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Hypothesis

Historical and Linguistic Background: – In ancient usage, ‘hypothesis’ referred to a summary of a classical drama plot. – The English word ‘hypothesis’ originates from […]

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Historical and Linguistic Background:
– In ancient usage, ‘hypothesis’ referred to a summary of a classical drama plot.
– The English word ‘hypothesis’ originates from the ancient Greek word ὑπόθεσις, meaning supposition.
– Cardinal Bellarmine used the term when advising Galileo in the 17th century.

Scientific Hypothesis:
– A trial solution to a problem is commonly referred to as a hypothesis.
– Experimenters may test and reject several hypotheses before solving the problem.
– Researchers consider testability, parsimony, scope, fruitfulness, and conservatism.
– Scientists reject the term ‘educated guess’ as incorrect.
– Hypotheses provide suggested outcomes based on evidence.

Working Hypothesis:
– A working hypothesis is provisionally accepted for further research.
– It is a statement of expectations linked to exploratory research purposes.
– It is often used as a conceptual framework in qualitative research.
– Working hypotheses are useful as an organizing device in applied research.
– Philosophers have attempted to integrate various approaches to evaluating hypotheses.

Concepts and Measurement in Hypotheses:
– Concepts in Hempel’s deductive-nomological model are crucial in hypothesis development.
– Formal hypotheses connect concepts by specifying expected relationships between propositions.
– When grouped, hypotheses form a conceptual framework.
– A complex framework with causality or explanation is referred to as a theory.
– An adequate empirical interpretation turns a theoretical system into a testable theory.

Statistical Hypothesis Testing:
– Statistical tests determine the likelihood of observing an effect if the hypothesized relation does not exist.
– Two hypotheses compared: null hypothesis (no relation) and alternative hypothesis (some relation).
– Significance levels for testing hypotheses are .10, .05, and .01.
– Sample size is crucial in hypothesis testing to avoid small sample size issues.
– Neutral hypotheses are common in all sciences.

Hypothesis (Wikipedia)

A hypothesis (pl.: hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories. Even though the words "hypothesis" and "theory" are often used interchangeably, a scientific hypothesis is not the same as a scientific theory. A working hypothesis is a provisionally accepted hypothesis proposed for further research in a process beginning with an educated guess or thought.

The hypothesis of Andreas Cellarius, showing the planetary motions in eccentric and epicyclical orbits.

A different meaning of the term hypothesis is used in formal logic, to denote the antecedent of a proposition; thus in the proposition "If P, then Q", P denotes the hypothesis (or antecedent); Q can be called a consequent. P is the assumption in a (possibly counterfactual) What If question. The adjective hypothetical, meaning "having the nature of a hypothesis", or "being assumed to exist as an immediate consequence of a hypothesis", can refer to any of these meanings of the term "hypothesis".

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