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Scientific research using studies and analyses

Studies and analyses are vital to progress and innovation and are the only way to empirically verify theories.

Science and empirical studies and analyses

Not all fields of science are dependent on empirical studies and analyses to verify a thesis. Mathematics, theology, philosophy and law are examples of fields that revolve within a stand-alone world in which new findings are derived by means of logical operations consisting of axioms, postulates or articles of faith (theology) that need not be proven true or accurate through empirical studies or analyses. Although these subjects are indispensable when it comes to basic research, by themselves they don't yield technical advances.

Empirical scientific approaches are diametrically opposed to these fields however. In this case, new theories are developed based on thought processes, observations and speculation. Ensuring that this knowledge has actual scientific relevance requires that it undergo an empirical evaluation however. Researchers rely on studies and analyses to compare these theses with real observations. New scientific knowledge is considered valid only after empirical studies and analyses show that theory and reality coincide. In the process it is imperative that the studies and analyses always produce the same result under the same experiment structure. Only then it is empirically proven that the result actually behaves in line with the theory.

Using empirical studies and analyses beyond the natural sciences and engineering

The validation process for new findings based on studies and analyses as described above is in no way limited to natural and engineering sciences such as physics, biology, chemistry, medicine and health, machine engineering or aero and space engineering. In fields such as the social sciences, studies and analyses are also indispensable for empirically proving the accuracy of assumptions and conclusions. Sociology uses empirical-based statistics, studies and analyses to determine if statements about the migration behavior of specific population groups is accurate for instance. The field of psychology also relies on analyses and studies to empirically validate the assumptions of certain behavior patterns.

Progress and innovation through empirical studies and analyses

Before the Enlightenment changed our way of thinking, universities tended to postulate and speculate more than perform scientific research. Innovations therefore were apt be accidental. Once researchers were convinced that scientific results were only possible through the use of empirical studies and analysis, the groundwork was laid for the rapid advances in science that followed. Empirical studies and analyses range from simple experiments, particularly by measuring, weighing and counting, to extremely complex processes that require an enormous amount of time and money. Determining the validity of scientific theories using empirical assurances is one of the prerequisites for implementing these theories in practice. When a specific fact has been confirmed and documented based on studies and analyses, the assumption is that it will remain a fact in the future under the same premises. Only then does it make sense to develop new technologies based on this knowledge, because this provides sufficient proof of the assumption that they always function in the same manner.

Two historical examples of progress based on studies and analyses

Gregor Mendel's studies and analyses on genetics provided empirical proof of his theories of heredity, which then led to modern plant breeding and the establishment of food security for millions of people. The effectiveness of penicillin, another invaluable innovation for mankind, was empirically proven by Alexander Fleming through medical studies and analyses.

Studies and Analyses

innovations-report maintains a wealth of in-depth studies and analyses from a variety of subject areas including business and finance, medicine and ph

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The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents

Teenagers are driven to seek new experiences: Adolescents are more likely to ignore information that could prompt them to rethink risky decisions. This may explain why information campaigns on risky behaviors such as drug abuse tend to have only limited success. These are the conclusions of a study conducted by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, which has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Reckless driving, binge drinking, drug taking—it is well known that adolescents are more likely than adults to engage in risky and impulsive behavior. A study...

19.01.2017 | nachricht Read more

A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections

You can pretty much put a mark in your calendar for when the annual flu epidemic begins. Using 20,000 virus samples and weather statistics, researchers have now discovered more details about how outdoor temperature and flu outbreaks are linked.

“According to our calculations, a cold week with an average temperature below zero degree Celsius precedes the start of the flu epidemic” says Nicklas Sundell,...

11.01.2017 | nachricht Read more

Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands

Due to rapid urban area expansion, some 300,000 square kilometers of particularly fertile cropland will be lost by the year 2030. That area of land—almost the size of Germany—is estimated to have accounted for nearly four per cent of the worldwide cultivation of food crops in the year 2000. These are results of a study led by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). A comparison underlines the relevance: the food produced on that area would be enough to provide more than 300 million people with 2,500 calories-per-day—for an entire year.

The MCC study, entitled “Future urban land expansion and implications for global croplands” and authored by Christopher Bren d’Amour and Felix Creutzig...

27.12.2016 | nachricht Read more

Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave

Companies are aware of the potential of Big Data in a digitized world. Which benefits are they actually reaping today? How important are smart data transformation projects at the moment? To better understand the present and future value of Big Data and the factors determining the success of smart data transformation projects, Infosys Consulting and Fraunhofer FIT's Project Group Business & Information Systems Engineering surveyed corporate decision-makers.

In the digital age, business organizations can benefit from exploiting internal as well as external data. Smart utilization of insights from analyzing and...

02.12.2016 | nachricht Read more

Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections

Powerful new model indicates that current pollution standards may be inadequate to ward off worsening algae blooms

New research suggests that Lake Champlain may be more susceptible to damage from climate change than was previously understood--and that, therefore, the rules...

18.11.2016 | nachricht Read more

Proven effect: Music, scent and colour influence customers

For many years, retail and service industries have deployed atmospheric stimuli such as music, scent and colour in order to influence consumer behaviour. Until recently, the results of scientific studies investigating the effects have been inconclusive, impeding the formulation of conclusive generalisations. Now, following the meta-analytic recalculation of data from 66 distinct studies, a research team has successfully demonstrated that the presence of music, scent and colour produces significant positive effects on customers’ shopper behaviour.

The meta-analysis was performed on the basis of 66 experimental studies referring to 74 data samples spanning the period from 1982 to 2016, with over 15,600...

03.11.2016 | nachricht Read more

Being fit protects against health risks caused by stress at work

It is a well-known fact that fitness and well-being go hand in hand. But being in good shape also protects against the health problems that arise when we feel particularly stressed at work. As reported by sports scientists from the University of Basel and colleagues from Sweden, it therefore pays to stay physically active, especially during periods of high stress.

Psychosocial stress is one of the key factors leading to illness-related absences from work. This type of stress is accompanied by impaired mental well-being...

01.11.2016 | nachricht Read more

Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?

Study investigates conditions for the emergence of collective intelligence: Methods of collective intelligence can result in considerably more accurate medical diagnoses, but only under certain conditions. A study headed by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development has investigated how group composition affects the outcomes of collective decision making. The results have been published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

The accuracy of medical decisions can be improved by combining several independent opinions. Studies conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human...

19.07.2016 | nachricht Read more

High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online

A new study from the University of Gothenburg show that adolescents like to present foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients in social media.

Previous studies have found that interactions around food in social media can influence adolescents’ consumption of candy and their willingness to try...

07.04.2016 | nachricht Read more

Brain connectivity reveals hidden motives

Often, it is hard to understand why people behave the way they do, because their true motives remain hidden. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now shown how peoples’ motives can be identified as they are characterized by a specific interplay between different brain regions. They also show how empathy motives increase altruistic behavior in selfish people.

To understand human behaviors, it is crucial to understand the motives behind them. So far, there was no direct way to identify motives. Simply observing...

04.03.2016 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

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