How to formulate a hypothesis

Jump how to formulate a hypothesis navigation Jump to search For the hypotheses of a theorem, see Theorem.

The hypothesis of Andreas Cellarius, showing the planetary motions in eccentric and epicyclical orbits. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. 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». In its ancient usage, hypothesis referred to a summary of the plot of a classical drama.

Socrates dissects virtue with a how to formulate a hypothesis used by mathematicians, that of «investigating from a hypothesis. In common usage in the 21st century, a hypothesis refers to a provisional idea whose merit requires evaluation. For proper evaluation, the framer of a hypothesis needs to define specifics in operational terms.

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A hypothesis requires more work by the researcher in order to either confirm or disprove it. In due course, a confirmed hypothesis may become part of a theory or occasionally may grow to become a theory itself. In entrepreneurial science, a hypothesis is used to formulate provisional ideas within a business setting. The formulated hypothesis is then evaluated where either the hypothesis is proven to be «true» or «false» through a verifiability- or falsifiability-oriented experiment. In framing a hypothesis, the investigator must not currently know the outcome of a test or that it remains reasonably under continuing investigation. Only in such cases does the experiment, test or study potentially increase the probability of showing the truth of a hypothesis.

If the researcher already knows the outcome, it counts as a «consequence» — and the researcher should have already considered this while formulating the hypothesis. If one cannot assess the predictions by observation or by experience, the hypothesis needs to be tested by others providing observations. For example, a new technology or theory might make the necessary experiments feasible. People refer to a trial solution to a problem as a hypothesis, often called an «educated guess» because it provides a suggested outcome based on the evidence.

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