The ideal scientist demonstrates the following characteristics: precision. Scientists often start with a general theory: an organized system of assumptions and principles that purports to explain a specified set of phenomena and their interrelations. From that theory, they derive a hypothesis ( a statement that attempts to predict, describe, or explain a given behaviour) which may initially be general but become more precise through research. The hypothesis leads to predictions on what will happen in a particular situation. Operational definitions are precise definitions of a term in an hypothesis which specifies the operations for observing and measuring the process or phenomenon being defined: skepticism. Treat conclusions, new and old, with caution: do not always believe everything at first (show me!) Caution must be balanced by openness to new ideas and evidence to refrain from ending up short-sighted (ex. Lord kelvin who declared radio had no future, and that x- rays were a hoax: reliance on empirical evidence.