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# Why are observations important?

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Observation is the primary tool used for collecting and recording data. Scientists rely on observation to determine the results of theories. Hypotheses are tested against observation using tools or human senses.

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Observation has been used by scientists since at least as early as ancient Greece. Observations of earthworms led many philosophers and scientists to learn how to identify and quantify results of scientific studies. This form of inquisition helped lead scientists to be able to test new theories as different methods of observation were developed. New forms of observation occur as technology advances. This broadens the capacity for observation and scientific inquiry.

Observation is not limited to scientists. It is also one of the primary ways in which humans and animals learn how to interact in their respective environments. Observation is when something is noticed and is then recognized as being important. This process helps on basic levels of survival, such as an individual's understanding not to walk out into a busy street without looking for oncoming traffic.

Animals follow similar basic levels of observation. If an animal sees other animals feeding in a specific location, it recognizes the behavior as a clue to a possible meal. Scientists typically rely on instruments to help them create observations on a more objective level.

## Related Questions

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Chebyshev's theorem, or inequality, states that for any given data sample, the proportion of observations is at least (1-(1/k2)), where k equals the "within number" divided by the standard deviation. For this to work, k must equal at least 1. This theorem provides a way to know what percentage of data lies within the standard deviations from any data set.

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The five basic steps of the scientific method are: make observations, propose a hypothesis, design and perform an experiment to test the hypothesis, analyze the data to see if it supports the hypothesis and, if necessary, propose and test a new hypothesis based on these findings. The scientific method is the basic set of actions that scientists use to make new discoveries and prove theories correct or incorrect.

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The most common methods of collecting primary data are conducting questionnaires, surveys, interviews, observations, case studies and focus groups, and examining documents and records. Data collection is the process of gathering information from different sources.