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Natural Sciences

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Elizabeth Gutierrez

on 25 August 2010

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Transcript of Natural Sciences

Natural Sciences How far do expectations influence observations? the simplified scientific method:
As depicted, if a hypothesis is rejected by an experiment, a new hypothesis must be made and tested by the same experiment. However, if a scientist is unable to perform many or even a second experiment because of tight budget, stubborness, or some other reason, would he purposefully incorrectly analyze his data to prove the hypothesis he wishes to be acceptable? (enter confirmation bias) If our expecations corrupt our analyzation of data, are all scientific "facts" actually truthful?
Science and Pseudo-science: Scientific hypotheses are testable while pseudo-scientific ones are not
Pseudo science can not be tested and can not be completely debunked so long as people continue to believe in their effectiveness
Pseudo-sciences include:
feng shui and anything else someone over the age of 45 swears by as the cure to every possible ailment imaginable!
A natural science is one studied by using the scientific method Natural Natural sciences include:
etc. Psychology is often questioned on its validity as a natural science because it was and is often based solely on the observation and inference of sentient beings' emotions.
However, before many technological advances, biology and astronomy were also based mostly on observation.
MRI machines and PET scans allow scientists to observe the chemical and hormonal imbalances in the brain associated with different emotions just as micro and telescopes allow for the advancements in biology and astronomy. Because pseudo-sciences' effectiveness(es) are based on anecdotes of people's successful useage, the pseudo science is 'proven' to those who do not question the evidence presented to them or subconciously ignore its presence because of confirmation bias. ? An example of confirmation bias: When 100 people were asked the question:
"Are you HAPPY with your social life?"
75 said yes
22 said no
and 3 remained undecided When another group of 100 people where asked:
"Are you UNhappy with your social life?"
65 said yes
27 said no
and 8 undecided
Since we are more likely to find somthing we are looking for, the people asked the happiness question recalled times they were happy while those asked the unhappiness question remembered times they were not happy. You can try an experiment to see if confirmation biases affect you as well. Think objectively as you watch this short video: This experiment displays a common confirmation bias dealing with words and the connotations we associate with them .This also proves that the act of observation changes whatever is being observed. Why does this matter? & How does it connect to science? Why WOULDN"T it matter?! If the people surveyed couldn't get rid of their subconcious biases, then who's to say that scientists can? Now, you might be thinking: Wait a minute, I don't know who those people were! They probably weren't scientists, so they didn't know they would have to think objectively. DID you notice the changes?
Even if you didn't, at least you were thinking objectively right? What have we learned? Our expectations of the world around us affect how we percieve it. We see what we expect to see. We see what we want to see. Because of this, we have a very limited perspective on the world, including in fields of science that we claim to have learned so much about over the past centuries. when in reality, we have just barely scratched the surface. Elizabeth V. Gutierrez :D
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