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The Scientific Method Chapter 1.

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Presentation on theme: "The Scientific Method Chapter 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Scientific Method Chapter 1

2 Overview What is Science? The Scientific Method
From Hypothesis to Theory

3 What is Science? The goal of science is to understand natural phenomena 2 types of science: Discovery science Hypothesis-based science Four-eyed butterfly fish

4 Uses inductive reasoning
Discovery Science Describes nature Uses inductive reasoning Observations used to infer conclusions (but no complete certainty as to validity) e.g. This red jellybean tastes like cherry. Thus, all red jellybeans taste like cherry. = ?

5 Hypothesis-Based Science
Uses deductive reasoning Previously-known premises used to form conclusions (as long as premises are correct, conclusion will be too) e.g. Dogs are mammals. All mammals have hair or fur. Thus, all dogs have hair or fur.

6 Should be unbiased thought but rarely is
Critical Thinking Using data and facts to make inferences, draw conclusions, solve problems, etc. Should be unbiased thought but rarely is

7 Investigation of biological systems
The Scientific Method Investigation of biological systems Observation Hypothesis Predictions Test Analysis of results Conclusion

8 Formulating a Hypothesis
Proposes the answer to a question about an observation e.g. Exposure to fertilizer increases reproduction of bean plants

9 Must be testable and falsifiable
A Good Hypothesis … Must be testable and falsifiable A hypothesis can be falsified but can never be proven true: evidence can only support Scientific knowledge is ever expanding as new methodologies are applied to old questions, etc.

10 Examples of Good Hypotheses:
Cactus spines reduce herbivory UVB radiation causes limb deformities in amphibians Examples of Untestable Hypotheses: Women are more moral than men Dogs are smarter than cats

11 Testing a Hypothesis Scientific experiment Make predictions
(either falsifies or supports a hypothesis) Make predictions Determine variables Design an experimental procedure Carry out procedure

12 Based on an experiment designed to test a hypothesis
Making Predictions Based on an experiment designed to test a hypothesis If/then statements: “If the hypothesis is true, then the results of the experiment will be …” e.g. If exposure to fertilizer increases reproduction of bean plants, then the number of pods per plant should increase in plants exposed to fertilizer compared with control plants.

13 If results match prediction, hypothesis is supported
If not, the hypothesis is falsified Knowledge of process has been increased either way, regardless of findings

14 Determining Variables
Factor, trait, or condition that can exist in different amounts or types

15 Independent variable The variable of interest
Is deliberately manipulated (changed) Only one is usually chosen (need to know which factor is affecting the dependent variable)

16 Is measured or observed during an experiment
Dependent variable Is measured or observed during an experiment Value is caused by and depends on the value of the independent variable

17 (so that will not affect outcome of experiment)
Control variable Is kept constant (so that will not affect outcome of experiment)

18 e.g. Exposure to fertilizer increases reproduction of bean plants
Independent: fertilizer Dependent: number of bean pods Control: Other things that would affect bean reproduction e.g. amount of water, temperature, amount of light, etc.

19 Examples The relationship between drug dosage & frequency / intensity of symptoms Independent: amount of drug administered (dosage) Dependent: Frequency / intensity of symptoms The relationship between plant growth rate & duration of light exposure Independent: Amount of time of exposure to light Dependent: Plant growth rate

20 Designing a Procedure Methodology for an experiment
Quantitative (counts/measurements) methods usually better than qualitative (descriptive) (allows re-testing of hypothesis by same or others) Gender is not a level of treatment

21 Control Treatment Independent variable either held at a standard value or omitted Results compared between control and experimental treatments Allows scientist to decide if predicted effect is due to independent variable or random chance

22 Examples Researchers want to test the effects of a drug for treating a medical condition. To ensure that the drug actually works, they would use a control group of people … … who take a placebo drug Researchers want to see the effects of drinking caffeinated water. The control group… … would drink plain water

23 Level of Treatment Values set for independent variable
(based on prior knowledge/previous research) Can be: One specific value (e.g. specific temperature) Range of values (e.g. range of temperatures) Some experiments have no level of treatment e.g. gender

24 Replication Procedure is repeated several times to see if results are consistent Gives an idea of how much variation is present Results from different trials are averaged

25 Sample Size Sampling Error Larger sample size = greater confidence
Mean & standard deviations of sample differ from that of population from which taken Larger sample size = lower sampling error

26 Exposure to fertilizer increases reproduction of bean plants
Level of treatment: Specific amount of fertilizer OR Range of amounts/concentration of fertilizer Control: Beans grown without applying fertilizer Replication and sample size: Depends … the more the better

27 Presenting & Analyzing Results
Analysis: Simple to advanced statistics Presentation: Tables and/or figures Show relationships between independent and dependent variables Bar graphs vs. line graphs More on this in next week’s lab

28 Drawing Conclusions Results are interpreted: If supported:
Was hypothesis supported or falsified? If supported: Additional experiments suggested to further support hypothesis (using same or different methods) If falsified: Alternative hypotheses for testing suggested

29 Exposure to fertilizer increases reproduction of bean plants
If more pods found on plants treated with fertilizer: Hypothesis is supported Could try different amounts/concentrations of fertilizer, different fertilizers, etc. Could also see if combination of variables affects reproduction e.g. fertilizer & water, fertilizer & light

30 Exposure to fertilizer increases reproduction of bean plants
If no significant difference in number of pods on beans in either treatment (control or experimental): Hypothesis is falsified Could try testing other factors e.g. temperature, amount of water, amount of light, etc.

31 From Hypothesis to Theory
How does something become a scientific theory? When multiple rigorous tests have not disproved a certain hypothesis (i.e. an idea with “great explanatory power”) A theory can be used to interpret other data and observations

32 Limits of Science Only testable hypotheses are valid
Some things are “unexplainable” or “untestable” Supernatural, morality, etc.

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