Hypothesis-Based Testing

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Hypothesis-Based Testing

By | May 2009
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Using hypothesis-based testing is the primary way scientists and researchers test the validity of new ideas and create theories. Another term for this type of research is the scientific method, and it is an excellent way of determining whether an idea is valid or not. A hypothesis-based experiment starts with a simple idea. This idea is intended to explain a concept that is not an absolute. For example, we do not need any theories to explain what molecules make up a drop of water; we already know the answer. However, there are many unknowns in this world, and existing theories are often challenged and changed to better explain the inner workings of life as we know it. Once an idea is formed, it must be changed into a testable, disprovable hypothesis. A hypothesis is a statement that is used as the first step to a theory - for example, one hypothesis could state, "If I add one cup of red food coloring to six cups of water, then the water will turn red". This hypothesis uses very simple if-then logic clearly showing cause and effect. It is also easily testable and can be disproved. A poor hypothesis would be something like the following statement: "If the gusts in a windstorm exceed 80mph, then they are the result of large invisible beings sneezing due to excessive dust in the air." This is something that cannot be tested or disproved by any means, due to an inability to actually observe this happing. The next step in the scientific method after forming a good hypothesis is the testing and experimentation stage. A good experiment will have at least two groups of test subjects - a control group and a test group. The control group is something that remains constant. For example, using the above hypothesis, the control group would be a container with 6 cups of water. Nothing would be added to this group - it must show the observer what will happen with no outside force acting on it. The test group will have a variable added to it. In this case, the variable is one cup...

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