Reflection academic discourse at Maastricht University

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Definition Scientific Research

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Definition Pseudoscience

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What is the scientific method?

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What are the 5 steps of the scientific research method?

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What can science be?

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What are the different methods of inquiring knowledge?

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What is a research hypothesis?

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How has a good research hypothesis be?

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What is an assertion?

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What is Epistemology?

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What is methodology?

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What does casual mean?

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Reflection academic discourse

Definition Scientific Research

based on gathering research from careful, systematic, and objective
observations

Reflection academic discourse

Definition Pseudoscience

a set of ideas based on non-scientific research such as faith, belief or

metaphysical claims. (aromatherapy, astrology and intelligent design)

Reflection academic discourse

What is the scientific method?

approach to knowledge acquisition that involves formulating concrete

questions and then systematically finding answers. It contains a multiple of the methods of knowledge acquisition seen so far. By combining several methods we want to avoid the pitfalls -> More complicated and time consuming; 

Goal: obtain a better-quality answer.

Reflection academic discourse

What are the 5 steps of the scientific research method?

1. Observe Behavior or Other Phenomena-> begins with casual or informal observations which raises questions in your mind. Induction, or inductive reasoning, involves using a relatively small set of specific observations as the basis for forming a general statement about a larger set of possible observations.


2. Form a Tentative Answer or Explanation (a Hypothesis)-> this step usually begins by

identifying other factors or variables – characteristics or condition that change or have different values for different individuals – that are associated with your observation. After a little research you can come up with a hypothesis – a statement that describes or explains a relationship between or among variables. It is not a final answer but rather a proposal to be tested.


3. Use Your Hypothesis to Generate a Testable Prediction-> this step involves taking the

hypothesis and applying it to a specific, observable, real-world situation. A specific, testable

prediction that is derived from a hypothesis is called a research hypothesis. It always refers to a specific situation or an event that can be directly observed.


4. Evaluate the Prediction by Making Systematic, Planned Observations-> after a specific, testable prediction has been made, the next step is to evaluate the prediction using direct observation. This is the actual “research” or “data collection.” The goal is to test the research hypothesis to determine whether it is true or not.


5. Use the Observations to Support, Refute, or Refine the Original Hypothesis -> the final step of the scientific method is to compare the actual observations with the predictions that were made from the hypothesis. Until the observations and predictions match, you start again at step 2. However, sometimes variables might have no links.

Reflection academic discourse

What can science be?

Empirical: not scientifically accepted until it is empirical/experimental demonstrated 


Objective: 

the observations are structured so that the researches biases and beliefs do

not influence the outcome of the study

Reflection academic discourse

What are the different methods of inquiring knowledge?

1. Method of tenacity-> holding on to ideas and beliefs simply because they have been

accepted as facts for a long time or because of superstition. This is often referred to as belief

perseverance. One problem to this method is that the information acquired might not be accurate.


2. Method of authority-> relying on information or answers given by someone with expertise in that area. Most of your knowledge comes from this method. However, this method doesn’t

always give accurate information. Limitations include the fact that experts could talk outside

of their field of expertise, they could be biased, and they could have a subjective and personal opinion rather than an expert one. Another limitation is that people often accept expert’s

statements without any questions; “if they say it, it must be true.” Moreover, sometimes the “experts” aren’t real experts, this is the case in a lot of TV shows.


3. Method of intuition-> involves accepting information as true because it “feels right.” For example, while playing in a Casino, one might decide to put their money on number 23 because of a gut feeling. For many questions, this is the quickest way to obtain answers. This is often used while dealing with ethical decisions or moral questions.


4. Method of faith-> variant of the method of authority, in which people have unquestioning trust in the figure and therefore accept the information without doubt or challenge.


5. Rational method-> seeks answers by the use of logical reasoning. We begin with premise statements and use logic to reach a conclusion; Premise statements are not always absolutely true; People are not particularly good at logical reasoning (gamblers fallacy); A logical conclusion is only valid for the specific situation described by the premise statement


6. The empirical method (empiricism)-> uses observation and direct sensory experience to obtain knowledge

Reflection academic discourse

What is a research hypothesis?

testable prediction that can be derived from a hypothesis. A research hypothesis always refers to a specific situation or event that can be directly observed

Reflection academic discourse

How has a good research hypothesis be?

Logical-> the logical arguments provide a rationale or justification for your research hypothesis, and establishes a connection between your research and the research results that have been obtained by the others


Testable-> all variables, events, and individuals are real, and can be defined and observed


Refutable-> one that can be demonstrated to be false


Positive-> must make a positive statement about the existence of something

Reflection academic discourse

What is an assertion?

a confindent and forceful statement of fact or belief

Scientists require that the new “information” is backed by logical (“it makes sense”) and empirical (information acquired by observation or experiment) support-> must have both empirical and logical support. Must make sense and must not contradict the actual observation.

Reflection academic discourse

What is Epistemology?

The science of knowing

Reflection academic discourse

What is methodology?

The science of finding out

Reflection academic discourse

What does casual mean?

the link between present events and the future

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