Articles on Scientific method

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The role of unconscious influences on behaviour has long been a contentious issue in psychology. ssri

Does thinking about professors make you more intelligent?

What roles do unconscious influences play on your behaviour and decision-making? The answer might not be as simple as you think. Imagine I showed you a list of words one by one on a computer screen and…
Would an “open science” approach lead to less academic fraud? It’s possible. jintae kim's photography

Scientific fraud, sloppy science – yes, they happen

Fraud. It’s an ugly word, an arresting word. As with “cheating” it comes loaded with negative connotations, but can potentially lead to far greater penalties and consequences. And yet fraud in science…
Everyone likes to stand out from the crowd, but sometimes ignoring the consensus goes too far. James Cridland

There is no such thing as climate change denial

In a sense, there is no such thing as climate change denial. No one denies that climate changes (in fact, the most common climate myth is the argument that past climate change is evidence that current…
We thought we knew the radius of the proton to within 0.8%. Perhaps not. Ludie Cochrane/Flickr

Updating the textbook: is the radius of a proton wrong?

Striving for agreement between theory and experiment and pushing the boundaries of precision are important parts of the scientific process. With each step in this process we move closer to enlightenment…
Consumers of research should not be satisfied with statements that “X is effective”, or “Y has an effect”. Gwenae l Piaser

Why hypothesis and significance tests ask the wrong questions

Empirical science needs data. But all data are subject to random variation, and random variation obscures patterns in data. So statistical methods are used to make inferences about the true patterns or…
When it comes to the crunch, the null hypothesis is the only one being tested. Pimthida

Explainer: what is a null hypothesis?

At the heart of the scientific method is the process of hypothesis testing. Given an observable phenomenon in the world, a scientist will construct a hypothesis which seeks to explain that phenomenon…
Rhetoric, even when light as a feather, can carry more weight than scientific evidence. Ark in Time

Eat your heart out, scientists: evidence is a balancing act

The Book of the Dead describes the ancient Egyptian “weighing of the heart” ceremony as the placing of a heart on one side of a set of scales and a feather on the other. Goddess Ma'at’s feather represents…
There’s knowing science, then knowing how to teach it. B Rosen

Teaching the nature of science (and keeping students engaged)

Last week’s Health of Australian Science report, by the Chief Scientist of Australia Ian Chubb, has again highlighted the issue of declining student engagement in science in primary and secondary schools…
You want the truth? You can’t handle the … wait: it’s actually quite simple. Daveblog

The truth, the whole truth and … wait, how many truths are there?

Calling something a “scientific truth” is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it carries a kind of epistemic (how we know) credibility, a quality assurance that a truth has been arrived at in an understandable…
You may be home late if the entire universe is your test tube. morgantj

Science can seem like madness, but there’s always method

THE STATE OF SCIENCE: How does science work? And how can we experiment on things that don’t fit in a lab? Dr Will Howard examines the many faces of the scientific method. As adults, our understanding of…

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