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Observation is the active acquisition of information from a primary source. In living beings, observation employs the senses. In science, observation can also involve the perception and recording of data via the use of scientific instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during the scientific activity. Observations can be qualitative, that is, only the absence or presence of a property is noted, or quantitative if a numerical value is attached to the observed phenomenon by counting or measuring.
In fields such as epidemiology, social sciences, psychology and statistics, an observational study draws inferences from a sample to a population where the independent variable is not under the control of the researcher because of ethical concerns or logistical constraints. One common observational study is about the possible effect of a treatment on subjects, where the assignment of subjects into a treated group versus a control group is outside the control of the investigator. This is in contrast with experiments, such as randomized controlled trials, where each subject is randomly assigned to a treated group or a control group.
Occupational medicine, until 1960 called industrial medicine, is the branch of medicine which is concerned with the maintenance of health in the workplace, including prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries, with secondary objectives of maintaining and increasing productivity and social adjustment in the workplace.
Occupational therapy (OT) is the use of assessment and intervention to develop, recover, or maintain the meaningful activities, or occupations, of individuals, groups, or communities. It is an allied health profession performed by occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants (OTA). OTs often work with people with mental health problems, disabilities, injuries, or impairments.
The American Occupational Therapy Association defines an occupational therapist as someone who “helps people across their lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, injury rehabilitation, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.”
Typically, occupational therapists are university-educated professionals and must pass a licensing exam to practice. Occupational therapists often work closely with professionals in physical therapy, speech–language pathology, audiology, nursing, social work, psychology, medicine, and assistive technology.
Oceanography (compound of the Greek words ὠκεανός meaning “ocean” and γράφω meaning “write”), also known as oceanology, is the study of the physical and biological aspects of the ocean. It is an important Earth science, which covers a wide range of topics, including ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries. These diverse topics reflect multiple disciplines that oceanographers blend to further knowledge of the world ocean and understanding of processes within: astronomy, biology, chemistry, climatology, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology and physics. Paleoceanography studies the history of the oceans in the geologic past. An oceanographer is a person who studies many matters concerned with oceans including marine geology, physics, chemistry and biology.
OECD Better Life Index
The OECD Better Life Index, in May 2011 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development following a decade of work on this issue, is a first attempt to bring together internationally comparable measures of well-being in line with the recommendations of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress also known as the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission. The recommendations made by this Commission sought to address concerns that standard macroeconomic statistics like GDP failed to give a true account of people’s current and future well-being. The OECD Better Life Initiative includes two main elements: “Your Better Life Index” and “How’s Life?”
An office is generally a building, room or other area where an organization’s employees perform administrative work in order to support and realize objects and goals of the organization. The word “office” may also denote a position within an organization with specific duties attached to it (see officer, office-holder, official); the latter is in fact an earlier usage, office as place originally referring to the location of one’s duty. When used as an adjective, the term “office” may refer to business-related tasks. In law, a company or organization has offices in any place where it has an official presence, even if that presence consists of (for example) a storage silo rather than an establishment with desk-and-chair. An office is also an architectural and design phenomenon: ranging from a small office such as a bench in the corner of a small business of extremely small size (see small office/home office), through entire floors of buildings, up to and including massive buildings dedicated entirely to one company. In modern terms an office is usually the location where white-collar workers carry out their functions. According to James Stephenson, “Office is that part of business enterprise which is devoted to the direction and co-ordination of its various activities.”
An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organization or government and participates in the exercise of authority, (either their own or that of their superior and/or employer, public or legally private). An elected official is a person who is an official by virtue of an election. Officials may also be appointed ex officio (by virtue of another office, often in a specified capacity, such as presiding, advisory, secretary). Some official positions may be inherited. A person who currently holds an office is referred to as an incumbent.
Old media, 1900 media, or legacy media are the mass media institutions that predominated prior to the Information Age; particularly print media, film studios, music studios, advertising agencies, radio broadcasting, and television.
Old media institutions are centralized and communicate with one-way technologies to a (generally anonymous) mass audience. New media computer technologies are interactive and comparatively decentralized; they enable people to telecommunicate with one another. The defining telecommunications network of the Information Age is the Internet.
Olfaction, or the sense of smell, is the special sense through which smells (or odors) are perceived. It occurs when an odor binds to a receptor within the nasal cavity, transmitting a signal through the olfactory system. Olfaction has many functions, including detecting hazards, and pheromones, and plays a role in taste.
Glomeruli aggregate signals from these receptors and transmit them to the olfactory bulb, where the sensory input will start to interact with parts of the brain responsible for smell identification, memory, and emotion.
There are many different causes for alteration, lack, or disturbance to normal olfaction, and can include damage to the peripheral nose or smell receptors, or central problems affecting the brain. Some causes include upper respiratory infections, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative disease.
The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (French: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world’s foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are normally held every four years, alternating between the Summer and Winter Olympics every two years in the four-year period.
