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HYPOTHETICO-DEDUCTIVE METHOD: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

Authors:
  • AbuDhabi School of Management

Abstract

Purpose: This paper presents the analysis of hypothetico-deductive method and its applications in different domains. Design/Methodology/Approach: The author explains hypothetico-deductive method various phases and steps to analyze the areas of improvement. Research Limitations/Implications: The study is limited to supplementary parts of the model due to the broad scope of implementation. Originality/Value: This paper will help to build up the understanding of the hypothetico-deductive model and basics steps to implement it correctly.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
*Corresponding author: Email: usman_kazi2006@yahoo.com;
Original Research Article
Journal of Basic and Applied Research
International
7(4): 228-231, 2015
Int ernat ion al Knowledge Press
www.ikpress.org
HYPOTHETICO-DEDUCTIVE METHOD: A COMPARATIVE
ANALYSIS
MUHAMMAD USMAN TARIQ
1*
1
Department of Computer Software Engineering, College of Signals, National University of Science and
Technology, H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan.
AUTHOR’S CONTRIBUTION
The sole author designed, analyzed and interpreted and prepared the manuscript.
Received: 24
th
February 2015
Accepted: 3
rd
April 2015
Published: 26
th
April 2015
__________________________________________________________________________________
ABSTRACT
Purpose: This paper presents the analysis of hypothetico-deductive method and its applications in different
domains.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The author explains hypothetico-deductive method various phases and
steps to analyze the areas of improvement.
Research Limitations/Implications: The study is limited to supplementary parts of the model due to the
broad scope of implementation.
Originality/Value: This paper will help to build up the understanding of the hypothetico-deductive model
and basics steps to implement it correctly.
Keywords: Hypothetico-deductive; experiments; research; scientific methods.
1. INTRODUCTION
Science is based on many different pillars that
combine to provide the methods of reasoning, logic,
and ethics to conduct research. Based on the research
methods the foundation of all the research is scientific
reasoning. It varies with different nature of disciplines
and based on four basic foundations pulling together
the idea of scientific reasoning.
The initial basis of research is the foundation. It
is a natural phenomenon for a researcher to
start looking for a solution based on scientific
questions and hypotheses. The theories
observations will be tested against the data
collected through observations.
The possible reasons behind any phenomenon
are based on law of nature. There are several
different scientific reasoning processes to find
out a solution for a research problem through
hypothesis. The theory is broken down into
small different parts or problems to find out a
valid hypothesis [1].
The results are needed to be predicted for the
research based on the outcome of the
experiment. Most of the time based on the
alternative hypothesis. The predictions of the
theory are tested rather than theory to find out
if the predictions are incorrect. Depending on
the results theory, is accepted or refined.
The applied part of research is data that is
important to conduct research in the real world
Tariq; JOBARI, 7(4): 228-231, 2015
229
against the observations and predictions. If the
results of both observation and prediction
matches, the theory is strengthened. A wide
range of statistical methods are used to conduct
the test, but not all the disciplines use statistics
(Haberman, 2011).
The process of scientific reasoning cycles until the
results are accepted or refuted according to the
hypothesis.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
It is the mainstreams of the scientific research and
often knows as true scientific research method. The
method involves a number of steps for observing the
subject. It allows the researcher to make a testable and
realistic hypothesis. A hypothesis cannot be
confirmed entirely by the scientific methods, and
refined research can disprove it on later stages [2].
The researcher must generate initial predictions from
the hypothesis that can be proved on the later stages.
The predictions can be tested to be a valid process
through the hypothetico-deductive method.
2.1 Generating and Analysis the Data
The experiments are performed to gather the
statistical result to test the validity of the hypothesis.
It must have manipulation of the variables to generate
the analyzable data. The hypothetico-deductive
method does not prove the hypothesis completely, and
it is rare when it is done.
2.2 Falsifiability
It is defined as the inherent testability of any scientific
hypothesis. Experiments are designed to find out the
validity of any hypothesis, and it is a belief in any
hypothesis that it must be inherently disprovable
before it is accepted as a theory or scientific
hypothesis. It is based on a simple idea that no theory
can be correct, and if it is not deniable then it is
accepted as truth. The acceptance is dependent on the
significance.
