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Sometimes you are in an argument , and your opponent says something that you just can't counter. There's just no way to prove them wrong. Although an argument like this might seem strong or even unbeatable, in reality it is a logical fallacy, one known as the non-testable hypothesis. Once you understand how the non-testable hypothesis works, it becomes much easier to identify and reject in logical argumentation .
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Sometimes you are in an argument , and your opponent says something that you just can't counter. There's just no way to prove them wrong. Although an argument like this might seem strong or even unbeatable, in reality it is a logical fallacy, one known as the non-testable hypothesis. Once you understand how the non-testable hypothesis works, it becomes much easier to identify and reject in logical argumentation .
Non-Testable Hypothesis: Meaning
A non-testable hypothesis is a logical fallacy . A fallacy is an error of some kind.
A logical fallacy is employed like a logical reason, but it is actually flawed and illogical.
A non-testable hypothesis is specifically an informal logical fallacy, which means that its fallacy lies not in the structure of the logic (which would be a formal logical fallacy), but rather in something else about the argument.
A non-testable hypothesis is a claim that cannot be tested.
A non-testable hypothesis can occur in a single claim or in an argument involving multiple claims.
Argument From a Non-Testable Hypothesis
Here is what it looks like to make an argument from a non-testable hypothesis.
Other sentient lifeforms absolutely exist in the universe.
In some ways, this isn't unreasonable to conclude. If humans exist, and we live on just one planet in the universe, it seems reasonable to conclude that other sentient lifeforms are out there, too. However, there is absolutely no way to test this claim.
Because there is no way at the moment to observe the presence of other sentient lifeforms, to argue they "absolutely" exist is to argue a non-testable hypothesis.
If there is no way on Earth to logically test whether something is true, then it is a non-testable hypothesis. You might be able to predict whether something turns out to be true, but you cannot predict whether something is true.
Our means to test things on Earth are always evolving, but your hypotheses should be based on our means as of today, not on means that we may or not have in the future.
Here's a better way to phrase our thoughts about aliens.
Based upon what we know, it is probable that other sentient lifeforms exist in the universe.
Because this is not making a claim, this is not a hypothesis, non-testable or otherwise. This is a prediction and therefore not a logical fallacy.
Predictions vs. hypotheses: When a weather forecaster predicts sunny skies tomorrow, she is not forming a hypothesis. She is using past data to extrapolate the probability of something happening in the future. Likewise, someone can predict that we will find aliens one day—and maybe even when we will find aliens—based on what we know about the universe today and our rate of technological growth. However, this prediction does not prove it will happen. It merely predicts the likelihood that it will happen, based upon some form of data.
On the other hand, hypotheses prove certainties. Gravity is a certainty. It has been proven by hypothesis to exist. Gravity is not "99% proven to exist."
Think of it this way. If a weather forecaster "hypothesizes" that it will rain tomorrow, and it does rain, what has she proven? Has she proven that her forecasting abilities are infallible? Obviously not. In fact , the most she could prove, after many trials, is the statistical likelihood that her forecasts are correct. She can use evidence to support the probable efficiency of her work.
Why a Non-Testable Hypothesis is a Fallacy
A non-testable hypothesis boils down to, "you can't prove this right, and you can't prove it wrong."
If something cannot be proven right or wrong, then what does it prove? It doesn't prove anything, which is the problem with arguing from a non-testable hypothesis.
To draw a conclusion requires evidence . However, a non-testable hypothesis cannot be supported by evidence and to conclude anything based upon a non-testable hypothesis is a fallacy.
Examples of a Non-Testable Hypothesis
Some examples of non-testable hypothesises would look like:
- The universe was created by a higher power.
- Love is the most powerful force in the universe.
- Human beings are capable of unlimited potential.
- There is life on other planets.
- The concept of beauty is subjective and cannot be objectively defined or measured.
These hypotheses cannot be tested through scientific methods, as they cannot be directly observed or measured. They are often based on personal beliefs or philosophical ideas and are not subject to empirical validation or falsification.
