Why scientific method?
- Our minds are susceptible to systematic errors of thinking, reasoning, decision making, and judgment, known as heuristic biases.
- To combat heuristic biases, the scientific method identifies a set of rules, procedures, and techniques that together form a unified conceptual framework—a formal way of thinking about a problem, idea, or question.
- Scientific questions are commonly framed in reference to a particular theory, which in turn generates a hypothesis that is tested by collecting empirical data from unbiased samples.
- A research study aims to measure the effects of an independent variable on a dependent variable and often includes control variables to reduce effects of unwanted confounds.
- Psychological research today plays a critical role in rooting out error and myth, and it is used to combat pseudoscientific beliefs. Pseudoscience preys on our naturally evolved and universal tendency for confirmatory bias.