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Critical Thinking & The Scientific Method

Critical Thinking & The Scientific Method

Author: Laura Riness

This lesson will describe the role and four basic principles of critical thinking in psychology. The application and use of the experimental method and the six elements that make up the scientific method in psychology will be examined.

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Notes on "Research Methods: Critical Thinking & Scientific Method"

Terms to Know

Critical Thinking

Thinking that is rational, open-minded, analytical, and supported by evidence.


Scientific Method

Systematic way of approaching scientific questions by constructing theories that organize, test, and summarize empirical evidence.


Six Basic Elements of the Scientific Method

1.  Observing

2.  Defining a problem

3.  Proposing a hypothesis (an educated guess that can be tested)

4.  Gathering evidence/testing the hypothesis

5.  Publishing results

6.  Building a theory


Empirical Evidence

Evidence taken from observation or experimentation, not subjective reports.


Experimental Method

A formal trial, or experiment, done specifically to prove or disprove a hypothesis.