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Reproducibility
Reproducibility, also known as replicability and repeatability, is a major principle underpinning the scientific method. For the findings of a study to be reproducible means that results obtained by an experiment or an observational study or in a statistical analysis of a data set should be achieved again with a high degree of reliability when the study is replicated. There are different kinds of replication but typically replication studies involve different researchers using the same methodology. Only after one or several such successful replications should a result be recognized as scientific knowledge. With a narrower scope, ''reproducibility'' has been introduced in computational sciences: Any results should be documented by making all data and code available in such a way that the computations can be executed again with identical results. In recent decades, there has been a rising concern that many published scientific results fail the test of reproducibility, evoking a ...
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Replication Crisis
The replication crisis (also called the replicability crisis and the reproducibility crisis) is an ongoing methodological crisis in which the results of many scientific studies are difficult or impossible to reproduce. Because the reproducibility of empirical results is an essential part of the scientific method, such failures undermine the credibility of theories building on them and potentially call into question substantial parts of scientific knowledge. The replication crisis is frequently discussed in relation to psychology and medicine, where considerable efforts have been undertaken to reinvestigate classic results, to determine both their reliability and, if found unreliable, the reasons for the failure. Data strongly indicate that other natural, and social sciences are affected as well. The phrase ''replication crisis'' was coined in the early 2010s as part of a growing awareness of the problem. Considerations of causes and remedies have given rise to a new scientifi ...
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Scientific Method
The scientific method is an empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries; see the article history of scientific method for additional detail.) It involves careful observation, applying rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given that cognitive assumptions can distort how one interprets the observation. It involves formulating hypotheses, via induction, based on such observations; the testability of hypotheses, experimental and the measurement-based statistical testing of deductions drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings. These are ''principles'' of the scientific method, as distinguished from a definitive series of steps applicable to all scientific enterprises. Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, the underlying process is frequentl ...
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Statistical Significance
In statistical hypothesis testing, a result has statistical significance when it is very unlikely to have occurred given the null hypothesis (simply by chance alone). More precisely, a study's defined significance level, denoted by \alpha, is the probability of the study rejecting the null hypothesis, given that the null hypothesis is true; and the ''p''-value of a result, ''p'', is the probability of obtaining a result at least as extreme, given that the null hypothesis is true. The result is statistically significant, by the standards of the study, when p \le \alpha. The significance level for a study is chosen before data collection, and is typically set to 5% or much lower—depending on the field of study. In any experiment or observation that involves drawing a sample from a population, there is always the possibility that an observed effect would have occurred due to sampling error alone. But if the ''p''-value of an observed effect is less than (or equal to) the significa ...
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Christiaan Huygens
Christiaan Huygens, Lord of Zeelhem, ( , , ; also spelled Huyghens; la, Hugenius; 14 April 1629 – 8 July 1695) was a Dutch mathematician, physicist, engineer, astronomer, and inventor, who is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time and a major figure in the Scientific Revolution. In physics, Huygens made groundbreaking contributions in optics and mechanics, while as an astronomer he is chiefly known for his studies of the rings of Saturn and the discovery of its moon Titan. As an engineer and inventor, he improved the design of telescopes and invented the pendulum clock, a breakthrough in timekeeping and the most accurate timekeeper for almost 300 years. An exceptionally talented mathematician and physicist, Huygens was the first to idealize a physical problem by a set of mathematical parameters, and the first to fully mathematize a mechanistic explanation of an unobservable physical phenomenon.Dijksterhuis, F.J. (2008) Stevin, Huygens and the Dutch re ...
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Statistical Analysis
Statistical inference is the process of using data analysis to infer properties of an underlying distribution of probability.Upton, G., Cook, I. (2008) ''Oxford Dictionary of Statistics'', OUP. . Inferential statistical analysis infers properties of a population, for example by testing hypotheses and deriving estimates. It is assumed that the observed data set is sampled from a larger population. Inferential statistics can be contrasted with descriptive statistics. Descriptive statistics is solely concerned with properties of the observed data, and it does not rest on the assumption that the data come from a larger population. In machine learning, the term ''inference'' is sometimes used instead to mean "make a prediction, by evaluating an already trained model"; in this context inferring properties of the model is referred to as ''training'' or ''learning'' (rather than ''inference''), and using a model for prediction is referred to as ''inference'' (instead of ''prediction'' ...
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Experimental Method
An experiment is a procedure carried out to support or refute a hypothesis, or determine the efficacy or likelihood of something previously untried. Experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated. Experiments vary greatly in goal and scale but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results. There also exist natural experimental studies. A child may carry out basic experiments to understand how things fall to the ground, while teams of scientists may take years of systematic investigation to advance their understanding of a phenomenon. Experiments and other types of hands-on activities are very important to student learning in the science classroom. Experiments can raise test scores and help a student become more engaged and interested in the material they are learning, especially when used over time. Experiments can vary from personal and informal natural comparisons ( ...
