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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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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

A lower limit for future climate emissions

A new study finds that the world can emit even less greenhouse gases than previously estimated in order to limit climate change to less than 2°C.

In a comprehensive new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers propose a limit to future greenhouse gas emissions—or carbon budget—of...

24.02.2016 | nachricht Read more

Tracking prejudices in the brain

We do not always say what we think: we like to hide certain prejudices, sometimes even from ourselves. But unconscious prejudices become visible with tests, because we need a longer time if we must associate unpleasant things with positive terms. Researchers in Bern now show that additional processes in the brain are not responsible for this, but some of them simply take longer.

A soccer fan needs more time to associate a positive word with an opposing club than with his own team. And supporters of a political party associate a...

23.02.2016 | nachricht Read more

Infants should sleep in their own beds to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome

The advice given to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, SIDS, has worked well, but the potential to save more lives exists. In addition to sleeping on their backs, infants should sleep in their own beds for the first few months to reduce the risk of sudden infant death. A new doctoral thesis at Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg has explored these issues.

In the early 1990s, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare went out with advice to new parents to reduce the number of children who die each year...

15.02.2016 | nachricht Read more

New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

09.02.2016 | nachricht Read more

Online shopping might not be as green as we thought

Study provides insight into impacts of home shopping on vehicle operations and greenhouse gas emissions

Logic suggests that online shopping is "greener" than traditional shopping. After all, when people shop from home, they are not jumping into their cars, one by...

08.02.2016 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

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