may be other factors that will influence the results that you haven’t tested. Therefore, it is important to say that the hypothesis is supported, you should never say that it is proven! However, the results of your experiment can prove your hypothesis wrong! - There should be at least two groups in your experiment. The first group is the experimental group. This group is the group that has the factor that is being tested (Experimental Variable). It is easy to identify the experimental variable, since it is usually stated in the hypothesis. The second group is the control group. The control group is identical to the experimental group in every way, except that they lack the experimental variable. (If there were other differences, then they would invalidate the results of the experiment.)
4. Conduct the experiment and collect the data. - Run the experiment that you have so carefully constructed. In this step, you will be measuring the dependent variable. This variable (DO NOT confuse it with the experimental variable) is the thing that is being observed or measured. Any pieces of information that you collect regarding the dependent variable are called DATA.
5. Draw Conclusions from your data. - Here, it is stated directly whether the hypothesis was supported or disproven. - If your hypothesis is supported, it should be repeated, since one of the basic foundations of the scientific method is that it is repeatable. The more an experiment is repeated, the more valid the results are. However, if there is a hypothesis that is supported by many experiments and a lot of data, we call that hypothesis a theory. - The word theory is often misused in everyday language. Theory and hypothesis are not synonyms, a hypothesis is just an educated guess that perhaps has been supported once or twice by an experiment. A theory was once a hypothesis, but is now supported by a lot of data and is accepted as being correct, until new information is discovered to disprove it.
THE WORKSHEET (This would, of course, pair up with the Checklist For Effective Thinking.) Highlight and copy the worksheet below, print it, and print the effective thinking worksheet and use them in your Reminders Notebook or a reference notebook you've set up.
WHAT IS MY OBJECTIVE? (In terms of desired results from making a better conclusion)
WHAT ACTUALLY OCCURRED? (undesired result or realization) that has me looking at this? (Describe the process in objective terms, such as in What Happened?)
WHAT ARE THE "FACTS" AND "LOGIC" IN MY OLD CONCLUSION?
Write out what I "think" with facts I believe are true:
What do I need to learn in order to determine those? Who or what source would help me with my thinking and/or the facts? Who is expert enough and objective enough?
Screening question: "Is it true? Is it absolutely provably true?" (The Truth Test)
Which are inaccurate and what are the new facts that have been determined?
Old "facts" Accurate Facts
What logic or reasoning was incorrect?
Based on the established facts and reasoning, my new conclusion about how things will work to produce my desired result is:
And the appropriate actions are: (add the date on which they are to be done and tickle the dates; this is like a "mini-plan")
Note: When dealing with "unseeables", such as what may be going on in the subconscious, we must create logical inferences (systematic guesses) to explain what the process is - and then, of course, we must test the results to see if the theoretical conclusion is accurate or probably accurate, via "the scientific method"!
This particularly applies to figuring out the implicit beliefs one is operating from and then applying a logical process to them from what else is known or logical. For instance, if one has a huge angry response and one knows that we evolved to have anger so that we could fight or flee from threats, one might logically conclude that there is, in the person's mind, a believed threat of survival - even though it may seem silly to think they think there is a real threat. But the mechanical mind is not always completely logical nor fact-based. (You might read There Is A Purpose Behind Every Belief - Find It And See If It Is Workable.)