Advantages of the scientific method

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Empirical, objective and contolled

  • Empirical data is information that is obtained through direct observation or experiment rather than be reasoned arguments. Advantage because poeple can make claims about the truth about a theory but the only way we know such things to be correct is through empirical evidence. E.g. if people claim a drug works to reduce anxiety, the onyl way to get the truth is to conduct a study experimenting it.
  • Empirical data is objective, i.e. not affected by the expectation of the research. Advantage as without it we would have no way of being certain that the results we collect are valid. E.g. Gardner and Gardner (1969) used a strict set of criteria to use when judging if Washoe was using real words.
  • Ideal form of scientific method is lab experiment because it enables researchers to demonstrate casual relatioships. Allows one factor (IV) to be changed so the effect of another factor (DV) can be measured. Advantage as it ensures that the only thing affecting the DV is the IV.
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Falsifiable and replication

  • Aim of SM is to test hypothesis by falsifying them. Advantage because it is not possible to prove a hypothesis correct but can prove it wrong. E.g. problem with Freud (1917) theory of psychoanalysis is the lack of proof. Work produces claims that are untestable bcause they are unfalsifiable.
  • Scientists record their methods and standardise them carefully so the same procedures can be followed in the future. Advantage because replicating a study is the best way to show validity. E.g. Milgram (1963) study had issues with ecological validity so it was replicated in a different setting.
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