Essay Example of a Non-Testable Hypothesis
Here is how someone might use a non-testable hypothesis as a form of support in an essay.
There is much more evidence to support the existence of the Illuminati than one realizes. First of all, many philosophers, including Reginald Riposte, believe it is very sane to believe that the elites could be running the world, even the Illuminati. Second, and perhaps most damning, is the fact that the Illuminati are untraceable, as if magically concealed. In other words, because they go unseen and unheard, their effects are missed. Third, there is a wealth of historical evidence that points to their existence. In fact , evidence dates back to the 18th century, when the “Bavarian Illuminati” formed. From there, their power only grew."
This quote is brimming with logical fallacies and more. However, can you spot the non-testable hypothesis amid the riffraff?
The non-testable hypothesis is in the second “point,” that the Illuminati are untraceable. Absurdly, this writer asserts that the Illuminati does things, despite the fact that it is impossible to prove or disprove the actions of untraceable "magic-like" entities. In reality, the writer cannot assert anything about a group that is "untraceable, as if magically concealed" for the very reason that they are "untraceable, as if magically concealed."
Difference Between a Testable and Non-Testable Hypothesis
All right, so how can one avoid writing a non-testable hypothesis? First, it’s important to understand what a testable hypothesis looks like. Here’s one.
Water changes from solid to liquid when it rises above 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sure, this one is a bit obvious, but it makes for a good example. This hypothesis can be tested in the laboratory. Here’s another one.
When I pet my cat, he purrs.
This one can be tested by, well, petting the cat in various situations. He probably won’t always purr, a fact that will disprove this hypothesis.
Notice how, in these examples, there is some kind of test that can be performed. That’s it. That’s a testable hypothesis. If you can’t test it, then it is non-testable.
Tips to Avoid a Non-Testable Hypothesis
Non-testable hypotheses are ridiculous “logical arguments,” and you should be very conscious not to use one. Here are some ways to be sure that doesn’t happen:
To avoid a non-testable hypothesis, don’t make assumptions
When you assume things, you don’t verify them. When you don't verify something, you may employ a non-testable hypothesis.
For instance, someone might write in an essay that, "Because Shakespeare is a towering figure, the greatest of all playwrights, it is unlikely that he would make such an error in his play." However, this line of reasoning employs a non-testable hypothesis. You cannot prove that Shakespeare is the "greatest" of all playwrights, because "greatest" is a subjective term. Therefore, you cannot use such a notion in a logical argument.
This would not have happened if the writer had not made the assumption that Shakespeare is the best, and instead investigated that idea before committing it to paper. If they had investigated that idea, they would have found that it cannot be proven one way or another.
Fun fact, this example is also the fallacy of appealing to an authority. Even well-regarded figures can make mistakes!
To avoid a non-testable hypothesis, don’t validate all beliefs as logical
It’s a fair idea to respect a non-harmful belief. However, just because you respect someone’s beliefs or opinions, it does not mean that you should accept their beliefs and opinions as valid in a logical argument. Validate yours and others’ beliefs not by volume of opinion , not by friendship, not by anything except logic.
If you fail to do this, you will find non-testable hypotheses creeping into your own logic. You want an essay that follows the logical road.
To avoid a non-testable hypothesis, understand your claims
The bottom line is this: when you make a claim, understand where it is coming from . Be sure you are not taking anything for granted or making an emotional claim. Be sure you are not speaking purely from a personal experience, as this can open the door for bias. Also, be sure you understand why you believe what you believe before you attempt to use it in a logical argument. You need to be certain you have empirically verifiable data to help prove your hypothesis. If you employ a non-testable hypothesis as the basis for your argument, it is dead at the get-go.
Synonyms for Non-Testable Hypothesis
The non-testable hypothesis is also known as the "untestable fallacy," the "unfalsifiable fallacy," and the "untestable explanation fallacy." All of these names refer to the exact same flaw in logic.