Olympic sports are contested in the Summer Olympic Games and Winter Olympic Games. The 2016 Summer Olympics included 28 sports, with five additional sports due to be added to the 2020 Summer Olympics program (which was postponed to at least 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic); the 2014 Winter Olympics included seven sports. The number and types of events may change slightly from one Olympiad to another. Each Olympic sport is represented by an international governing body, namely an International Federation (IF). The International Olympic Committee (IOC) establishes a hierarchy of sports, disciplines, and events. According to this hierarchy, each Olympic sport can be subdivided into multiple disciplines, which are often mistaken as distinct sports. Examples include swimming and water polo, which are in fact disciplines of the sport of aquatics (represented by the International Swimming Federation), and figure skating and speed skating, which are both disciplines of the sport of ice skating (represented by the International Skating Union). In turn, disciplines are subdivided into events, for which Olympic medals are awarded. A sport or discipline is included in the Olympic program if the IOC determines it to be widely practiced around the world, that is, the popularity of a given sport or discipline is indicated by the number of countries that compete in it. The IOC’s requirements also reflect participation in the Olympic Games – more stringent conditions are applied to men’s sports/disciplines (as men are represented at the Games in higher numbers than women) and to summer sports/disciplines (as more nations compete in the Summer Olympics than in the Winter Olympics).
An ombudsman (/ˈɒmbʊdzmən/, also US: /-bədz-, -bʌdz-/, Swedish: [ˈɔ̂mːbʉːdsˌman]), ombudsperson, ombud, ombuds, or public advocate is an official who is usually appointed by the government or by parliament but with a significant degree of independence. In some countries, an inspector general, citizen advocate or other official may have duties similar to those of a national ombudsman and may also be appointed by a legislature. Below the national level, an ombudsman may be appointed by a state, local, or municipal government. Unofficial ombudsmen may be appointed by, or even work for, a corporation such as a utility supplier, newspaper, NGO, or professional regulatory body.
Opinion journalism is journalism that makes no claim of objectivity. Although distinguished from advocacy journalism in several ways, both forms feature a subjective viewpoint, usually with some social or political purpose. Common examples include newspaper columns, editorials, op-eds, editorial cartoons, and punditry.
Unlike advocacy journalism, opinion journalism has a reduced focus on facts or research and its perspective is often of a more personalized variety. Its product may be only one component of a generally objective news outlet, rather than the dominant feature of an entire publication or broadcast network.
There are a number of journalistic genres that are opinion-based. Among them, for example, there is Gonzo journalism and New Journalism.
Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behaviour of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light. Because light is an electromagnetic wave, other forms of electromagnetic radiation such as X-rays, microwaves, and radio waves exhibit similar properties.
Optimism is an attitude reflecting a belief or hope that the outcome of some specific endeavor, or outcomes in general, will be positive, favorable, and desirable. A common idiom used to illustrate optimism versus pessimism is a glass filled with water to the halfway point: an optimist is said to see the glass as half full, while a pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
The term derives from the Latin optimum, meaning “best”. Being optimistic, in the typical sense of the word, is defined as expecting the best possible outcome from any given situation. This is usually referred to in psychology as dispositional optimism. It thus reflects a belief that future conditions will work out for the best. For this reason, it is seen as a trait that fosters resilience in the face of stress.
Theories of optimism include dispositional models, and models of explanatory style. Methods to measure optimism have been developed within both theoretical systems, such as various forms of the Life Orientation Test, for the original definition of optimism, or the Attributional Style Questionnaire designed to test optimism in terms of explanatory style.
Variation in optimism and pessimism is somewhat heritable and reflects biological trait systems to some degree. It is also influenced by environmental factors, including family environment, with some suggesting it can be learned. Optimism may also be linked to health.
Organic chemistry is a branch of chemistry that studies the structure, properties and reactions of organic compounds, which contain carbon in covalent bonding. Study of structure determines their chemical composition and formula. Study of properties includes physical and chemical properties, and evaluation of chemical reactivity to understand their behavior. The study of organic reactions includes the chemical synthesis of natural products, drugs, and polymers, and study of individual organic molecules in the laboratory and via theoretical (in silico) study.
An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an entity – such as a company, an institution, or an association – comprising one or more people and having a particular purpose.
The word is derived from the Greek word organon, which means tool or instrument, musical instrument, and organ.
Orgasm (from Greek ὀργασμός orgasmos “excitement, swelling”; also sexual climax) is the sudden discharge of accumulated sexual excitement during the sexual response cycle, resulting in rhythmic muscular contractions in the pelvic region characterized by sexual pleasure. Experienced by males and females, orgasms are controlled by the involuntary or autonomic nervous system. They are often associated with other involuntary actions, including muscular spasms in multiple areas of the body, a general euphoric sensation and, frequently, body movements and vocalizations. The period after orgasm (known as the refractory period) is often a relaxing experience, attributed to the release of the neurohormones oxytocin and prolactin as well as endorphins (or “endogenous morphine”).
