Goals of the Scientific Method


--is the "process of defining, classifying, and categorizing" things that occur
--it has the ability, through the use of collected information, to allow one to correctly infer characteristics of the average member of a given population

  • Quantitative vs. Qualitative
    • quantitative: studies that utilize large sample sizes to reach conclusions based on statistical analysis
    • qualitative: studies that utilize interviews, observations, and other less objective or formal methods
  • Nomothetic vs. Idiographic
    • nomothetic: utilize a representative group (sample) to draw inferences (generalize) about the population of interest
    • idographic: seeks to study the individual


--After a relationship has been established between two variables, prediction is the knowledge of one variable allowing for the prediction the other variable.
--So, given knowledge of A we can them estimate the probability of B.

Explanation/ Understanding

--The purpose of empirical research is to establish cause and effect relationships which would demonstrate and understanding of that being investigated.

--There exists 3 requirements for the claiming of a cause and effect relationship

  1. It must be shown that there is a relationship between the two variables
  2. The effect must proceed (come after) the affecting variable
  3. Confounding (alternate) explanations for the effect must be ruled out
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