Note that an un-testable hypothesis is not synonymous with a hypothesis that cannot be tested yet due to the immediate limits of our science. For instance, in theoretical physics, there are many hypotheses that we cannot test yet. These theories and hypotheses are not fallacious; they are simply as yet unproven. However, using any such concept as evidence remains fallacious in argumentation , and is still an argument from a non-testable hypothesis.
You can identify a high-level theoretical concept by seeing whether it is discussed at the highest level of academia. High-level theories are based heavily in what we do know as scientific fact, whereas less esteemed non-testable hypotheses are based in no science whatsoever.
Non-Testable Hypothesis - Key takeaways
- A non-testable hypothesis is a claim that cannot be tested. A testable hypothesis can be proven or disproven.
- A hypothesis should be based on our means today, not on means that we may or not have in the future.
- An example of a non-testable hypothesises would look like "The universe was created by a higher power."
- To avoid a non-testable hypothesis, don’t make assumptions, don't validate all beliefs as logical, and do understand your claims.
- The non-testable hypothesis is also known as the "untestable fallacy," the "unfalsifiable fallacy," and the "untestable explanation fallacy."
Frequently Asked Questions about Non-Testable Hypothesis
--> what is a non-testable hypothesis.
A non-testable hypothesis is a claim that cannot be tested.
--> What is an example of a non-testable hypothesis?
An example of a non-testable hypothesis is: Planet Earth is frequented by invisible aliens.
--> What is the difference between a testable and non-testable hypothesis?
The difference between a testable and non-testable hypothesis is that a testable hypothesis can be tested in some way, such as by trial or experimentation. If it cannot be tested, then it is non-testable.
--> What are the effects of a non-testable hypothesis?
The effects of a non-testable hypothesis is a failed argument because it is a logical fallacy.
--> What do you call a hypothesis that cannot be tested?
A hypothesis that cannot be tested is called a non-testable hypothesis.
Final Non-Testable Hypothesis Quiz
Non-testable hypothesis quiz - teste dein wissen.
If a claim can be tested, is there a small chance it is still a non-testable hypothesis?
No. It is testable then.
Should you cite a high-level academic theory that is currently untestable as evidence?
A logical fallacy appears like what?
A logical reason
A non-testable hypothesis ____________.
Cannot be tested.
When somebody presents a non-testable hypothesis, they fail to make the distinction between _____ reasons and _____ reasons.
In a logical argument or essay, when can an emotional reason substitute for a logical reason?
What is the problem with using emotions to clarify and study reality?
Emotions cannot clarify anything in reality, and the clarification of reality is the objective of logical discourse.
"Yesterday, I did walk down that road!" Could this claim be a non-testable hypothesis?
Yes. If no one saw it and no evidence exists, then it is not a testable hypothesis.
To avoid a non-testable hypothesis, don't make assumptions. What does this mean?
Do not assume a conclusion is true without some form of logical verification.
When you assume things, you don’t verify them. When you don't verify something, you mighty employ a ______.
Just because you respect someone’s beliefs or opinions, it does not mean that you should accept their beliefs and opinions as _____ in a logical argument. Fill in the blank.
Valid or correct.
In order to avoid a non-testable hypothesis, when you make a claim, understand _____.
Where your claim is coming from.
What are some other names for the non-testable hypothesis?
The non-testable hypothesis is also known as the "untestability fallacy," the "unfalsifiability fallacy," and the "untestable explanation fallacy."
Is the untestability fallacy a logical fallacy?
Is the following a non-testable hypothesis?
Leonardo da Vinci preferred cats with white hair to cats with brown hair.
Every time there is a full moon, crickets chirrup extra loud.
Your hypotheses can be based on our means that we may have in the future.
True or false.
Hypotheses prove certainties, whereas ________ predict the likelihood that something will happen.
What is the problem with a non-testable hypothesis?
You can't prove it right or wrong.
Is the following a non-testable hypothesis? Why or why not?
