- Not based on ideology
- Conducted honestly
- A thorough, proper consideration of all prior evidence (not just that which suits you)
- A commitment to empiricism
- Reporting all the results, not just the ones which support your conclusions
- Testing a hypothesis, which you accept or reject
- Starting with the end goal in mind, and working backwards from that
- Selectively reporting your results
- Going in with preconceptions
- Having an agenda
- Skewing the data to match your expectations
- Not accepting anomalies or unexpected results
- Not doing your research
Empiricism. Enlightenment. The scientific method.
It’s all been key to our ability to progress so rapidly since the Renaissance, in terms of quality of life, technological prowess, the path towards eradicating poverty and disease.
But, how often do we apply the principles of ‘good science’ to the decisions and actions we take in our own lives? So often, we just automatically run the script, reverting back to old excuses and tropes.
Conduct a thorough analysis of yourself, your decisions. Look at all the evidence. Test a hypothesis – and keep moving forward.
Applying the scientific method to our own lives is one of the best ways to bring direction and meaning to our choices.
Otherwise, we’re just blundering around in chaos.