The experimental method is one of several methods that scientists in many disciplines can use to study a phenomenon. It is not superior to other methods; it simply has its own rules and domains of application. Some research questions naturally require experimentation to be answered satisfactorily, others can also (sometimes: better) be approached by relying on other research methods. Experiments can be characterized as a means to test an empirical hypothesis in a highly targeted way (experimental purpose) and as a particular way of collecting data (experimental methodology) and analyzing these data (statistics). In a sense there are two ways of studying an object of investigation: theoretical reflection and empirical analysis. Obviously, all scientists rely on observations (data); the difference between theoretical and empirical scientists mainly lies in the way they collect their data and what their targets are at the level of theoretical claims.
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