Skunks are afraid of the color red.
No. You could test this hypothesis by exposing a skunk to the color red and seeing its reaction.
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What Is a Testable Hypothesis?
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A hypothesis is a tentative answer to a scientific question. A testable hypothesis is a hypothesis that can be proved or disproved as a result of testing, data collection, or experience. Only testable hypotheses can be used to conceive and perform an experiment using the scientific method .
Requirements for a Testable Hypothesis
In order to be considered testable, two criteria must be met:
- It must be possible to prove that the hypothesis is true.
- It must be possible to prove that the hypothesis is false.
- It must be possible to reproduce the results of the hypothesis.
Examples of a Testable Hypothesis
All the following hypotheses are testable. It's important, however, to note that while it's possible to say that the hypothesis is correct, much more research would be required to answer the question " why is this hypothesis correct?"
- Students who attend class have higher grades than students who skip class. This is testable because it is possible to compare the grades of students who do and do not skip class and then analyze the resulting data. Another person could conduct the same research and come up with the same results.
- People exposed to high levels of ultraviolet light have a higher incidence of cancer than the norm. This is testable because it is possible to find a group of people who have been exposed to high levels of ultraviolet light and compare their cancer rates to the average.
- If you put people in a dark room, then they will be unable to tell when an infrared light turns on. This hypothesis is testable because it is possible to put a group of people into a dark room, turn on an infrared light, and ask the people in the room whether or not an infrared light has been turned on.
Examples of a Hypothesis Not Written in a Testable Form
- It doesn't matter whether or not you skip class. This hypothesis can't be tested because it doesn't make any actual claim regarding the outcome of skipping class. "It doesn't matter" doesn't have any specific meaning, so it can't be tested.
- Ultraviolet light could cause cancer. The word "could" makes a hypothesis extremely difficult to test because it is very vague. There "could," for example, be UFOs watching us at every moment, even though it's impossible to prove that they are there!
- Goldfish make better pets than guinea pigs. This is not a hypothesis; it's a matter of opinion. There is no agreed-upon definition of what a "better" pet is, so while it is possible to argue the point, there is no way to prove it.
How to Propose a Testable Hypothesis
Now that you know what a testable hypothesis is, here are tips for proposing one.
- Try to write the hypothesis as an if-then statement. If you take an action, then a certain outcome is expected.
- Identify the independent and dependent variable in the hypothesis. The independent variable is what you are controlling or changing. You measure the effect this has on the dependent variable.
- Write the hypothesis in such a way that you can prove or disprove it. For example, a person has skin cancer, you can't prove they got it from being out in the sun. However, you can demonstrate a relationship between exposure to ultraviolet light and increased risk of skin cancer.
- Make sure you are proposing a hypothesis you can test with reproducible results. If your face breaks out, you can't prove the breakout was caused by the french fries you had for dinner last night. However, you can measure whether or not eating french fries is associated with breaking out. It's a matter of gathering enough data to be able to reproduce results and draw a conclusion.
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Q. Is a hypothesis the same as a theory?
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Answered By: APUS Librarians Last Updated: May 19, 2020 Views: 46560
In casual, non-scientific conversation the words hypothesis and theory are often used to mean the same thing: an idea, or notion, or hunch about something. In reality, they are quite different.
A hypothesis is an educated guess or prediction about the relationship between two variables. It must be a testable statement; something that you can support or falsify with observable evidence.
The objective of a hypothesis is for an idea to be tested, not proven. The results of a hypothesis test can demonstrate only whether that specific hypothesis is or is not supported by the evidence. But, when many studies produce similar outcomes, then together they may suggest a theory for the phenomenon under investigation.
A theory is a well-established, tested explanation that provides a unified description of some aspect of the natural world. A theory is based on substantiated data, repeated testing, and the consensus of a wide group of scientists/researchers.
