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Problems form a part of everyday life in a person’s daily experiences and encounters because of the fact that the contemporary world has proved to be rather sophisticated and unpredictable. One way or the other, one has to keep up and learn how to implement appropriate solutions to these problems that, so far, prove inevitable. Carey (2009) affirms that it is undeniably right that people learn how to solve problems through experience in the sense that whatever challenges emerge in a person’s life, he or she should always be ready to face them. It is for this reason that human beings have developed certain preferable scientific procedures that, when followed appropriately, help to find the root cause of the problem through critical analysis and evaluation in a bid to come up with the best strategy to go about solving the problem. That is to say, if these steps are not adhered to, there is a possibility of making blunders and, ultimately, failing to develop the appropriate resolution of the problem. Therefore, there are well-defined steps with the help of which, if pursued accordingly, one is able to understand the challenge, develop alternative courses of action, analyze the options, and, finally, settle for the best choice in a bid to solve the problem.
Hours after a busy day at work and an hour of holdup by the traffic snarl-up, I arrived home completely worn-out. It was about 7 p.m. when I sauntered into my house and smelt something strange inside. First, I noticed that my door was not locked at the time I entered the house despite the fact that I had locked it. As a part of my routine, I normally check whether the lock is appropriately closed before I depart for work. As I stood their dubiously and unsure of what to do, I noticed a cloud of smoke coming out of my bedroom. The first thought that crossed my mind was to call 911 but after a quick browse through my room to check if anything was missing, I realized how useless it would be because everything was in place apart from the broken glasses on the floor. Therefore, I decided to fight the fire, which was remorselessly consuming my bedding, with the help of a fire extinguisher that was still hanging on the wall. Within a few minutes, I managed to put the fire out and, then, decided to sit down and find out what was amiss in the house. I also tried to analyze the bizarre situation that had struck me that evening.
At the outset of my endeavors regarding the uncanny incident, it dawned on me that I certainly had to apply scientific methodologies in order to succeed in finding the solution to my problem. According to Elder (2005), scientific means of solving any problem dictate that before embarking on finding the solution to any problem, one has to try to understand the challenge at hand, and this is preferably done via stating the problem precisely. As such, my problem was a mysteriously opened door and fire. Furthermore, Nezu & Nezu (2012) agree that forming the hypothesis is a crucial step in problem solving. Thus, this stage followed my problem statement. The formulation of hypothesis encompassed finding out if there was a relationship between the opened door and the fire in my bedroom. Afterwards, I embarked on various research options connected with finding out the possible causes of the fire such as electrical failure due to faulty wiring or a possible arson attempt. The aforementioned causes were the only two possible alternatives linked to the fire problem because of the fact that they both could reliably and consistently guarantee the same outcome. However, electricity failure is the least likely cause to affect the outcome, which, therefore, means that arson is the best choice that ensures the result. This option gives the answer to the formulated hypothesis, which provides a leeway for the statement of the hypothesis. Therefore, there was a nexus between the opened door and the fire in my bedroom.
After a successful statement of the hypothesis, scientists suggested that there should be a test of the stated hypothesis. Gadd (2011) affirms that this is usually done by performing relevant experiments in a bid to determine if the hypothesis provides the solution to the problem in question. The fact that the door was open, and that this was linked to the fire, meant that someone must have broken into my house with an intention. Consequently, this prompted me to carry out an experiment to support my hypothesis.
Having worked as a forensic scientist for over three years now, I had planned my steps diligently and had put on my gloves to avoid any distortion of the reliable evidence to hold up my hypothesis. Experience has taught me that the crucial aspect of the forensic fire investigation is finding out the source of the fire by determining its original point. This was very easy because I noticed that the bedding was more burnt in the middle, and a V-shaped burn was highly visible. The latter spread downwards meaning that the fire started from above the bedding. These initial results of my experiment yielded a reliable explanation to my problem. I then proceeded to another experiment which specifically sought to unveil the arson behind this entire dilemma. I picked all the pieces of glasses from the floor and examined each of them to find any fingerprints present. Before long, I noticed traces of fingerprints on three of the many pieces I had tested good enough to help me find the backup for my hypothesis. I conducted pertinent experiments that were directly related to the problem with a lot of caution and efforts in order to avoid mistakes and validate my hypothesis. Mak, Mak, & Mak (2009) assert that collecting data is a very critical step that acts as a source of information and, if properly done in relation to the problem, helps to identify the possible solution. Undoubtedly, I collected as many relevant data as possible through recording of the observations and findings from the experiments.
Data analysis is as important as data collection in the endeavor to provide answers. As such, after a proper collection and recording of the available data from the conducted experiments, I embarked on a critical analysis and scrutiny of the collected material. This was done by comparing all the observations and findings made and linking them to the problem at hand. After a careful analysis, I was ascertained that, indeed, someone had caused the fire. All the results pointed at a possible arsonist who had left just minutes before my arrival.
Scientists opine that all the results of any experiments related to problem solving must be summarized by drawing a conclusion. This is accomplished by referring back to the observations made. Having analyzed the observations, I concluded that an unknown person broke into my house with the unknown intentions and set my property on fire. This gave me the reason to go ahead and call the police for further investigation of the case, which was definitely the arson. I, therefore, concluded that knowledge is power, and application of the knowledge in everyday life can help people to solve their everyday problems and even develop means of averting these very problems.
- Carey, S. S. (2009). A beginner's guide to scientific method. London: Cengage Learning.
- Elder, D. (2005). Daily skill-builders: Science & technology. Grades 5-6. Chicago: Walch Publishing.
- Gadd, K. (2011). TRIZ for engineers: Enabling inventive problem solving. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
- Mak, D. K., Mak, A. T., & Mak, A. B. (2009). Solving everyday problems with the scientific method: Thinking like a scientist. Singapore: World Scientific.
- Nezu, A. M., & Nezu, C. M. (2012). Problem-solving therapy: A treatment manual. Boston: Springer Publishing Company.