What is the scientific method or approach

Scientific Methods: The Different Types

In this article, you will learn about the most popular scientific methods.

Last update: 16 September, 2019

We can scientific methods to get answers and to define and organize an investigation. Scientific methods, as means of knowledge, reflect the subject of the investigation. In methodology can scientific methods be empirical or theoretical.

On the one hand, empirical methods are used to:

  • To discover and collect data and facts,
  • to prove a hypothesis
  • answer scientific questions,
  • to have a foundation
  • to discuss something
  • or just follow a guide.

However, some methods are not in-depth enough to deal with the essential connections that were shown in the course of the course.

With the rational methods, the results obtained with an empirical method can be systematized and analyzed. In this way, we can use these scientific methods to draw inferences about a scientific problem. Empirical methods can provide clues for developing theories using rational methods.

Scientific methods: the different types

Rational methods are classified according to their use in an investigation. Some options are:

Analytical-synthetic method

The analytical-synthetic methods relate to the analysis and synthesis methods. An analysis is a logical process, who helps you to mentally dismantle a whole and its properties, its diverse relationships and components.

On the contrary, the synthesis process creates a combination of the previously analyzed parts. In this way, you can uncover the general relationships and characteristics between the elements of the subject.

The analysis and synthesis processes work as a dialectical unit. During the investigation, one can dominate the other, depending on where you are in your research. Also use this method to search for and process information.

Scientific methods: the inductive-deductive method

This method mainly represents two opposing processes: induction and deduction. The implementation process leads from the data of the individual cases to further knowledge. This knowledge reflects what these cases have in common.

The basis for the deduction process are replicas of facts and phenomena in reality. The English philosopher Francis Bacon was the first to propose induction as a research method. Bacon said that in order to gain knowledge one should observe nature. To do this, you need to collect the data and make generalizations from it.

Nowadays this process is called inductive thinking, which follows the following steps:

  • observation
  • formulation
  • Review
  • thesis
  • law
  • theory

Induction and deduction therefore complement each other. Induction allows you to make generalizations based on all of your common case studies. You then draw several logical conclusions from these generalizations. By induction, these conclusions are enriched generalizations that form a didactic unit.

Hypothetical deductive method

The hypothetical deductive method begins with hypotheses.These are based on principles or laws or are determined by empirical data. Using deduction techniques, you get predictions that you can verify through empirical verification. This method is often used, for example, in clinical diagnoses.

Historical-logical method

In order to discover the essence of things, logic needs history. This method enabled you to describe the facts through their logical development. This method allows you to examine the background information on the scientific problem.

The genetic method

This method is used when you are studying the evolution of an object and the factors that determine that evolution. By doing research, you can also use it to conduct a cross-sectional study.

Analog method

This method consists in Infer relationships or consequences between similar phenomena. With this method you can create new knowledge. For example, you can use this method to infer similar consequences from similar historical periods.

The modeling method is one of the popular scientific methods

The modeling method allows you to create models to study reality. First, define the object that you want to examine. Once you have decided on an object, you should separate the essential from the non-essential in relation to your research object. In this way you can get a clear idea of ​​the nature of the object. And this abstraction from reality is then your model.

Scientific methods based on Aristotle: The systemic-functional method

For Aristotle the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is due to interactions between parts with properties that were not part of the mechanical sum of the properties of each individual part. This method is based on creating new knowledge.

The systematization method

This method is related to the development of the scientific method. This method is mainly used to systematize data or information, or to systematize experiences.

Thus, this classification can be based on scientific methods according to what they are used for in research, can be grouped in two ways. First of all, you have the research methods:

  • all empirical methods
  • analytical-synthetic method
  • historical-logical method
  • genetic method
  • Systematisation of information

On the other hand, there are methods for creating new knowledge. These include the following:

  • hypothetical deductive method
  • analog method
  • Systematization
  • inductive-deductive method
  • Modeling method
  • systemic-functional method

In short, consider two things. First, there is no such thing as a perfect methodology. Some are safer than others, but also slower. Others are more fallible than others, but also quicker to draw conclusions from them. Second, understand that knowledge is just as important as the method from which it was derived.

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