Q:

What is the purpose of scientific research?

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Quick Answer

According to Explorable, scientific research is important because it helps generate a theory to explain why something is happening. Scientific research involves testing hypotheses and predictions using testable data and a full battery of scientific tools and methods.

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Full Answer

Scientific research has two categories: pure scientific research and applied scientific research. The main purpose of pure scientific research is to find an explanation about why certain things happen in the natural world. In contrast, applied scientific research deals with looking for answers to specific questions that help humanity, such as medical research or environmental studies. Applied Scientific research is more focused on testing theories, as opposed to addressing abstract principles, as is the case with pure scientific research.

The most important goal of both these forms of scientific research is to come up with explanations that describe the causes of the phenomenon. There are three prerequisites needed to determine the cause and effect of a scientific experiment: covariation of events, proper time-order sequence and the elimination of plausible alternative causes. Covariation of events means that the variables in the experiment must correlate, proper time-order sequence stipulates that the cause must precede the effect, and "elimination of plausible alternative causes" must occur when a controlled variable is added to the experiment.

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