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A Beginner's Guide to Scientific Method Paperback – January 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1111305550 ISBN-10: 1111305552 Edition: 4th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 4 edition (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1111305552
  • ISBN-13: 978-1111305550
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.7 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #744,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Preface. 1. SCIENCE. Just What is Science? Asking Why. Scientific Method. The Consequences of Science. Scientific Method in Daily Life. Things to Come. Exercises 2. OBSERVATION. Making Accurate Observations. Anomalous Phenomena. Observing Anomalies. The Burden of Proof. Concept Quiz. Exercises 3. EXPLANATION. Explanation, Theory and Hypothesis. Causation. Correlation. Causal Mechanisms. Underlying Processes. Laws. Function. The Interdependence of Explanatory Methods. Rival Explanations and Ockham's Razor. Explanation and Description. Ultimate Explanations. Concept Quiz. Exercises. 4. EXPERIMENTATION. The Basic Method. Confirmation and Rejection. Designing a Good Test. Real World Experiments. How Not to Design a Test. Conceptual Vagueness. Testing Extraordinary Claims. Predictive Clarity. Bias and Expectation. Concept Quiz. Exercises. 5. ESTABLISHING CAUSAL LINKS. Causal Studies. Ruling Out Chance. Multiple Causal Factors. Randomized, Prospective and Retrospective Studies. Reading Between the Lines. Concept Quiz. Exercises. 6. FALLACIES IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE. What is a Fallacy? False Anomalies. Questionable Arguments by Elimination. Illicit Causal Inferences. Unsupported Analogies and Similarities. Untestable Explanations and Predictions. Empty Jargon. Ad Hoc Rescues. Exploiting Uncertainty. Science and Pseudoscience. Concept Quiz. Exercises. FURTHER READING INDEX

About the Author

Stephen Carey received his Ph.D. in logical theory and the history of logic from the University of Oregon. In addition to A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SCIENTIFIC METHOD, he has also written THE USES AND ABUSES OF ARGUMENT. He currently teaches logic, philosophy of science, and philosophy of religion at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon. He is an avid tennis and pickleball player, and runs a marathon every year.

Customer Reviews

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D.M. on January 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book doesn't go into philosophy of science and is very clear and easy to read. It emphasizes things that are common to scientific investigation in general like making observations and measurements, looking for explanations, using explanations to make predictions, and testing those predictions with more observations or experiments. (Some non-experts think that only experiments can be used to test hypotheses, but virually everything we know about astronomy and history we know from observations without intervention, not experiments.) It also talks about the kinds of considerations (like sample size, confounding variables and bias) and the kinds of studies (randomized, prospective and retrospective) used to establish causal links. The last chapter talked fallacies in the name of science including how false anomalies can be used to make unfounded claims by leaving out key facts that aren't known by the average person. Once these facts are known the anomaly disappears. Scientific Thinking by Robert M. Martin is also a good book on scientific method that goes into more depth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. V. on March 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
I'm taking a philosophy course called Critical thinking: Science and the Occult (actually taught by the author of this book himself.)
It's full of useful concepts, and not too difficult of a read even for me (I have ADHD). I'd recommend pick it up just to be slightly more science-litterate even if I weren't taking a course that required it.
(Unrelated side note: He, and his class are pretty wacky.)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thorough but highly technical, if you want to learn how to design an experiment as opposed to what one entails this is not the way to go. Good example of subject matter that is taught but without a deeply analyzed example. I enjoyed the information it provided though. Thankfully Kindle lets you sample a chapter first.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Erick Molina on March 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This text was required for my class and it arrived on time. It is a pretty lengthy read and very full of information so it takes some effort to read. All of the material that this books provieds is very complex but helpful. Recommend it.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tarwe, the Narnian Elf on December 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was useful for my college course of natural science. It's relatively short, which makes for a quick read. Nonetheless, it has some good information and some fun quizzes in it.
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A Beginner's Guide to Scientific Method
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