Difference Between Hypothesis And Theory is that A hypothesis is a suggested explanation for an observable phenomenon. It can also be a reasoned prediction of a possible causal correlation between several phenomena. On the other hand, a theory, within science, is a proven and justified explanation through a series of proven and verified facts. A theory must always be backed by evidence. On the other hand, a hypothesis is just a possible result, which can be tested and refuted.
|Definition||A hypothesis is an explanation or conjecture based on information that is already available. This explanation may or may not be true. It is an attempt that is made to explain the relationships between some phenomena and their causes or consequences.||On the other hand, a theory is a logical explanation that is composed of one or more hypotheses. It is a well-sustained deduction given to a series of previously verified and tested hypotheses. They create scientific models.|
|Bases||It is based on suggestions, possibilities, projections or predictions. The result, however, is uncertain.||It is based on certainty, evidence, verification, repetition, and continuous verification.|
|Is it verifiable?||Yes||Yes|
|Is it refutable?||Yes||Yes|
|Is it properly grounded?||Do not||Yes|
|Data||It is usually constructed from a few data.||On the contrary, for a thesis to be constructed, a wide range of proven data is required under various circumstances.|
|Situations||Specific: the hypotheses are usually based on very specific observations and are limited to that situation.||General: A theory is the establishment of a general principle from various tests and experiments. This principle can be applied to several (specific) situations.|
Examples of Theories and Hypotheses.
“No amount of experiments can definitely prove that I am right, but just one experiment is enough to prove that I am wrong” –Albert Einstein
Theory: Einstein’s theory of relativity. This is still a theory because it has been tested and verified countless times, and the results continue to confirm Einstein’s conclusion. However, just because your conclusion has become a theory does not mean that the tests have been stopped to prove your theory. Science is a continuous process.
Hypothesis: One might think that a prisoner who learns to work during the time he is being held is less likely to relapse once released. This is a hypothesis, an informed assumption. The scientific method can be used to test this hypothesis, refute it or determine that further studies are necessary.
*Note. The fact that a hypothesis could not be proven as false does not mean that it is true. Only after some time of investigation and verification, it may be heading to become a theory.
A common mistake
People often refer to a theory when in fact what they mean is the hypothesis. For example: “Drinking coffee after two in the afternoon causes migraine.” This is a theory, not a rule. In fact, this is a logically reasoned proposal that is based on observation. Let’s say, for example, that during two different days, a person had a migraine after drinking coffee. Even if this were true, migraine could have other reasons. This observation is merely a reasoned possibility, it is verifiable and can be refuted, this makes it a hypothesis, not a theory.
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