Statistics is nothing but collection of accurate data about a commodity, service, performance and many more. When it comes to research findings, scientific method is found to be greatly useful and it can be distinguished by adherence to several principles namely; objectivity, empiricism, relativism, ethical neutrality, skepticism and simplicity and the details are as mentioned below:
- Objectivity: By objectivity, it is meant that the scientific investigation of social phenomenon should not be influenced by the subjective biases of the investigator. The social analysis should be over and above the personal feelings or attitudes of the social scientist. In other words, the process of acquiring knowledge in social sciences must remain independent of any considerations of race, color, creed, nationality, religion, moral or political preferences. However, an ideal form of objectivity is difficult to attain in social sciences since there are always chances that personal or cultural preferences may influence a given social analysis.
- Empiricism: The second important characteristic of scientific method is empiricism. It means that a social investigation must be conducted empirically. In other words, our views about some or other aspect of society must be based on clear and definite factual evidence and such evidence should be produced by observing the relevant social reality with the help of human senses, viz., sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.
- Relativism: Relativism is that principle of scientific method whereby the results of a scientific investigation are never considered as permanent or absolute truths.
The scientific method presupposes that propositions which are true in some situation and become open to question (or come under criticism) on the face of new evidence. Further advances in knowledge may refute or reject the established notions or views of our social environment. By relativism in scientific method, it is meant that no notions are sacred; no propositions are privileged and no truths are absolute to the social scientist.
- Ethical neutrality: The scientific method demands that a social scientist maintains an ethically neutral attitude in his pursuit of knowledge. In his professional capacity he is not supposed to take sides on issues of moral or ethical nature. He should remain over and above all religious, political or moral issues.
- Skepticism: The scientific method presupposes that a social scientist must have the willingness or capacity to doubt the validity of existing social theories. He must have a critical bent of mind. He must not accept the truth of a given proposition or theory simply because of its popularity or general acceptance. He must be skeptical about the authenticity of each and every explanation, particularly when they are supposed by insufficient evidence.
- Simplicity: When an adequate explanation of a social phenomenon is available for the purpose of generating another similar one, duplication should altogether be avoided. Out of a given range of social theories, the one which is scientifically superior must be accepted while others must be rejected. The duplicate or repetitive explanations are simply untenable and a waste of time.