Scientific Method

Scientific Method

The scientific method is a systematic, step-by-step procedure psychologists use when conducting research. By following these specific steps, psychologists seek cause and effect relationships which means that they can be certain (at least have a high level of confidence) that one variable causes an effect on another variable and that the results of the study are caused by the variable being studied and not some other, outside (extraneous) variables.

The steps to the scientific method include describing the topic of study, making predictions (hypotheses), selecting a method for the study, controlling external variables, collecting data (running the study), analyzing & explaining the findings, and reporting & sharing the findings (usually via publication or lecturing). There are variations but these are the basic steps in the scientific method.

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