Scientific thinking is the process of thinking in which you generate thought and research about it, analyze it, experiment it, gather the data and based on that you conclude whether it is right or wrong.
Scientific thinking starts with scientific curiosity. We, humans, are by design curious and we love to explore. We start our exploration right after our birth. But gradually many of us start losing curiousness and we make our exploration very narrow.
Scientific thinking has two major parts: First part is the question and the second part is the research and findings.
The beauty is that both parts are created by us. Initially, we ask the question to ourselves and then start finding the answers for that.
Why everyone should adopt scientific thinking?
Now the question is why we should adopt it. Isn’t it too much to apply it continuously in daily life? Isn’t this is for scientists and researchers?
Yes, it looks too much initially but you can train yourself to adopt scientific thinking effortlessly.
If you learn and adapt this it will develop rational decision making and save you from fatigue which happens in day to day decision making. It will help you develop in generating focused life and it will also help in avoiding unnecessary distractions in life.
It will also protect you from many traps such as marketing traps, fake news, misleading health advice, and inappropriate lifestyle advice. This will help you guide to design your life in a way you want and you can become in-charge of your brain and thought process.
Check whether you practice scientific thinking?
Now let’s check whether you practice scientific thinking or not. It’s a very simple test:
Step 1: Do you question everything whether it is obvious or not?
For example, have you ever questioned how much food we need to consume per day? And is the food have the required nutritional value that we need or we need some supplement? Does the same food (let’s say rice) have the same nutritional value across the globe?
Step 2: Do you like to find out, cross-check or research about any information you receive?
For example, if you get information that ‘Spinach’ is good for health but have you checked that is it good for everyone because it depends on person to person, it may or may not well digestible for everyone.
So if you do either of these steps or both then you may partially or fully practice scientific thinking but now the question is how much it is embedded to your lifestyle.
If you do not practice it actively don’t worry everyone does it passively but to embed this practice actively to your life I will guide you.
How to develop scientific thinking?
Development of scientific thinking involves question and search.
- Asking Questions: Make a habit to question everything in your mind. You can start with basic questions such as why we do this? What is the importance of it? Is it the right way or effective way? Can there be a more efficient way?
- Researching: After generating question you need to gather all the relevant information about that particular subject or process. Do the research and find out all the trusted sources and gather as much information as you can. In this process, you have to check the credibility of resources based on the facts they are presenting.
- Create own theory based on information: Now after filtering out the information start creating your own theory on the subject matter.
- Test your theory: Now it is time to check yourself whether your theory is right or it is flawed or entirely incorrect. Try to experiment with your theory and generate data.
- Gather data: Start implementing your theory and gather as much data as you can and log it properly.
- Make observations: Now based on the experimental data logs try to make observations and try to figure out whether the theory is okay or need correction.
- Refine alter expand or reject hypothesis: On the basis of the observations try to refine theory. Check for alternatives, expansion, if possible and if the results are negative then you need to discard the theory entirely.
So now you might be thinking, why I should do all these efforts just for simple tasks.
No, you need not do all these things for everything but if you try to think in this way it will train your brain to embed this thinking automatically without any extra efforts.
In conclusion you just need to start with asking the question ‘Why?’, from yourself and trying to find the answers.
And do not afraid of experimenting. The experiment will give you data which will refine you. In simple words whatever you want to do, do it and check whether you are right or wrong. If you are wrong accept it and check where you went wrong and correct your decision next time. That way you have created your own theory or method.
So which system or thing you want to question?