2.3 Verification Error
It is a process of fitting the results to match the
preconceived theory. Sometimes the results are based
on personal understanding of the subject matter. There
is a growing trend of verification error in scientific
research. It is a belief that all the scientific statements
must be verifiable and should make sense to be worth
researching. This concept is called verificationism. It
is rooted to the Aristotelian philosophy of what is
known can only be tested.
2.4 Testability
The inherent testability for obtaining proof of a
hypothesis is the concept of testability. The growing
technology has attacked the theories that were
discovered in the history claiming to be non-testable
and non-falsifiable. A part of the theory must be
testable and analyzable with the current technology.
2.5 Post Hoc Reasoning
It is theory that one event is based on another event
and follows each other. It can be true in some case but
not all the time. It is linking factors with each other to
know the reason behind occurring of events. Science
is always looking for possible causes and causal
reasoning to judge the quality of information for a
reasonable hypothesis [3].
3. STEPS OF HYPOTHETICO-
DEDUCTIVE METHOD
Following are the steps involved:
1. Identifying the broad problem area in which
main problem is occurring to do a research
project.
2. Defining the problem statement. It can be the
scientific research with definite aim and
general objective of the research.
3. Development of hypothesis which should be
testable and falsifiable.
4. Measuring the theoretical framework and if it
not measurable then it should be qualitative.
5. Collection of data is based on quantitative and
qualitative data.
6. Analysis of data is done to check if the
hypotheses generated were supported.
7. Interpreting data for finding out the meaning of
the results.
4. UTILIZATION OF HYPOTHETICO-
DEDUCTIVE METHOD
According to Lewis, [4] “This erroneous view of the
method plus the absence of a proper definition of
theory misguide my early development in science” (p.
362). The sciences like biology, physics, geology and
chemistry all are based on the hypothetico-deductive
method. Many of the teachers and authors misguide
their students about the subject basic methodology.
The theory can be explained with the examples in the
different subject matter like if the light travels in
concentric waves then the light should pass through
the slits. The experiment which was conducted
showed that light passed through both of the slits and
created a third pattern screen of both bands (expected
Tariq; JOBARI, 7(4): 228-231, 2015
230
result) and therefore it supports the alternative
hypothesis that light travels in concentric waves
(conclusion). In the same way, the method can be
used in all different subject matters for finding out the
conclusions, experiments, hypothesis, and results.
The hypothetico-deductive methods confirm a theory
when the prediction and observation gap is small and
disconfirms when the gap is large [5]. Most of the
focus in the scientific methodology is to reduce the
gap between the predictions and observations. It is an
essential component of the hypothetico-deductive
method [6,7,8]. The hypothetico-deductive method
tests the empirical hypothesis and theories well and
widely used by the scientists. [6] writes, “Despite the
inability of the hypothetico-deductive accounts to
explain evidential relevance,…[it] remains today one
of the most popular. The reason, I think, is that it is so
obviously the correct account of a great deal of the
history of science.” (p. 47-48). Many of the
psychologists have also adopted the method and
example can be facial inversion effect that related to
the observation of inverted faces.
Different research authors have used hypothetico-
deductive method with different research aims. [9]
used the method to test the hypothesis for employee
turnover and performance of firm to have an reverse
U shaped relationship, mainly low turnover or high
turnover. The data was analyzed of 110 offices
offering temporary employment and found the
hypothesised curvilinerar relationship. [10] used the
method to identify the categories of decisions
misunderstood in general decisions. A series of
interviews were conducted with the end customers to
find out the categories of misunderstanding. The
categories emerged as a result of implication of data
and based on the fact that once they have occurred
and might occur again. [11] used the methodology to
investigate the impact of equality or balance during
merging process of an organization. The researchers
used case study of failed international mergers. They
found out that the principle of equality has reverse
effect on the social integration influencing it in
negatively opposite to the predictions in literature.
