Lessons on the Scientific Method:
#3 of 5 on Basic Theories of Scientific Method
The Scientific Method Is a General Method
The Scientific Method Is a General Method for all Fields
The scientific method was recognized, developed, and used mainly by scientists. The literature often refers to it as the method scientists use. For this reason many people do not realize that it is really a general method suitable for all fields.
Numerous methods have been offered by authors under other names that are rally just variations of the scientific method. See my Research Report #4, Other Names for the Scientific Method. Many authors have called attention to it being a general method. Still, most people do not realize that it is the universal method of originating reliable knowledge in all fields.
Way back in 1905, in his lecture, “Scientific Method as Applied to History,” published in Lectures on the Method of Science (1906), the Very Reverend T.B. Strong stated:
All science, we may say, consists in strengthening, solidifying, and rendering conscious and coherent the ordinary processes of knowledge. The scientific man makes no claim to an absolutely separate method of acquiring information, as if he had some exceptional gift of inspiration.
Other quotations showing that the scientific method is a general method can be found in my Research Report #9.
Why the Scientific Method?
The Scientific Method Is a Problem Solving and Decision Making Process for all Fields
The importance of the scientific method is based on it being a general problem solving and decision making process or method.
In Scientific Discovery (1987) Nobel Laureate Herbert A. Simon states:
We have carried these examples far enough to demonstrate that the generation of research problems is a problem-solving process that can be formalized and approached in the same way as other problem-solving processes.
More quotations on this subject can be found in my Research Report #9.
Learning the Scientific Method – Summary
You should learn the scientific method because:
It is a general method for all fields
It is a problem solving and decision making method that will greatly aid your success and happiness all your life.
Applying the Scientific Method – History of the Scientific Method
Lecture by W. McDougall, in Strong’s Lectures on the Method of Science
Shortly after Bacon and his followers, the founders of the Royal Society, had established physical science on an empirical basis, by applying the scientific method of observation, induction, deduction and verification, John Locke, one of the brightest ornaments of this University, being imbued with the same scientific spirit, introduced this same empirical method into the study of that other great realm, the psychical world, and so carved out from the body of speculative opinion the science of mind or empirical psychology. Then for nearly two hundred years these two great orders of existence, the physical and the psychical, continued to be studied by the scientific method . . .