What is to be done when nothing is known yet? How is one to proceed? The very beginning of all scientific activity is rarely treated in undergraduate or graduate studies. The method for systematic observation has been developed exactely for this purpose, the. It consists in the application of five easily memorized formulas. They help the investigator and the researcher be more proficient observers and to make sure that no details have been left out when it comes to abduct hypotheses. The five formulas determine which steps are to be taken at first. They are listed as follows:
I. Compare the object of observation to a model and/or to similar cases.
II. Separate formal aspects from the contents and analyze each of them.
III. Structure the object into functional elements, and explore each of them separately.
IV. Explore inconsistencies, contradictions, mistakes, or astonishing coincidences within the context of the established structure.
V. Look for the absence of signs (with models and after structuring the object).
Testing the Plausibility of Hypotheses Then, after going through the process of systematically registering every import detail, we are able to draw first hypotheses (the abduction process according to Peirce). These hypotheses should consequently be checked for plausibility in listing systematically each sign of evidence for and each against them, in order to get a clear picture of the case