Hypothesis

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

Proposed explanation for a phenomenon.

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

21 related topics

Alpha

Basrelief sculpture "Research holding the torch of knowledge" (1896) by Olin Levi Warner. Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, in Washington, D.C.

Research

Research is "creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge".

Research is "creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge".

Basrelief sculpture "Research holding the torch of knowledge" (1896) by Olin Levi Warner. Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, in Washington, D.C.
Aristotle, (384–322 BC), one of the early figures in the development of the scientific method
Primary scientific research being carried out at the Microscopy Laboratory of the Idaho National Laboratory
Scientific research equipment at MIT
German maritime research vessel Sonne
German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886), considered to be one of the founders of modern source-based history
Research design and evidence
Research cycle
The research room at the New York Public Library, an example of secondary research in progress
Maurice Hilleman, the preeminent vaccinologist of the 20th century, is credited with saving more lives than any other scientist in that time.
Cover of the first issue of Nature, 4 November 1869

2) Hypothesis: A testable prediction which designates the relationship between two or more variables.

Francisco de Goya, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (El sueño de la razón produce monstruos), c. 1797

Theory

Rational type of abstract thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking.

Rational type of abstract thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking.

Francisco de Goya, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (El sueño de la razón produce monstruos), c. 1797

Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge, in contrast to more common uses of the word "theory" that imply that something is unproven or speculative (which in formal terms is better characterized by the word hypothesis).

Part of a page from John Duns Scotus's book Commentaria oxoniensia ad IV libros magistri Sententiarus, showing the words: "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate", i.e., "Plurality is not to be posited without necessity"

Occam's razor

Problem-solving principle that "entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity".

Problem-solving principle that "entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity".

Part of a page from John Duns Scotus's book Commentaria oxoniensia ad IV libros magistri Sententiarus, showing the words: "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate", i.e., "Plurality is not to be posited without necessity"
Manuscript illustration of William of Ockham
Possible explanations can become needlessly complex. It might be coherent, for instance, to add the involvement of leprechauns to any explanation, but Occam's razor would prevent such additions unless they were necessary.
Andreas Cellarius's illustration of the Copernican system, from the Harmonia Macrocosmica (1660). Future positions of the sun, moon and other solar system bodies can be calculated using a geocentric model (the earth is at the centre) or using a heliocentric model (the sun is at the centre). Both work, but the geocentric model arrives at the same conclusions through a much more complex system of calculations than the heliocentric model. This was pointed out in a preface to Copernicus' first edition of De revolutionibus orbium coelestium.

This philosophical razor advocates that when presented with competing hypotheses about the same prediction, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions, and that this is not meant to be a way of choosing between hypotheses that make different predictions.

Aristotle

Verificationism

Philosophical doctrine which maintains that only statements that are empirically verifiable are cognitively meaningful, or else they are truths of logic (tautologies).

Philosophical doctrine which maintains that only statements that are empirically verifiable are cognitively meaningful, or else they are truths of logic (tautologies).

Aristotle

Notably, all universal generalizations are empirically unverifiable, such that, under verificationism, vast domains of science and reason, such as scientific hypothesis, would be rendered meaningless.

Isaac Newton performing his crucial prism experiment – the 'experimentum crucis' – in his Woolsthorpe Manor bedroom. Acrylic painting by Sascha Grusche (17 Dec 2015)

Experimentum crucis

Isaac Newton performing his crucial prism experiment – the 'experimentum crucis' – in his Woolsthorpe Manor bedroom. Acrylic painting by Sascha Grusche (17 Dec 2015)

In science, an experimentum crucis (English: crucial experiment or critical experiment) is an experiment capable of decisively determining whether or not a particular hypothesis or theory is superior to all other hypotheses or theories whose acceptance is currently widespread in the scientific community.

The above image shows a histogram assessing the assumption of normality, which can be illustrated through the even spread underneath the bell curve.

Null hypothesis

That two possibilities are the same.

That two possibilities are the same.

The above image shows a histogram assessing the assumption of normality, which can be illustrated through the even spread underneath the bell curve.

Testing (excluding or failing to exclude) the null hypothesis provides evidence that there are (or are not) statistically sufficient grounds to believe there is a relationship between two phenomena (e.g., that a potential treatment has a non-zero effect, either way).

Observing the air traffic in Rõuge, Estonia

Observation

Active acquisition of information from a primary source.

Active acquisition of information from a primary source.

Observing the air traffic in Rõuge, Estonia

3) Formulate a hypothesis that tentatively answers the question

Schrödinger's cat (1935) presents a cat that is in a superposition of alive and dead states, depending on a random quantum event. It illustrates the counterintuitive implications of Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation when applied to everyday objects.

Thought experiment

Schrödinger's cat (1935) presents a cat that is in a superposition of alive and dead states, depending on a random quantum event. It illustrates the counterintuitive implications of Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation when applied to everyday objects.
Temporal representation of a prefactual thought experiment.
Temporal representation of a counterfactual thought experiment.
Temporal representation of a semifactual thought experiment.
Temporal representation of prediction, forecasting and nowcasting.
Temporal representation of hindcasting.
Temporal representation of retrodiction or postdiction.
Temporal representation of backcasting.

A thought experiment is a hypothetical situation in which a hypothesis, theory, or principle is laid out for the purpose of thinking through its consequences.

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

Antecedent (logic)

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

An antecedent is the first half of a hypothetical proposition, whenever the if-clause precedes the then-clause.

The shell game is a scam portrayed as a guessing game

Guessing

Swift conclusion drawn from data directly at hand, and held as probable or tentative, while the person making the guess (the guesser) admittedly lacks material for a greater degree of certainty.

Swift conclusion drawn from data directly at hand, and held as probable or tentative, while the person making the guess (the guesser) admittedly lacks material for a greater degree of certainty.

The shell game is a scam portrayed as a guessing game
Calling a coin toss to determine which team will take the offense at a sporting event is a paradigm case of a guess that requires minimal consideration of forces influencing the outcome.
The exact number of mushrooms in this jar cannot be determined by looking at it, because not all of the mushrooms are visible. The amount, however, can be guessed or estimated.
Game of involves single person acting out a phrase, with the rest of the group guessing the phrase.
Two people playing Guess Who? at Spiel 2008.

Uninformed guesses can be distinguished from the kind of informed guesses that lead to the development of a scientific hypothesis.