The typical techniques and kinds of statements used for investigating phenomena are called scientific method. The three major types of statements used for scientific research are observation, hypothesis and prediction. Observation is the first stage of research, it helps the research to identify the aspects of the investigated phenomena. In fact, observation means the process of watching something and taking note of its observed characteristics (Carey 2003). Typically, observation is followed by asking critical questions about the reasons of the observed phenomena.
Hypothesis is the next stage of research. It consists either of a suggested explanation for an observable phenomenon or of a reasoned proposal predicting a possible causal correlation among multiple phenomena (Carey 2003). The term itself comes from Greek word which means “to suppose”ť. Hypotheses should be formulated so that the researcher could test them. Generally, hypotheses can be based on scientific observations or on previous theories.
The next step in scientific method is prediction based on the results of testing the hypothesis (scientific hypotheses must lead to specific predictions that can be tested by further observations or experiments). Each prediction begins by restating the hypothesis and then stating a specific event that will occur if the hypothesis is valid.
In science, two types of reasoning are used ”“ deductive and inductive. Deductive reasoning allows to make specific conclusions from more general statements. It is also referred to as “top-down approach”ť. Inductive reasoning, on the contrary, allows to move from specific observations to broader generalizations and theories. The groups of statements presented below illustrate inductive reasoning.