Recent trends in academic research have seen an increase in studies that are not only biased, but also poorly conducted. These types of studies lack internal validity due to systematic errors or biases in study design and/or execution.
When done improperly, scientific studies can produce false results and misinterpreted conclusions. As such, these studies do not provide reliable information nor do they inspire trust in the researchers’s credibility.
It is important to assess the quality of each piece of research prior to making assumptions about it. This way you will know whether the findings are credible or if there is more question as to their reliability.
The importance of having high-quality studies cannot be overstated when trying to determine what treatments and interventions work best. Without them, people rely on anecdotal evidence and “feeling” rather than facts from well designed experiments that can actually prove theories wrong.
Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of some common ways that scientifically questionable studies get carried out. We will discuss some potential reasons why this happens and some solutions to avoid it.
Use a controlled environment
Recent developments in scientific research depend heavily on using and manipulating materials that are not harmful to test subjects or the environment.
Research laboratories use special equipment to manipulate liquids, gases, solids and other substances. These experimental tools include beakers, pipettes, glass vials, ovens and other devices.
Scientists must also control where their experiments take place. Test sites need to have adequate electricity supplies and easy access to water and waste disposal. They should be free of allergens such as chemicals, dust and pollen so that results are not influenced by any reactions with the material being studied.
Test environments also need to be stable so that repeated measurements do not vary due to external conditions like temperature or wind.
Test your hypothesis
As mentioned earlier, scientific hypotheses are not theories that have proof behind them. A theory has solid evidence to back it up, while a hypothesis is an explanation that can be proven or disproven through experimentation.
So how do scientists determine if their hypothesis is correct? They test it!
They create an experiment to see whether the hypothesis predicts results in a favorable way or not. If it does, then we know the hypothesis is accurate; but if it doesn’t, then we must look at the possibilities of what might have changed the result and discard this hypothesis.
The more experiments you do, the better chance you have of finding the truth, but there is one thing that will always stand in your way – time.
Scientific research takes a long time to complete. It’s expensive, and researchers have to spend time conducting experiments and analyzing data.
That is why most scientifically sound studies have a sample size of many participants. Because each participant only pays to invest in testing your hypothesis for a small amount of time, there is less risk per person.
But what about when someone needs help immediately? What if a deadly disease was discovered next week? Or what if people needed to learn how to bake the best brownies ever so they can survive a zombie apocalypse?
I hope you enjoyed reading my article today about how scientific research is carried out.
Collect and analyze data
One of the biggest issues with scientific research is how studies are conducted. There are many ways to perform an experiment, and most are not considered scientifically sound because they do not meet the standards for replication or reliability.
When conducting an experiment, it is important to be as systematic and consistent as possible so that you can compare your results to what is normal and/or repeatable. What this looks like depends on the experiment, but general rules include using valid instruments, testing in appropriate settings, and gathering enough information to make conclusions.
It is also important to determine whether there was a placebo effect when performing experiments – this happens when participants believe they are receiving the treatment intervention, but it has no effects. A classic example of this is someone believing they have received a healing energy session, despite having nothing applied onto their skin.
A placebo effect can sometimes help symptoms find a balance, making them disappear or being replaced by something else. However, too much of a placebo effect can eliminate the effectiveness of the true intervention.
Recent trends in scientific research have shifted away from studying individual factors in causation and towards looking at how multiple variables influence an outcome. This is called systematic, holistic evaluation of causes.
The same concept applies to understanding why one thing works better than another. Aand Bmay not work anymore you need to look into which one is more effective when there are no clear winnerties!
That’s where science comes in. Science looks at comparisons between two different treatments to determine which is more effective for your specific situation.
By doing that, it takes away the “me too” effect that people may feel about some treatments because they think someone else must have found them to be helpful. (A case study can help with this!)
Another important part of this shift toward evidence-based practices is determining cause and effect.
It’s very difficult to know what caused something to change without having repeated measurements of that factor, so statistical methods use past observations to make guesses about whether changes were due to chance or causal effects.
These types of studies are referred to as observational studies because we cannot directly test if one treatment was more effective than another– only if it was free and available to everyone!
Observational studies do not necessarily prove that one treatment is better than another, but they give us good clues by comparing similar groups of patients.
Disclaimer: The content of this article should not be used as medical advice for yourself or others.
Use scientific methods to your advantage
Recent developments in science have made it possible to do more with less. Technology has advanced to such an extent that we can now test much smaller samples than ever before, use statistical analysis to determine the effects of treatments, and implement time effective testing strategies to see what works and doesn’t for a given problem.
There are many ways to approach research studies today. You don’t need to rely on experimental groups and control groups anymore. It is not only acceptable but even encouraged to look at case reports and anecdotal evidence as a way to gain knowledge.
Case reports describe experiences of one or several people who were able to achieve a particular outcome by using a particular treatment, or avoiding a specific substance/product. Anecdotal evidence comes mostly from individual stories and cases, rather than statistics. Because they aren’t always statistically significant, these findings should be treated with caution, but they can still help you get insight into whether certain therapies work (or fail) for some people.
When doing clinical trials, there are universal rules that must be followed to ensure that results cannot be influenced unfairly. Even when investigating potentially harmful products, rigorous standards must be upheld if conclusions are going to be drawn about effectiveness and safety.
Publish your results
Recent trends in scientific research have shifted away from conducting experiments in labs and using statistical tools to analyze data, and towards doing research through publications.
Published studies are conducted by people with similar interests who work together to test their theories against each other’s. These theory-testing groups are referred to as academic research teams or research collaborations.
By writing up what happened during an experiment, making it accessible to anyone, you give others the opportunity to read about it and build upon those ideas. This is how new discoveries get made!
There are many ways to publish research findings, but some require you to create a special account first. Some allow you to use your own personal email address, while others may ask you to use their free service to publish content.
Some prefer publishing in only specific journals that focus on certain areas of science. Others let you upload your own files or link directly to YouTube videos or documents.
Be honest with your results
Recent critiques of academic research focus mostly on one thing: how researchers manipulate or distort their findings to come to conclusions that are more favorable for their own products or services.
This has led to an epidemic of “fake science,” where studies are completely skewed in order to push a product or agenda. It is important to be aware of this when consuming media!
Researchers must address potential biases when conducting experiments. For example, people who use herbal supplements may over-estimate the effectiveness of certain compounds. People who believe in a particular theory will tend to give it higher ratings than those who do not.
By using statistical methods to analyze data, we can account for these factors and produce more accurate results. However, even employing such rigorous techniques does not guarantee sound scientific analysis; only studies conducted under appropriate conditions yield valid information.
Another way to conduct scientific research is through research collaborations. This is when one group of researchers work with another group to perform an experiment or study. These partners are usually either universities or nonprofit organizations that want to contribute to science by conducting studies or experiments.
Research collaborations can be very informal, like two friends who know each other well and feel comfortable asking for help. Or they can be more formal, such as when a company hires university professors to do research related to their business.
In both cases, the academic team members get paid for their time while the collaborators receive credit for the findings. More often than not, these studies improve our understanding of nature and how it works, which has direct applications in improving people’s health and lives.
But there is a cost to this collaboration process. It can take months, even years, before scientists see the results of their work. That is why it is so important to give your colleagues enough time to complete his/her part of the project and publish his/her findings properly.
Furthermore, although most academics enjoy doing scholarly work, some find working on a collaborative project boring or even frustrating.