The objective of a theory is to attempt to explain phenomena that have been studied extensively and carefully over time by many researchers. A theory doesn’t prove that the “unified description” is true. But, because theory is a result of scientifically rigorous research, it is more likely that the theory is true (as compared to a single hypothesis). Any theory can (and should) be tested but the tests must be scientifically conducted and reviewed by many, qualified researchers/scientists.
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This is the Difference Between a Hypothesis and a Theory
What to Know A hypothesis is an assumption made before any research has been done. It is formed so that it can be tested to see if it might be true. A theory is a principle formed to explain the things already shown in data. Because of the rigors of experiment and control, it is much more likely that a theory will be true than a hypothesis.
As anyone who has worked in a laboratory or out in the field can tell you, science is about process: that of observing, making inferences about those observations, and then performing tests to see if the truth value of those inferences holds up. The scientific method is designed to be a rigorous procedure for acquiring knowledge about the world around us.
In scientific reasoning, a hypothesis is constructed before any applicable research has been done. A theory, on the other hand, is supported by evidence: it's a principle formed as an attempt to explain things that have already been substantiated by data.
Toward that end, science employs a particular vocabulary for describing how ideas are proposed, tested, and supported or disproven. And that's where we see the difference between a hypothesis and a theory .
A hypothesis is an assumption, something proposed for the sake of argument so that it can be tested to see if it might be true.
In the scientific method, the hypothesis is constructed before any applicable research has been done, apart from a basic background review. You ask a question, read up on what has been studied before, and then form a hypothesis.
What is a Hypothesis?
A hypothesis is usually tentative, an assumption or suggestion made strictly for the objective of being tested.
When a character which has been lost in a breed, reappears after a great number of generations, the most probable hypothesis is, not that the offspring suddenly takes after an ancestor some hundred generations distant, but that in each successive generation there has been a tendency to reproduce the character in question, which at last, under unknown favourable conditions, gains an ascendancy. Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species , 1859 According to one widely reported hypothesis , cell-phone transmissions were disrupting the bees' navigational abilities. (Few experts took the cell-phone conjecture seriously; as one scientist said to me, "If that were the case, Dave Hackenberg's hives would have been dead a long time ago.") Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker , 6 Aug. 2007
What is a Theory?
A theory , in contrast, is a principle that has been formed as an attempt to explain things that have already been substantiated by data. It is used in the names of a number of principles accepted in the scientific community, such as the Big Bang Theory . Because of the rigors of experimentation and control, its likelihood as truth is much higher than that of a hypothesis.
It is evident, on our theory , that coasts merely fringed by reefs cannot have subsided to any perceptible amount; and therefore they must, since the growth of their corals, either have remained stationary or have been upheaved. Now, it is remarkable how generally it can be shown, by the presence of upraised organic remains, that the fringed islands have been elevated: and so far, this is indirect evidence in favour of our theory . Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle , 1839 An example of a fundamental principle in physics, first proposed by Galileo in 1632 and extended by Einstein in 1905, is the following: All observers traveling at constant velocity relative to one another, should witness identical laws of nature. From this principle, Einstein derived his theory of special relativity. Alan Lightman, Harper's , December 2011
In non-scientific use, however, hypothesis and theory are often used interchangeably to mean simply an idea, speculation, or hunch (though theory is more common in this regard):
The theory of the teacher with all these immigrant kids was that if you spoke English loudly enough they would eventually understand. E. L. Doctorow, Loon Lake , 1979 Chicago is famous for asking questions for which there can be no boilerplate answers. Example: given the probability that the federal tax code, nondairy creamer, Dennis Rodman and the art of mime all came from outer space, name something else that has extraterrestrial origins and defend your hypothesis . John McCormick, Newsweek , 5 Apr. 1999 In his mind's eye, Miller saw his case suddenly taking form: Richard Bailey had Helen Brach killed because she was threatening to sue him over the horses she had purchased. It was, he realized, only a theory , but it was one he felt certain he could, in time, prove. Full of urgency, a man with a mission now that he had a hypothesis to guide him, he issued new orders to his troops: Find out everything you can about Richard Bailey and his crowd. Howard Blum, Vanity Fair , January 1995
And sometimes one term is used as a genus, or a means for defining the other:
Laplace's popular version of his astronomy, the Système du monde , was famous for introducing what came to be known as the nebular hypothesis , the theory that the solar system was formed by the condensation, through gradual cooling, of the gaseous atmosphere (the nebulae) surrounding the sun. Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club , 2001 Researchers use this information to support the gateway drug theory — the hypothesis that using one intoxicating substance leads to future use of another. Jordy Byrd, The Pacific Northwest Inlander , 6 May 2015 Fox, the business and economics columnist for Time magazine, tells the story of the professors who enabled those abuses under the banner of the financial theory known as the efficient market hypothesis . Paul Krugman, The New York Times Book Review , 9 Aug. 2009
Incorrect Interpretations of "Theory"
Since this casual use does away with the distinctions upheld by the scientific community, hypothesis and theory are prone to being wrongly interpreted even when they are encountered in scientific contexts—or at least, contexts that allude to scientific study without making the critical distinction that scientists employ when weighing hypotheses and theories.
