How to be lke Sherlock Holmes

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The character Sherlock Holmes is the fictional character of Arthur Conan Doyle. Conan Doyle states that his creation was inspired by Doctor Joseph Bell. This is important because all doctors who studied in school learned to conduct their investigation to phenomenal based on the scientific method. The scientific method is conducted first with observation, second-collection of data, third-formulating a hypothesis, and finally testing out the hypothesis to see if it is correct.

The scientific method is exactly what Sherlock Holmes utilizes. He observes the stranger. Collect data base on the stranger’s clothing, physical state, actions, and etc. After that he formulates a hypothesis on who exactly the person might be and what he/she wants. The part of formulating hypothesis is base on Sherlock Holmes considerable knowledge. For example, Sherlock Holmes knows where one has been in England by the type of mud on their shoe. Also in “The Hound of the Baservilles” Sherlock Holmes knows that the letters C.C.H on the stick stands for Charing Cross Hospital.  Finally Holmes test out his hypothesis by stating them as fact and see if the stranger agrees or disagree with his conclusions. Although Sherlock Holmes method is more of an inference than sound conclusions nevertheless it is base on what is observable.

So how to be like Sherlock Holmes:

  1. Use the Scientific Methods.

A)    Observation: Do NOT stop observing the person when you come to an obvious conclusion. It is not the validity of your inference that is important, but the amount of observation you have.

EXAMPLE: You arrive just in time to meet a friend of yours who you have not seen for a long time.  You observe that her hair is a mess, so she must have come in a hurry. After further observation you see that her makeup is flawless and her clothes are neat. Her hair must be some sort of style. So your first conclusion is wrong to assume that she came in a hurry.

B)   Collect Data: Remember what you have seen. Many times in Sherlock Holmes’s adventure Holmes told Watson how he does not truly observe the things he sees because Watson fails to remember the fine details of what he sees (i.e. The number of steps on an staircase). So how do you remember everything you see? Well you can’t, unless you have eidetic memory. You have to remember the details where you know you can get the most truthful data.

HINTS: When you meet someone for the first time, causally look from down and up. Looking at the area from bottom- like the shoes is the best place to indicate status (the material of the shoes, brand, etc), the amount traveled (wears, mud stain, etc), and find out if the person is fashionable (style, color-does it match the outfit?) because the shoes is the LEASTcontrol area. The face and hair will tell you the least about the person because that is the first thing a person will touch up and manipulate in the morning.

C) Hypothesize : Use the facts that you have to suit your hypnotize and not the other way around. Also base your hypothesize on your context.

EXAMPLE: If you meet a stranger who wears a military outfit, stands like a military man, and orders people around like a military man, he must be in the military. The simplest inference is usually the correct one. However, also consider your context. If it’s Halloween, the man might just be dressing up like a military personnel.

D) Test out Hypothesize: Create a control experiment. Or you can always ask if your conclusion is correct.

EXAMPLE: If you suspect someone is borrowing your clothes without permission, announce to the suspect that you’re going out. Then as you pretend to leave you hide in your room to catch the suspect red handed.

  1. Read – The more Knowledge you have the better the inference. However, this does not mean you should read everything you see. Consider what is important and imagine how you can use the things you have learned.

A)    Read Newspapers –find out the weather, the politics, etc.

B)    Read factual books –Biology, basic chemistry, psychology – body language, and etc.

C)    Learn some common statistics –Most common names, median wage in your area, education level, most common jobs, etc.

D)    Look through magazines –Fashion, makeup, latest food crazes, etc.

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