of the Scientific Method
1. Make Observations
- Collect original data by observing a specific event (an aspect of
nature that begs an explanation).
a. Identify variables
b. Think about a cause and effect relationship between variables.
2. Form hypothesis
- Work from the original observations to develop a general
explanation for all similar phenomena
a. a hypothesis is a tentative or
provisional explanation of observations
b. It must be a testable, falsifiable statement
3. Test hypothesis /
- Ask: "Does this
tentative explanation explain all other similar cases?"
a. Identify test predictions (specific
things that must be true if the hypothesis is not false.)
b. Set up experiment testing predictions which will result in new
c. Collect data from experiment
4. Use data to evaluate hypothesis
a. If the data do not support the
hypothesis the hypothesis is
rejected as false.
b. If the data
support the hypothesis the hypothesis may be accepted as not
5. Revise hypothesis if necessary
- If the data do not support the hypothesis, go back to Step 2 and
6. Publication and replication
- Publish in a peer-reviewed journal.
a. Hypotheses re-evaluated by new
b. Hypotheses are re-evaluated repeatedly as new data become available
- Evaluation by peers can result in formation of alternative
hypotheses, bring to light
other cases that do not support the hypothesis, or identify bias,
error, or dishonesty,