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.