The Scientific method

The tools required to create true knowledge, fulfilling these criteria alledgedly makes a topic a science.

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Empirical Methods

Information is gained through direct observation or experiment, not by unfound beliefs and theory. It is a first hand account of data. The reason this is important is that anyone can make a claim but only empirical evidence gained through empirical methods can support these claims to be true.

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Empirical data must be objective, it should not be effected by the expectations of the researcher. Objective means based on fact , it is the opposite of subjective which is based on opinions/perspective. Ideally to be objective you carefully control conditions in which research is conducted.

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A way to increase reliability is to replicate a study, replicability is the ability to repeat a study. It is important to increase reliability as it shows that if the findings are the same that the findings are true. If not then their is contradictions and the research must be revised. In order to replicate a study the methods must be carefully recorded so someone else can repeat them exactly and verifty the original results.

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Theory Construction

The process in which a theory is devised in a way to make sense of the data found, A theory is a collection of general principles that explain data. These theories in tern allows us to predict natural phenomena around us if the conditions are met.

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Hypothesis Testing

The process in which testable expectancies (hypothesis) of a theory are tested, a good theory will have accurate expectancies. If it fails to do so it must undergo modification. An example , Bowlby's evolutionary theory predicted that infants imprinted to a primary care giver and lorenz confirmed this.

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Involves Observation then creating a testable hypothesis, testing it , coming to a conclusion then producing a theory. Pre twentieth century used the principles of induction. An example Newton's Laws.

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More commonly used twenthieth century and onwards. The opposite to induction, deduction focuses on obeservation then creating a theory. After this theory is created it goes through the process of testable hypothesis, conducting a study to test the hypothesis and ending with drawing conclusions. An example of this would be Darwin's theory of evolution

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Popper (Falsification)

Popper argued against both Induction and Deduction stating that nothing can be proven so the only way to advance is to try your best to disprove research. As he said any amount of evidence can be used to support a study however it only takes one piece of evidence to dissprove everything.

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