At fi rst blush, some readers may be taken aback by the use of the word “science” in the title of this chapter. Don’t be, because I use the term “science” in a general sense whereby hypotheses are fi rst generated and then tested, in a cycle of induction and deduction. Hypotheses, as you’ll see, are educated “hunches,” derived from theory, that are held up for scrutiny: Does the evidence support or fail to support the hypothesis? Direct observations are a crucial part of this process for both basic research and for solving problems in everyday settings, such as in schools and families. In this chapter, I will discuss, generally, the nature of science and the scientifi c method, and how they are applicable to observational methods in the context of social science research. Positioning social science as “science,” rather than, say art, situates it in a context with extant rules and conventions for conducting research. Indeed, diff erent defi nitions of science limit those activities which would be considered “research.” Th is chapter will serve to orient you to basic assumptions associated with conducting scientifi c research.