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Hypothesis and the Scientific Method

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  • Hypothesis and the Scientific Method

    As I remember from school, you are required to have an hypothesis for any scientific experiment.

    I never understood that, probably because you already know the end result of the school science experiment before you begin.

    Now the reason is evident to me. You should have a working hypothesis. Build one up from what's already known. Make one up. Just have one.

    So how would it apply to this field of research?

    Is research not an experiment looking for a result? How is best to approach it? Can you go at it blindly? Is there a pitfall in having a theory that you are dead set on at any time? Is there a best way for everyone?

  • #2
    The difference in a scientific experiment to see if a hypothesis works and a hypothesis followed by research in this field is that known physics keep the scientific experiment honest, while in this case bias can influence interpretation of incomplete data.

    Look at some of the current active topics involving why the killer did what he did or even if he did do certain things... without actually knowing who the individual was, there is no way to assess discernable traits to the person.
    Best Wishes,
    Cris Malone
    ______________________________________________
    "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

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    • #3
      Thanks Chris,

      I think I understand what you're saying and your reservations about hard theories.

      But what about the person who has no problem changing his mind? Does that person really have a bias?

      A "theory" can represent a bias but the lack of even a "working" one can represent a handicap.

      Comment


      • #4
        The biggest handicap I have seen is people marrying themselves to a theory 'till death do us part.'

        Working off a theory is fine. With so much unknown here we all theorize to some degree. The problem comes when a theory is based upon presumption Instead of information. Theories that result from exhaustive research do better than the other way around. And sometimes even then new information comes about to nullify it.
        Best Wishes,
        Cris Malone
        ______________________________________________
        "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

        Comment


        • #5
          Take climate change, for example...

          Comment


          • #6
            From experience, people married to a theory are actually more open for discussion.

            If someone is/was a D'Onstonian, let's say, he'd be open to discussion on black magic, theosophy, spiritualism, the graffito as being legitimate etc. You'd be able to find some ground on which to engage.

            I don't automatically try to nullify anyone's work. Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes nullification.

            In the end, the correct theory is the one with repeatable results or repeatedly brings in results.

            Comment


            • #7
              As I remember from school, you are required to have an hypothesis for any scientific experiment.

              I never understood that, probably because you already know the end result of the school science experiment before you begin.

              Now the reason is evident to me. You should have a working hypothesis. Build one up from what's already known. Make one up. Just have one.

              So how would it apply to this field of research?
              It doesnt apply to this field of research. Because it cannot. A scientific hypothesis must be testable and falsifiable to be one. Otherwise its just a run of the mill of hypothesis. Which is little better than a guess or a gut feeling.


              And there is no ripper hypothesis that has ever been testable and falsifiable at the same time (nor I suspect will there ever be).


              Tarting up ripperology by trying to discuss it in contexts which are not relevant does it no favours at all.

              But given what Ive been reading on other fora, its becoming de rigeur it seems.

              P

              Comment


              • #8
                Then can you make hypotheses on anything related to psychology or true crime or good and evil?

                You accept why hypothesizing is acceptable in test tube science, but why is it a requirement? I can just put a needle on a coil and see which way it points and then figure it out, no?

                Why is a fully fleshed-out theory required? Why not nothing or just a stick figure suspect theory? I can see the problems now like the ones here if they adopt this as standard practice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  An hypothesis can be anything. A horse killed Eddowes.

                  For a hypothesis to become a theory it must be tested. If it can be tested and its falsiability is intact, its a scientific hypothesis.

                  Only a scientific hypothesis can progress to a theory.

                  All other hypotheses remain in the Horse Killed Eddowes category.

                  P

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am quoting Chris George from another thread, but I believe it is relevant to this:

                    .. This is rather like an author who approaches research on a subject with a pre-conceived notion of what they will find rather than allowing the investigation to take them where it leads. Unfortunately, we know a number of authors in this field who have used that flawed approach! I mention no names.
                    Best Wishes,
                    Cris Malone
                    ______________________________________________
                    "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm not too concerned with Ripper authors. Although I am more interested in the people who are interested than in the interest.

                      Chris' quote could also be a variation on this reason for hypothesis when the evidence runs out, which it does, and you start looking for some:

                      Making random experiments, without having a clear objective in mind (and preferably an already safe tested method), is like playing with fire without knowing what the fire is. At the moment science advances in little safe steps; no one wants to put his life in danger. Scientists, when they have an hypothesis, they already know something about the elements with which they are going to experiment and they, more or less, calculate the risks and the dangers. So, when you hear about extraordinary scientific achievements, you must know that behind those scientific achievements have been very many little steps. We see only the end result and we perceive it as a scientific leap.
                      https://www.quora.com/Why-is-it-impo...fic-experiment

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mr. Poster View Post
                        An hypothesis can be anything. A horse killed Eddowes....P
                        An hypothesis is a relationship between two variables. A horse or not a horse.

                        I understand your clarification on hypothesis versus theory. I guess I really am talking about theory, not hypothesis....

                        My idea of theory is a bunch of hypotheses put together, all verifiable or falsifiable in my opinion, at least by time. One falls, the whole falls. Nothing falls, it stands.

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                        • #13
                          I see your point but this is getting a bit Pierre for me!
                          P

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                          • #14
                            Not sure we need to go too deeply into it all - just :


                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nagC41Pe4c4

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