The Scientific Method Definition of the Problem – Define the problem by observing the phenomenon and gaining an in depth knowledge of it. Formulating the Question (Hypothesis) – The precise question being addressed by the study must be stated. Commonly called the Hypothesis it helps define what type of research design will be required to answer the question. Testing the Hypothesis – Design an experiment to test the hypothesis. When experimental data fits the hypothesis, the hypothesis is then a theory. – A theory provides a set of predictions which explain the phenomena. Usually the theory will not fully explain the phenomenon so the scientist embarks upon a process of modification and retesting of the hypothesis until the best fit between real data and predictions is achieved. Communication of Findings – Having produced a viable theory, it is the responsibility of the researcher to communicate their findings to the rest of the scientific community.
Definition of the Problem: Literature Review Conduct a thorough search and review of the relevant research literature SFU library provides a web page of Databases specifically relevant to Biomedical Physiology & Kinesiology http://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/subject-guides/kinesiology/kin-304w
Formulating the Question (Hypothesis) Hypothesis: – A statement explaining the phenomena under consideration. – It is based upon the understanding of the situation before any testing via experiment has occurred. Model: – Once a hypothesis has been shown to hold true under certain circumstances it is called a model. – An example from Kinesiology, is that there are numerous muscle models of varying complexity that each work adequately under certain situations (Caldwell 2004). Prediction: – make a prediction based upon your hypothesis or model and then design an experiment to test it. – iterative in that predictions are made, the accuracy of predictions is evaluated and the hypothesis is modified and new testable hypotheses are developed. Theory or Law: – the hypothesis has been tested and shown to hold in many experimental situations with varying conditions. – e.g. the laws of motion are seen to be valid in many situations. – Theories or laws, since they are based upon repeated consistent experimental evidence are tough to dismiss.
Testing the Hypothesis: Research Designs Is there a difference? – T-tests, ANOVA, ANCOVA, Nonparametric equivalents Is there a relationship? – Correlation Coefficient, Nonparametric equivalents Can we predict? – Regression, Binary Logistic Regression
Testing the Hypothesis: Methods Sampling – Only random if you employ a random sampling method – Sample size determined by power calculation Informed Consent Form – University Ethics Review – http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/research/r20-01.html http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/research/r20-01.html Standardized techniques (must be reproducible) – Valid Validated by others? calibration – Reliable measurement error objectivity Data sheets
Communication Refereed Journal Paper – Very strict guidelines upon submission requirements – Guidelines vary from journal to journal – Peer review Books – Often not peer reviewed, therefore not as highly regarded International Conferences and Symposia – Essential for exchange of ideas between scientists – You do not publish failed experiments
“How to Write a Paper in Scientific Journal Style and Format” http://abacus.bates.edu/~ganderso/biology/resources/writing/HTWtoc.html http://abacus.bates.edu/~ganderso/biology/resources/writing/HTWtoc.html These are not the guidelines for a specific journal
Refereed Journal Article Submission Format – Determined by information for authors provided by specific journal – Attention to detail is mandatory Introduction – Literature Review Methods & Materials – Detailed enough for another scientist to repeat your study Results – Clear description of results of analysis (no interpretation) Discussion – discuss the hypothesis in the light of the results – compare to other studies, Refer back to reviewed literature – future avenues of research
MS EXCEL http://www.utexas.edu/its/training/hando uts/pdf/excel1.pdf Formatting Entering Data Adjusting Column Widths Saving Data (Other Applications) Entering Formulae Functions Copying Formulas Split Windows and Freeze Panes Relative and Absolute Referencing Copying and Moving Data Sorting Data Charts Statistical Functions Statistical Tests (Data Analysis) Solver