ANSWERS: 1
  • The word empirical denotes information gained by means of observation, experience, or experiment. A central concept in science and the scientific method is that all evidence must be empirical, or empirically based, that is, dependent on evidence or consequences that are observable by the senses. It is usually differentiated from the philosophic usage of empiricism by the use of the adjective "empirical" or the adverb "empirically." "Empirical" refers to the use of working hypotheses that are testable using observation or experiment. In this sense of the word, scientific statements are subject to and derived from our experiences or observations. Empirical data are data that are produced by experiment or observation. The standard positivist view of empirically acquired information has been that observation, experience, and experiment serve as neutral arbiters between competing theories. However, since the 1960s, Thomas Kuhn has promoted the concept that these methods are influenced by prior beliefs and experiences. Consequently it cannot be expected that two scientists when observing, experiencing, or experimenting on the same event will make the same theory-neutral observations. The role of observation as a theory-neutral arbiter may not be possible. Theory-dependence of observation means that, even if there were agreed methods of inference and interpretation, scientists may still disagree on the nature of empirical data. In scientific research, an experiment (Latin: ex- periri, "to try out") is a method of investigating causal relationships among variables, or to test a hypothesis. An experiment is a cornerstone of the empirical approach to acquiring data about the world and is used in both natural sciences and social sciences. An experiment can be used to help solve practical problems and to support or negate theoretical assumptions.

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