[12] used the methodology to investigate the
relationship between the managerial level and
personality. A personality test was conducted to find
out the relationship between the results and the
managerial level. Four different hypothesis were
derived based on the positive or negative relation with
the managerial level. [13] used the methodology in
the banking sector to filter the data related to a
particular story from another. The banking sector
involves a vast area of research including social,
economic and political factors combined together in
one organizational context. The hypothetico-
deductive method overlooks this challenge of
incorporating the subjective and social consequences
values. It reduces the link between the prediction,
technical and explanation control. [4] used the
hypothetico-deductive method to the early theories of
blood flow and William Harvey’s research. The
theory was based on the hypothetico-deductive
reasoning for the experiments of blood flow directions
in a human body. The test was also conducted on the
septum holes. The results according to the H-D
method was that Galen’s theory was not supported [3].
5. SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES
BETWEEN THE APPROACHES
All the researchers who have implemented the
methodology in real time have used the basic core
steps of the H-D method. The researchers first
analyzed the broad are of the main problem. [9] broad
area was the organization performance, [10] problem
area was influence on decisions, [11] was on equality
steps taken by any organization in mergers, [12]
problem domain was the attitude of managers, [13]
broad area was the banking sector improvement and
domain was the field of biology. For second step all
the researchers have further narrowed the research
such as [9] problem was narrowed to the employee
turnover and performance. The third step of the H-D
method is the problem statement for which all of the
researchers have made different hypothesis to be
tested with the H-D method. The measurement of the
framework is the basic difference some of the authors
have used interviews, others have used data collected
through surveys, collection through blood samples,
collection through social integration. This difference
is dependent on the main problem domain of the H-D
algorithm as it does not support the social integration
properly. The data is then tested against the
hypothesis during the process to check the rejection or
acceptance. The another important step in the H-D
method is the interpretation which has been used
different by each of the researchers and according to
psychology, it depends on the human nature and
environment in which the results are conducted. The
interpretation of the results can be different with one
same experiment conducted by two different people.
The references to the conclusion of results must be
strong enough to define the actual result which is
same as p-o gap.
6. HYPOTHETICO-DEDUCTIVE METHOD:
RESEARCH AREA IMPROVEMENTS
Methods are not always perfect. They require other
knowledge to be combined with the other resources to
produce the background theory, logical improvements,
probability theory and hypothesis to determine the
acceptance and rejection of a hypothesis model. The
Tariq; JOBARI, 7(4): 228-231, 2015
231
model is based on confirming the entire theory and
cannot distinguish between different parts of the
theory for acceptance. It does not completely explains
the scientific research and structure of the scientific
paper reports. The fundamental component that
requires improvement is the prediction-observing (p-
o) component that is limited to the model extent. The
gap between the p-o components cannot be decreased,
but its limit can be increased to fulfill the decreasing
demand. The p-o gap cannot be increased infinitely
without any limits as the model has to qualify the
statement of within limits: Another model can be
derived such as Reduction Model that can attempt to
decrease the gap according to the domain model. The
experiments will be different for each of the domain
models to get the accurate results. The rule which can
be derived on the above given analysis is that H-D
method still needs a lot of improvement and a single
hypothesis should have enough data in order to be
rejected or accepted. Also the data should be validated
by different persons or a committee led by group of
people strong in interpreting statistical results.
Another important step which should be added as a
rule in conducting the H-D method is to obtain a pre-
feasibility of a research domain to check that whether
H-D method is applicable or not applicable for a
specific domain. The domain limitations must be
considered in order to get the proper results. The rules
are important to avoid collection of ambiguous data
and selecting a methodology which suits the problem
domain. Such as in banking sector H-D method lacks
the social integration and cannot be properly
implemented to get the required results. In that case
the method needs to be enhanced before further
implementation.
7. FUTURE WORK AND CONCLUSION
The hypothetico-deductive model is one of the models
used for the scientific reasoning and research. The
model is used for generating the basic experiments for
validation of the hypothesis in different scientific
research domains. However, it is not the only model
that is used for the research conclusions. It is
combined further with the deductive reasoning,
inductive reasoning, casual reasoning, abductive
reasoning and defeasible reasoning. These models are
widely used in contrast with the hypothetico-
deductive model for finding out the scientific solution
of the research. Further analysis is required in each of
the scientific reasoning domains to analyze the correct
approach for finding out accurate results and
decreasing the prediction-observation gap.
COMPETING INTERESTS
Author has declared that no competing interests exist.
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