The most common occurrence is when theory is interpreted—and sometimes even gleefully seized upon—to mean something having less truth value than other scientific principles. (The word law applies to principles so firmly established that they are almost never questioned, such as the law of gravity.)
This mistake is one of projection: since we use theory in general use to mean something lightly speculated, then it's implied that scientists must be talking about the same level of uncertainty when they use theory to refer to their well-tested and reasoned principles.
The distinction has come to the forefront particularly on occasions when the content of science curricula in schools has been challenged—notably, when a school board in Georgia put stickers on textbooks stating that evolution was "a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things." As Kenneth R. Miller, a cell biologist at Brown University, has said , a theory "doesn’t mean a hunch or a guess. A theory is a system of explanations that ties together a whole bunch of facts. It not only explains those facts, but predicts what you ought to find from other observations and experiments.”
While theories are never completely infallible, they form the basis of scientific reasoning because, as Miller said "to the best of our ability, we’ve tested them, and they’ve held up."
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What is a scientific hypothesis?
It's the initial building block in the scientific method.
What makes a hypothesis testable.
- Types of hypotheses
- Hypothesis versus theory
A scientific hypothesis is a tentative, testable explanation for a phenomenon in the natural world. It's the initial building block in the scientific method . Many describe it as an "educated guess" based on prior knowledge and observation. While this is true, a hypothesis is more informed than a guess. While an "educated guess" suggests a random prediction based on a person's expertise, developing a hypothesis requires active observation and background research.
The basic idea of a hypothesis is that there is no predetermined outcome. For a solution to be termed a scientific hypothesis, it has to be an idea that can be supported or refuted through carefully crafted experimentation or observation. This concept, called falsifiability and testability, was advanced in the mid-20th century by Austrian-British philosopher Karl Popper in his famous book "The Logic of Scientific Discovery" (Routledge, 1959).
A key function of a hypothesis is to derive predictions about the results of future experiments and then perform those experiments to see whether they support the predictions.
A hypothesis is usually written in the form of an if-then statement, which gives a possibility (if) and explains what may happen because of the possibility (then). The statement could also include "may," according to California State University, Bakersfield .
Here are some examples of hypothesis statements:
- If garlic repels fleas, then a dog that is given garlic every day will not get fleas.
- If sugar causes cavities, then people who eat a lot of candy may be more prone to cavities.
- If ultraviolet light can damage the eyes, then maybe this light can cause blindness.
A useful hypothesis should be testable and falsifiable. That means that it should be possible to prove it wrong. A theory that can't be proved wrong is nonscientific, according to Karl Popper's 1963 book " Conjectures and Refutations ."
An example of an untestable statement is, "Dogs are better than cats." That's because the definition of "better" is vague and subjective. However, an untestable statement can be reworded to make it testable. For example, the previous statement could be changed to this: "Owning a dog is associated with higher levels of physical fitness than owning a cat." With this statement, the researcher can take measures of physical fitness from dog and cat owners and compare the two.