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Hypothesis Testing
A statistical hypothesis test is a method of statistical inference used to decide whether the data at hand sufficiently support a particular hypothesis. Hypothesis testing allows us to make probabilistic statements about population parameters. History Early use While hypothesis testing was popularized early in the 20th century, early forms were used in the 1700s. The first use is credited to John Arbuthnot (1710), followed by Pierre-Simon Laplace (1770s), in analyzing the human sex ratio at birth; see . Modern origins and early controversy Modern significance testing is largely the product of Karl Pearson ( ''p''-value, Pearson's chi-squared test), William Sealy Gosset (Student's t-distribution), and Ronald Fisher ("null hypothesis", analysis of variance, " significance test"), while hypothesis testing was developed by Jerzy Neyman and Egon Pearson (son of Karl). Ronald Fisher began his life in statistics as a Bayesian (Zabell 1992), but Fisher soon grew disenchanted with the ...
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The Design Of Experiments
''The Design of Experiments'' is a 1935 book by the English statistician Ronald Fisher about the design of experiments and is considered a foundational work in experimental design. Among other contributions, the book introduced the concept of the null hypothesis in the context of the lady tasting tea experiment.OED, "null hypothesis," first usage: 1935 R. A. Fisher, ''The Design of Experiments'' ii. 19, "We may speak of this hypothesis as the 'null hypothesis'...the null hypothesis is never proved or established, but is possibly disproved, in the course of experimentation." A chapter is devoted to the Latin square. Chapters # Introduction # The principles of experimentation, illustrated by a psycho-physical experiment # A historical experiment on growth rate # An agricultural experiment in randomized blocks # The Latin square # The factorial design in experimentation # Confounding # Special cases of partial confounding # The increase of precision by concomitant measurements. St ...
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Ronald Fisher
Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher (17 February 1890 – 29 July 1962) was a British polymath who was active as a mathematician, statistician, biologist, geneticist, and academic. For his work in statistics, he has been described as "a genius who almost single-handedly created the foundations for modern statistical science" and "the single most important figure in 20th century statistics". In genetics, his work used mathematics to combine Mendelian genetics and natural selection; this contributed to the revival of Darwinism in the early 20th-century revision of the theory of evolution known as the modern synthesis. For his contributions to biology, Fisher has been called "the greatest of Darwin’s successors". Fisher held strong views on race and eugenics, insisting on racial differences. Although he was clearly a eugenist and advocated for the legalization of voluntary sterilization of those with heritable mental disabilities, there is some debate as to whether Fisher supported ...
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Statistics
Statistics (from German: '' Statistik'', "description of a state, a country") is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics to a scientific, industrial, or social problem, it is conventional to begin with a statistical population or a statistical model to be studied. Populations can be diverse groups of people or objects such as "all people living in a country" or "every atom composing a crystal". Statistics deals with every aspect of data, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments.Dodge, Y. (2006) ''The Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms'', Oxford University Press. When census data cannot be collected, statisticians collect data by developing specific experiment designs and survey samples. Representative sampling assures that inferences and conclusions can reasonably extend from the sample to the population as a whole. An ...
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The Logic Of Scientific Discovery
''The Logic of Scientific Discovery'' is a 1959 book about the philosophy of science by the philosopher Karl Popper. Popper rewrote his book in English from the 1934 (imprint '1935') German original, titled ''Logik der Forschung. Zur Erkenntnistheorie der modernen Naturwissenschaft'', which literally translates as, "Logic of Research: On the Epistemology of Modern Natural Science"'. Summary Popper argues that science should adopt a methodology based on falsifiability, because no number of experiments can ever prove a theory, but a reproducible experiment or observation can refute one. According to Popper: "non-reproducible single occurrences are of no significance to science. Thus a few stray basic statements contradicting a theory will hardly induce us to reject it as falsified. We shall take it as falsified only if we discover a reproducible effect which refutes the theory". Popper argues that science should adopt a methodology based on "an ''asymmetry'' between verifiability a ...
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Karl Popper
Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British philosopher, academic and social commentator. One of the 20th century's most influential philosophers of science, Popper is known for his rejection of the classical inductivist views on the scientific method in favour of empirical falsification. According to Popper, a theory in the empirical sciences can never be proven, but it can be falsified, meaning that it can (and should) be scrutinised with decisive experiments. Popper was opposed to the classical justificationist account of knowledge, which he replaced with critical rationalism, namely "the first non-justificational philosophy of criticism in the history of philosophy". In political discourse, he is known for his vigorous defence of liberal democracy and the principles of social criticism that he believed made a flourishing open society possible. His political philosophy embraced ideas from major democratic political ideologies ...
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