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Book and Media Reviews
July 5, 2006

Scientific Thinking

JAMA. 2006;296(1):100-105. doi:10.1001/jama.296.1.102

This book does two things: it provides a comprehensive review of the origins and development of scientific thinking, and it argues for a dedicated study of the psychology of science. The former endeavor provides a historical account of the critical issues that have shifted scientific thinking from purely observational to dedicated hypodeductive experimentation.

In addition to these two endeavors, the philosophical and sociological background of science is discussed, and the level of analysis and thoughtful examination will provide a good introduction for anyone unfamiliar with these areas. For example, there is a compelling discussion of Popper's insecurities concerning the origin of scientific theories (ie, that we begin with conjecture and speculation, which then are scrutinized using the scientific process), ideas that underpinned a position which later challenged the principles of logical positivism.

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