scientific methodmedical dictionary

The universally-accepted, organised approach to the study of science, which consists of the following steps:

1. Observation - collecting data.

2. Hypothesis - forming a preliminary possible explanation of the data.

3. Testing - test the hypothesis by collecting more data.

4. Results - interpreting the results of the test and deciding if the hypothesis should be rejected. The hypothesis is rejected if the results contradict it, showing that it is wrong.

5. Conclusion - stating a conclusion that can be evaluated independently by others.

(09 Oct 1997)