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Supporting Ingredients to The Scientific Method (SM-14)

INGREDIENT #14 of the Scientific Method


How Do Scientists Use the Scientific Method

The quality of human activity applied to the various steps or stages and action methods involved in the scientific method determines the quality of results achieved. The fame of the scientific method results from the high degree of development of personal attributes and thinking skills that scientists have used in the scientific method.

There is some overlap between attributes and thinking skills. Scientists are human and therefore not perfect, but their overall accomplishments have achieved phenomenal benefits for society. The use of their method spread to all domains.

Using the Scientific Method

Personal Attributes

A definition of personal attributes also includes character traits, aptitudes, skills, values, attitudes, etc. The number of desirable attributes mentioned in the problem-solving literature is great.

Those most frequently mentioned include:
Honesty Flexible Experimenter Suspend Judgment
Attitude Skeptical Sensitivity Knowledgeable
Motivated Seek Truth Communicator Passion for Subject
Organized Curiosity Team Worker Emotional Stability
Courage Creative Open-Minded Logical Reasoner

There is no standard combination that is "best." Your success in life depends on developing desirable personal attributes and improving your undesirable ones.

Using the Scientific Method

Thinking Skills

In this limited space, I can only impress on you the need to develop your ability to learn and use the thinking skills necessary to adjust to the many changes in our fast-developing world.

We will consider the two primary thinking skills which are always used in problem origination, solving, and challenge of solution.

They are basic ways of thinking and are termed INDUCTION and DEDUCTION.




This is another controversial subject. Some philosophers and scientists have advanced theories that claim there is no such thing.

For you and me, however, the standard textbook definition is understandable. Professor Huxley gave this example many years ago:

"Suppose you bit several small, hard, green apples. Each one tasted very sour. You then make a generalization that all small, hard, green apples are probably sour."


This is INDUCTIVE (from the specific to the general) Reasoning.
  "... Then you pick up another small, hard, green apple.

By DEDUCTIVE Reasoning, (from the general to the specific) you conclude that this apple must be also be sour. "

Many of the thinking skills needed for complete creative problem solving are mentioned throughout these pages.

Using the Scientific Method

Motivation & Self-Discovery Hold the Key
to Success & Improve the Quality of Scientific Method Activities

You can set standards to force people to learn and thus accomplish a little more. But real and continued results depend on proper motivation. With our explosion of knowledge, students and adults must improve their learning to learn skills. One of the basic ways to do this is to use The Scientific Method.

Many studies have shown that students are bored with the usual subject-oriented curricula. They welcome curriculum where scientific method of inquiry, discovery, methods and self-selection of real life problem solving are included. But it is essential they be taught a formula for the steps or stages of mental activity in the problem solving process.

“Man” is claimed to be a problem solving, skill using, social animal. Allowing self-selection of problems to be solved using the scientific method, and a formula to follow such as SM-14, prompt self-discovery of peoples talents, potentials, weaknesses and the motivation of:

Curiosity Recognition of peers
Mental challenges Thrill of discovery
Job well done Personal well being
Desire to know Social contacts
Competition Enjoyment of work
Love Personal values

Finally, no results can be obtained without effort and motivation is the fuel that ignites energy.