Ornithology is a branch of zoology that concerns the “methodological study and consequent knowledge of birds with all that relates to them”. Several aspects of ornithology differ from related disciplines, due partly to the high visibility and the aesthetic appeal of birds. It has also been an area with a large contribution made by amateurs in terms of time, resources, and financial support. Studies on birds have helped develop key concepts in biology including evolution, behaviour and ecology such as the definition of species, the process of speciation, instinct, learning, ecological niches, guilds, island biogeography, phylogeography, and conservation.
Otorhinolaryngology (/oʊtoʊˌraɪnoʊˌlærənˈɡɒlədʒi/ oh-toh-RYE-noh-LAR-ən-GOL-ə-jee; abbreviated ORL; also called otolaryngology; other terms include otolaryngology – head and neck surgery (ORL–H&N, OHNS) and ear, nose, and throat, often called ENT) is a surgical subspecialty within medicine that deals with the surgical and medical management of conditions of the head and neck. Doctors who specialize in this area are called otorhinolaryngologists, otolaryngologists, head and neck surgeons, or ENT surgeons or physicians. Patients seek treatment from an otorhinolaryngologist for diseases of the ear, nose, throat, base of the skull, head, and neck. These commonly include functional diseases that affect the senses and activities of eating, drinking, speaking, breathing, swallowing, and hearing. In addition, ENT surgery encompasses the surgical management and reconstruction of cancers and benign tumors of the head and neck as well as plastic surgery of the face and neck.
Outline of health sciences
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to health sciences:
Health sciences – are those sciences which focus on health, or health care, as core parts of their subject matter. These two subject matters relate to multiple academic disciplines,(and as such) both STEM disciplines, as well as emerging patient safety disciplines (such as social care research), and are both relevant to current health science knowledge.
Health sciences’ knowledge bases are currently diverse, with intellectual foundations that are sometimes mutually-inconsistent. There is currently an existing bias in the field, towards high valuation of knowledge deriving from controlling views on the human agency (as epitomized by the epistemological basis of Randomized Control Trial designs); compare this against the more naturalistic views on human agency taken by research based on Ethnography for example).
Outline of human anatomy
Human anatomy – scientific study of the morphology of the adult human. It is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy (also called topographical anatomy, regional anatomy, or anthropotomy) is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by unaided vision. Microscopic anatomy is the study of minute anatomical structures assisted with microscopes, and includes histology (the study of the organization of tissues), and cytology (the study of cells).
Outline of knowledge
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to knowledge:
Knowledge – familiarity with someone or something, which can include facts, information, descriptions, and/or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); and it can be more or less formal or systematic.
Outline of natural science
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to natural science:
Natural science – a major branch of science that tries to explain, and predict, nature’s phenomena based on empirical evidence. In natural science, hypothesis must be verified scientifically to be regarded as scientific theory. Validity, accuracy, and social mechanisms ensuring quality control, such as peer review and repeatability of findings, are amongst the criteria and methods used for this purpose. Natural science can be broken into 2 main branches: life science, and physical science. Each of these branches, and all of their sub-branches, are referred to as natural sciences.
Outline of physical science
Physical science is a branch of natural science that studies non-living systems, in contrast to life science. It in turn has many branches, each referred to as a “physical science”, together called the “physical sciences”.
Physical science can be described as all of the following:
A branch of science (a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe).
A branch of natural science – natural science is a major branch of science that tries to explain and predict nature’s phenomena, based on empirical evidence. In natural science, hypotheses must be verified scientifically to be regarded as scientific theory. Validity, accuracy, and social mechanisms ensuring quality control, such as peer review and repeatability of findings, are amongst the criteria and methods used for this purpose. Natural science can be broken into two main branches: life science (for example biology) and physical science. Each of these branches, and all of their sub-branches, are referred to as natural sciences.
Outline of science
The following outline is provided as a topical overview of science:
Science is both the systematic effort of acquiring knowledge through observation, experimentation and reasoning, and the body of knowledge thus acquired. The word “science” comes from the Latin word “scientia” meaning knowledge. A practitioner of science is called a “scientist”. Modern science respects objective logical reasoning, and follows a set of core procedures or rules to determine the nature and underlying natural laws of the universe and everything in it. Some scientists do not know of the rules themselves, but follow them through research policies. These procedures are known as the scientific method.
Oxygen is the chemical element with the symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen group in the periodic table, a highly reactive nonmetal, and an oxidizing agent that readily forms oxides with most elements as well as with other compounds. After hydrogen and helium, oxygen is the third-most abundant element in the universe by mass. At standard temperature and pressure, two atoms of the element bind to form dioxygen, a colorless and odorless diatomic gas with the formula O2. Diatomic oxygen gas currently constitutes 20.95% of the Earth’s atmosphere, though this has changed considerably over long periods of time. Oxygen makes up almost half of the Earth’s crust in the form of oxides.