How to Use the Scientific Method in Everyday Life

The scientific method can help solve problems you encounter in your everyday surroundings.
••• Alexander Raths/iStock/Getty Images

The scientific method is a procedure consisting of a series of steps with the goal of problem-solving and information-gathering. The scientific method begins with the recognition of a problem and a clear elaboration or description of the problem itself. A process of experimentation and data collection then follows. The final steps consist of the formulation and testing of a hypothesis or potential solution and conclusion. For people unaccustomed to using the scientific method, the process may seem abstract and unapproachable. With a little consideration and observation, any problem encountered in daily life is a potential possibility to use the scientific method.

    Identify the problem you're trying to solve.
    ••• adrian brockwell/iStock/Getty Images

    Locate or identify a problem to solve. Your personal environment is a good place to start, either in the workplace, the home, or your town or city.

    Think about the problem in detail.
    ••• Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

    Describe the problem in detail. Make quantifiable observations, such as number of times of occurrence, duration, specific physical measurements, and so on.

    Form a hypothesis about what the possible cause of the problem might be.
    ••• Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images

    Form a hypothesis about what the possible cause of the problem might be, or what a potential solution could be. Check if the previously collected data suggests a pattern or possible cause.

    Test your hypothesis through further observation or by creating an experiment.
    ••• PIKSEL/iStock/Getty Images

    Test your hypothesis either through further observation of the problem or by creating an experiment that highlights the aspect of the problem you wish to test. For example, if you suspect a faulty wire is the cause of a light not working, you must find a way to isolate and test whether or not the wire is actually the cause.

    Consider using household repairs when using the scientific method.
    ••• Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

    Repeat the steps of observation, hypothesis formation and testing until you reach a conclusion that is reinforced by supporting data or directly solves the problem at hand.

    Tips

    • The scientific method is best suited to solving problems without direct or simple answers. For example, a light bulb that burns out may simply need to be replaced. A light bulb that works intermittently is a much more suitable candidate for use of the scientific method, because of all of the potential causes of it not working.

Related Articles

Advantages & Disadvantages of Finding Variance
How to Calculate a P-Value
What Is the Next Step if an Experiment Fails to Confirm...
How to Interpret a Student's T-Test Results
How to Find the Domain of a Fraction
How to Do Drug Dosage Calculations
What Are the 8 Steps in Scientific Research?
How to Test for Potassium Iodide
How to Check My Math Answers
How to Reduce 12 Volt to 6 Volt
Stages of the Development of Cockroaches
Steps & Procedures for Conducting Scientific Research
How to Troubleshoot Single Phase Motors
How to Get Rid of a Square Root in an Equation
How to Diagnose a Circuit Board With a Bad Transistor
How to Find B in Y=Mx + B
Science Project Ideas & the Scientific Method
How to Write a Hypothesis for Correlation
What Are the Effects of Leaching?