Advantages of scientific method

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  • Created by: gracepxx
  • Created on: 16-04-16 11:23


Scientific method comes in 2 forms - inductive and deductive

Inductive leads to development of hypothesis immediately after observation which may eventually be used to construct theory

Deductive model places theory construction at begining of process

Scientific model uses empirical evidence to establish fact

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P1 - Empirical evidence

Empirical evidence collected

Data often gathered through first hand observation or carrying out research yourself

This is instead of basing knowledge on reasoned argument or other people's theories, so scientific method is largely factual

+ as only way we know hypothesis to be true is through empirical evidence

Example - only way to know if drug reduced anxiety would be to test it and collect evidence 

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P2 - Falsifiable

Method is falsifiable - allows us to reject null hypothesis 

One issue with Freud (1917) theory of psychoanalysis - it was unfalsifiable 

If man stated he didn't have repressed homosexual tendancies then it could be argued that they actually do but because repressed they are unaware

Validity of scientific method  is important if it is to be used in treatment so we aim to be able to falsify null hypothesis and accept the alternative

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P3 - Objective

Method objective - none of the research is effected by expectation 

Without objectivity we can't be certain our data is accurate and valid

E.g - during Gardner and Gardner's study a set criteria was developed to test Washoe against to avoid influence of G & G wanting her to succeed being reflected in results 

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P4 - Replication

Method allows for replication 

Part of making experiment scientific is recording your method and standardising it so it can be easily replicated

Increase validity and reliability if results are the same after repitition - can trust them 

Issue with Milgram (1963) study was it's ecological validity

However, after being repeated, same results found suggesting it was valid

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P5 - High control

Method allows studies to be highly controlled 

Lab experiments mean we can closely monitor extraneous variables 

Allows us to conclude it is the IV impacting DV, demonstrating causal relationship

For this to work, EX variables need to be controlled and this is easiest in artificial settings like lab

Ability to control study is advantageous because without demonstrating causal relationships we don't truly know why what we are observing is happening

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