Types of scientific hypotheses
In an experiment, researchers generally state their hypotheses in two ways. The null hypothesis predicts that there will be no relationship between the variables tested, or no difference between the experimental groups. The alternative hypothesis predicts the opposite: that there will be a difference between the experimental groups. This is usually the hypothesis scientists are most interested in, according to the University of Miami .
For example, a null hypothesis might state, "There will be no difference in the rate of muscle growth between people who take a protein supplement and people who don't." The alternative hypothesis would state, "There will be a difference in the rate of muscle growth between people who take a protein supplement and people who don't."
If the results of the experiment show a relationship between the variables, then the null hypothesis has been rejected in favor of the alternative hypothesis, according to the book " Research Methods in Psychology " (BCcampus, 2015).
There are other ways to describe an alternative hypothesis. The alternative hypothesis above does not specify a direction of the effect, only that there will be a difference between the two groups. That type of prediction is called a two-tailed hypothesis. If a hypothesis specifies a certain direction — for example, that people who take a protein supplement will gain more muscle than people who don't — it is called a one-tailed hypothesis, according to William M. K. Trochim , a professor of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University.
Sometimes, errors take place during an experiment. These errors can happen in one of two ways. A type I error is when the null hypothesis is rejected when it is true. This is also known as a false positive. A type II error occurs when the null hypothesis is not rejected when it is false. This is also known as a false negative, according to the University of California, Berkeley .
A hypothesis can be rejected or modified, but it can never be proved correct 100% of the time. For example, a scientist can form a hypothesis stating that if a certain type of tomato has a gene for red pigment, that type of tomato will be red. During research, the scientist then finds that each tomato of this type is red. Though the findings confirm the hypothesis, there may be a tomato of that type somewhere in the world that isn't red. Thus, the hypothesis is true, but it may not be true 100% of the time.
Scientific theory vs. scientific hypothesis
The best hypotheses are simple. They deal with a relatively narrow set of phenomena. But theories are broader; they generally combine multiple hypotheses into a general explanation for a wide range of phenomena, according to the University of California, Berkeley . For example, a hypothesis might state, "If animals adapt to suit their environments, then birds that live on islands with lots of seeds to eat will have differently shaped beaks than birds that live on islands with lots of insects to eat." After testing many hypotheses like these, Charles Darwin formulated an overarching theory: the theory of evolution by natural selection.
"Theories are the ways that we make sense of what we observe in the natural world," Tanner said. "Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts."
- Read more about writing a hypothesis, from the American Medical Writers Association.
- Find out why a hypothesis isn't always necessary in science, from The American Biology Teacher.
- Learn about null and alternative hypotheses, from Prof. Essa on YouTube .
Encyclopedia Britannica. Scientific Hypothesis. Jan. 13, 2022. https://www.britannica.com/science/scientific-hypothesis
Karl Popper, "The Logic of Scientific Discovery," Routledge, 1959.
California State University, Bakersfield, "Formatting a testable hypothesis." https://www.csub.edu/~ddodenhoff/Bio100/Bio100sp04/formattingahypothesis.htm
Karl Popper, "Conjectures and Refutations," Routledge, 1963.
Price, P., Jhangiani, R., & Chiang, I., "Research Methods of Psychology — 2nd Canadian Edition," BCcampus, 2015.
University of Miami, "The Scientific Method" http://www.bio.miami.edu/dana/161/evolution/161app1_scimethod.pdf
William M.K. Trochim, "Research Methods Knowledge Base," https://conjointly.com/kb/hypotheses-explained/
University of California, Berkeley, "Multiple Hypothesis Testing and False Discovery Rate" https://www.stat.berkeley.edu/~hhuang/STAT141/Lecture-FDR.pdf
University of California, Berkeley, "Science at multiple levels" https://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/howscienceworks_19
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