Over the past few decades, there has been an explosion in how we define science. Many people refer to this as the “science wars” or even “the war of scientific definitions.” Some say that these redefinitions are due to political agendas while others claim they are simply because everyone has their own definition of what makes something scientific.
Whatever the reason for the confusion, it is definitely prevalent.
This article will talk about some of the more popular versions of defining what constitutes science. Then, I will give my opinion on whether or not they are valid definitions. Hopefully you will now have a better understanding of why things get so confusing when people use different definitions!
The term ‘definition’ can be tricky. According to dictionary.com, a definition is “a statement that defines a word or phrase and explains its meaning.” However, this isn’t quite true. A lot of times, people use a definition but include too much content beyond just the key part. This content may seem important at first, but later it is excluded or limited heavily.
I will try to keep this brief, but still very educational. After reading my articles, you should have a good understanding of what makes an argument scientifically sound and what types of proofs work in various areas of research.
Definition of research
Definitions of research vary, but they all share one important feature: They define what constitutes as an academic subject or field. This is different from studies that investigate real life situations to determine if the product or service in question works.
That’s not scientific research!- it’s marketing!
Scientific research is when experiments are conducted under controlled conditions so we can be certain how the results relate to things outside the test environment. A good example is doing an experiment with water: You could go out and drown yourself, or you could conduct an experiment by diving into a pool for ten minutes.
By this definition, then, fiction is not considered part of the science genre because you never repeat an experiment with the same material. There is always something new happening.
And while some stories contain elements that have no basis in reality, like magic or time travel, that doesn’t make them any less unrealistic. Fiction is just a way for us to explore ideas more thoroughly than we are able to in our everyday lives, which means it has its own special place in the science literature.
Blogs are a form of writing that falls under the category of “fiction” since people create them at their discretion and content can include anything – even advertisements. That being said, blogs do contribute to the body of scientific knowledge through the use of statistical data and clear explanations.
Definition of the scientific method
The scientific method was defined in the 18th century by two French scientists, Antoine Lavoisier and Bernard de Fontenelle. It is an integral part of what makes science work!
The first step in the scientific process is to define something. You want to defining something before you can test your hypothesis about it.
In the case of the definition of the scientific method, it is identifying what things are not done using the scientific method.
These things are called non-scientific practices or nonscientific methods. In other words, if you are doing these things, then you are not practicing the scientific method. These types of ways of studying literature are not considered academic disciplines because they do not use the systematic approach that defines what constitutes a field.
A good way to determine if you are practicing the scientific method or the non-scientific method is to ask yourself whether your conclusions are supported by the data you gathered for your experiment.
Definitions of psychology
What is psychology? Psychologists define psychological as everything related to the mind. This includes studies of how the brain works, personality traits, conditions such as depression or anxiety, and therapies that aim to treat mental health conditions by altering behavior or thinking patterns.
Some examples of areas in psychology are counseling, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, forensic psychology, and neuroscience. All these different fields study how the mind functions, what makes someone be happier or sadder, and why certain behaviors are better or worse for you.
Clinical psychologists work with individuals to help them overcome emotional disorders or improve self-confidence. Counseling can range from helping people deal with divorce to quitting smoking.
Neuroscience investigates the way your brain works, looking at things like neurotransmitters and hormones. Some researchers use it to find new ways to treat mental illness by changing the activity of the chemicals in the body.
Psychiatry was once considered an area of psychology alone because psychiatrists only care about psychiatric diseases while psychologists look beyond just the mind to include social interactions, personality, and emotions.
But today most professionals consider psychiatry part of psychology since they recognize some types of therapists focus more on the mind than others. However, many psychiatrists still choose to limit their field to mental illnesses only because that’s what they learned in school.
Fortunately, there are now several degree programs across the country that combine both psychology and psychiatry into one.
Definition of the scientific model
The scientific method is rooted in the philosophy of empiricism, which comes from ancient Greece. Empiricists believe that knowledge comes only through experience- you can know something by studying it, whether directly or indirectly.
This viewpoint was expanded upon during the Enlightenment, when people began to question traditional authority figures such as priests and teachers. After the Enlightenment, more formal studies were conducted using empirical evidence to determine truth.
These include disciplines like physics and biology, where theories are tested against observable facts. This process is repeated over and over so that eventually a general theory emerges that fits all the available data.
That theory is then extended to make other predictions and be confirmed or refuted. Science also has its share of controversy and debate, but overall it is an effective way to find answers.
Definition of an experiment
An experimental study is when you test the effects of one variable (like intervention) on another variable (outcome). If we use research as our example, then experimentation would be testing whether or not teaching children how to read changes their academic performance in other courses they take.
This could be tested by comparing a group of students who are all trained as reading teachers with a control group that is not taught about reading. The outcome can be measured using standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT.
The difference in scores between both groups determines if there was a effect due to teaching kids to read.
Definition of a hypothesis
A scientific hypothesis is an explanation or statement of what happened designed to explain past observations, present observations, and/or predict new events. It is not proof of anything but rather a prediction based on current knowledge.
A hypotheses goal is to make the data fit the theory by producing predictions that can be tested against future observations. This process helps determine if the theory is valid and warrants further investigation.
When scientists perform experiments to test their hypotheses, they must ensure that the variables are controlled as much as possible. By doing this, the experimenter can rule out accidental causes for results.
Scientists use statistical analysis to prove whether there is significant correlation between two things. For example, does eating raw vegetables cause you to lose weight? No one has ever proven that so most people agree that it does not. Therefore, we conclude that eating cooked veggies does not make you thinner.
Definition of a variable
A variable is an element in your research or experiment that can be changed to see what effect it has on the outcome.
In scientific experiments, there are many variables. Variables can be things like changing the temperature or boiling water, using different brands of milk, adding more sugar, changing the timing of food, and so on.
These changes all influence the amount of glucose in our blood, which depends on the length of time it takes for digestion to occur and how much insulin we have to use to process it.
Duration and dose matter! This is one of the most important concepts for people with type 2 diabetes to understand.
Definition of a sample
A scientific research study includes or is dependent upon an adequate, representative sampling of the population. This means that enough people must be involved in the experiment to get solid statistical information.
In studies involving human subjects, this typically requires at least eight participants – with each person giving informed consent. (This does not apply to experiments on animals where there are no legal requirements for participant numbers.)
By having adequate samples, we can generalize what findings occur within the context of the sample, and how those results compare to the whole group. Generalization comes with some limitations, however; we cannot assume our conclusions apply outside of the sample without confirmation from other sources.
There are several reasons why researchers choose not to include more individuals in their studies. One is cost-effectiveness, which depends on obtaining enough funding to cover additional participants, time, resources, and data collection equipment. Another reason is ethical concerns about including large amounts of unknown material in a survey or trial.
However, even if these conditions were met, it would still not always produce reliable statistics because of something called variance. Statistical variance occurs when differences exist between individual members of a population. For example, every member of a given community has his/her own style of dress, so one person’s shirt is never exactly like another’s.