Ch 1: Scientific Inquiry

About This Chapter

Watch the video lessons in this chapter to explore scientific inquiry and important research principles. Learn how scientific theories are developed and criticized, and discover the essential guidelines that govern experimental design.

Scientific Inquiry - Chapter Summary

Our instructors for this chapter delve into the major terms, concepts and principles that guide scientific inquiry. By watching the entertaining video lessons, you'll learn about the key characteristics of scientific research. You will examine the importance of strong critical thinking skills when working in science, as these are essential to understand and interpret scientific evidence and theories. After viewing all of the videos in the chapter, you should be able to:

  • Distinguish between laws, theories, predictions and hypotheses
  • Identify the uses and limitations of evidence in scientific model development
  • Explain the scientific response to an experiment's unexpected observations or results
  • Understand the importance of reproducible data in scientific experiments
  • Explain how scientists avoid biases in experiments
  • Describe the criteria used to judge scientific theories
  • Understand the importance of skepticism, curiosity and honesty in the scientific process

To help you grasp the major concepts and terminology of this chapter, we offer a number of features with our lessons. A lesson transcript is attached to each lesson with key terms highlighted in bold. Videos include a jump feature in the timeline so that you can rewatch certain excerpts without having to replay the entire video. Once you think you've got a solid understanding of the covered material, you can take self-assessment quizzes to check your comprehension of scientific inquiry concepts.

6 Lessons in Chapter 1: Scientific Inquiry
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Scientific Research?

1. What is Scientific Research?

Scientific research involves using the scientific method to study a phenomenon systematically allowing researchers to draw reliable conclusions. Learn about the nature of scientific research and explore some components of scientific research, including the scientific method, peer review, and statistical significance.

Hypothesis, Theory & Law in Science

2. Hypothesis, Theory & Law in Science

Observations can be recorded and analyzed to formulate an educated guess, the hypothesis, which can also be used to generate a scientific law or theory through experimentation. Discover this process, and see the importance of comparing and contrasting results of experiments.

When Observations Differ From Accepted Scientific Theory

3. When Observations Differ From Accepted Scientific Theory

Science is the process of observing the world and trying to explain and predict what will happen. Often, as more information becomes available, the accepted scientific theories must change.

How to Avoid Bias in Scientific Investigations

4. How to Avoid Bias in Scientific Investigations

Scientific investigations are studies carried out in order to answer questions, but it is important to avoid bias when doing so. Learn what a scientific investigation is all about, how to avoid bias, and how to conduct a proper investigation.

What is Critical Thinking? - Definition, Skills & Meaning

5. What is Critical Thinking? - Definition, Skills & Meaning

Critical thinking is making reasoned judgements that are logical and well thought-out. Discover more about the definition, meaning, and core skills of critical thinking (curiosity, skepticism, humility), and how to develop and use critical thinking skills.

Unexpected Observations & Results in Experiments

6. Unexpected Observations & Results in Experiments

Observations and experimental results do not always agree with what we expect. However, these results are not necessarily mistakes, and in this lesson we'll take a look at how they can even lead to useful discoveries.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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More Exams
There are even more practice exams available in Scientific Inquiry.