Hypothesis, Science


The next step is to formulate hypothesis. A  hypothesis is a statement, put forward on the basis of reasoning, about the things that are being studied. It is an attempt to answer the questions that are posed. One example of hypothesis which you encountered  in Unit 1, was that bees  are attracted to  flowers,  either  due to  their  colour,  or  nectar,  or  botb. Qtber examples could be that plants need sunlight to grow; or a body falls  to the ground because it is attraded by the earth: A hypothesis is formulated by taking  into account all  the observations that am  known about the phenomenon under investigation. It tries to explain the known or prdct  the unknown but possible features of the phenomenon. We may describe a hypothesis as an inspired guess,  based on reason and experience. We may use both inductive and deductive logic  to frame a hypothesis.  

What do we mean by  inductive logic? If we have direct evidence about only a part of  the phenomenon, or some objects or situations and,  if, on that basis, we infer about the properties,behaviour and other features of the whole phenomenon, or  the entire group of  objects andsituations, then we are using inductive logic. For example, if  we know that the population of acountry has doubled in a given period of  time, we may use induction to hypothesise that  it wildouble again in  the same time. Again, if  we study the shadows of  simple objects like triangles,rectangles and circles cast on a wall due to light from a small bulb, we may conclude that  lightravels in a straight line. The conclusion is a big  jump  in thinking, and it is a sweeping, generalstatement based on induction. Inductive logic can mis1,ead also: for example to infer that all roses are red, if  you happen to see only red roses in a garden  is illogical. So you can see that inductive statements can have very different degrees of  credibility and reliability. You cannot jump to conclusions on the basis of insufficient evidence, and the conclusions have to be further tested for their  reliability.  

Posted Date: 9/27/2012 9:15:56 AM | Location : United States

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