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Using the Scientific Method to Challenge Our Thinking

Introduction

Human thinking is complex and contradictory; constant delusions, illusions, in which consciousness is immersed, can accompany people throughout his life, wherever they work, whatever they do, and wherever they live. The discipline of thinking and its upbringing is a necessary component of the development of children and adolescents, who will subsequently choose the path of life along which they will develop. Adequate thinking and logical ways to communicate people’s position to other people come in handy not only in science, business, or teaching. Aspects of reasoning, structured storytelling affect human communication every day. People who have challenged their everyday thinking can compose literate texts, publish them and participate in various topics. Others are interested in listening to such people; their speech is remembered.

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Logical argumentation and a well-built thinking outline are critical in conducting business conferences, round tables, and negotiating with partners. It will help to win in disputes with opponents, defending the sphere of their interests and field of activity. An excellent method for challenging the prejudices rooted in our minds is the scientific method. The scientific method implies adherence to several rules and principles and abandoning the pattern of thinking that is familiar and convenient for many people.

The Role of Evidence

One of the most important differences between the scientific method of thinking and the mythological or religious method is evidence. This evidence can be any data obtained from an experiment or any other type of verification (Lau & Chan, 2017). Evidence-based thinking accepts predictions and assumptions that must be explained and grounded. Faith and tradition are not aids for forecasts and assumptions. These assumptions later become the content of one or another scientific theory.

Deductive Method and Criteria for Hypotheses

The scientific method is based on the deduction method developed by René Descartes. According to this method, people must test any theory and hypothesis (Lau & Chan, 2017). Descartes calls this test a doubt, subsequently bringing the verification to a radical doubt when he begins to doubt the existence of the world around him and his presence. In a strictly scientific sense, this method means that the universalization of verified statements is complex and, in some situations, impossible since a person can only claim specific verified data. By checking a particular technique for work speed, a person can only vouch for one specific vacuum cleaner or laptop, but not for the entire equipment. To universalize a scientific statement requires painstaking work to arrive at proof. It also opens up a characteristic of the scientific method, which states that hypotheses must be testable, and another person, apart from the researcher himself, must also have the ability to repeat the test or experiment. Thinking based on this method cannot rely on its uniqueness and exclusivity. No knowledge or information would be available only to one person.

If people follow the scientific method, their theories and hypotheses must adjust according to specific criteria. Different researchers distinguish their unique criteria, ranking them according to their importance. As already mentioned, ideas and theories must be consistent with experiments or observations; also, theories can adequately predict the future based on arguments. Statements are obtained by a scientific method that challenges everyday thinking to reveal the internal mechanisms of the processes of the surrounding world. It is also evident that such theories should be simple in their formulations and valuable for further research (Wooley et al., 2018). These theories should also correlate and in no way contradict the information already received and confirmed.

The Category of Causality in the Scientific Method and Basic Rules

If people want to build structured storytelling and reasoning, their thinking must make transparent causal relationships. It is vital to see the root cause of some events or to have the mental tools to find this cause (Convertini, 2020). People often make a logical mistake in everyday thinking, substituting concepts and passing off other factors as the cause, usually parallel to the event but coinciding in time.

There are about five basic rules for investigating the causes, called Mill’s methods. The agreement method states that it is possible to find a common factor that will cause a given outcome; people need to see this factor (Lau & Chan, 2017). The method of distinction is based on the search for an element that distinguishes one case from the other; the joint method combines the previous two methods. The method of concomitant variation states: in the research process, it is possible to distinguish the variability of a factor, the strengthening of which will increase the consequences that have happened due to this factor. The residual method is similar to an unconventional method of elimination. Some aspects became the reasons for several events; one stands out, which was probably the reason for the remaining events.

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Causality is a complex philosophical category that requires reflection on an abstract level. Such categories do not tolerate unambiguous statements without careful preliminary consideration. It is the trap for ordinary thinking, striving for generalization and universalization, and answers to all questions. The scientific method allows people to keep thinking in constant tension because even the correlation of different events can be accidental (Wooley et al., 2018). Sometimes ordinary thinking substitutes cause for effect, and sometimes it misses that cause and effect (so-called and assumed) may have one common cause.

My Critical Reasoning

I could improve my critical reasoning through training, logic classes. Thoughtful viewing of the debate would also help me articulate thoughts and arguments clearly. Since the primary tool of the scientific method is an experiment, I could conscientiously study the rules that underlie it. Investigations require a team of disinterested scientists, suggesting that fundamental problems to be solved don’t need to be tackled alone. Discussion and possible contestation of the results would also improve my critical argumentation.

Article’s Example

According to Wolley et al.’s (2018) article, training in logic could help students since the scientific method is tied to essential aspects of learning. Without mastering the scientific method, whole sets of subjects in school (for instance, STEM), college and university suffer. However, the article’s authors insist on a more individual approach to the scientific method problem in students. According to the report, teachers should pay attention to the unique sets of difficulties students face.

I suppose that this is not entirely correct; the introduction of the scientific method into the educational curriculum of colleges and schools may not become the goal of teachers or even a specific school, but the plan, first of all, of the education system. Students need to popularize logic at the moment. The problems of perceiving logical constructs and structures of argumentation may indeed be unique. Still, at the moment, it seems possible to organize widespread debates, discussions with a detailed analysis of the argumentation.

Conclusion

It is essential to say that the patterns of the scientific method are difficult to perceive in the initial stages, so mastering the scientific method is similar to a challenge to thinking. However, the usefulness of this challenge is beyond doubt, and this applies to all areas where a person can try himself: politics, medicine, business, teaching. Errors in argumentation accompany a person throughout his life; this is inevitable. It is vital to have a critical eye on human abilities and rigorously follow scientific principles on the path to minimizing them.

References

Convertini, J. (2020). An interdisciplinary approach to investigate preschool children’s implicit inferential reasoning in scientific activities. Research in Science Education, 51(1), 171–186. Web.

Lau, J., & Chan, J. (2017). Scientific methodology. Critical Thinking Web.

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Woolley, J. S., Deal, A. M., Green, J., Hathenbruck, F., Kurtz, S. A., Park, T. K., Pollock, S. V., Transtrum, M. B., & Jensen, J. L. (2018). Undergraduate students demonstrate common false scientific reasoning strategies. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 27, 101–113. Web.

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