The Role of Hypotheses in Biomechanical Research

Science in Context 25 (2):247-262 (2012)

Abstract

ArgumentThis paper investigates whether there is a discrepancy between stated and actual aims in biomechanical research, particularly with respect to hypothesis testing. We present an analysis of one hundred papers recently published inThe Journal of Experimental BiologyandJournal of Biomechanics, and examine the prevalence of papers which have hypothesis testing as a stated aim, contain hypothesis testing claims that appear to be purely presentational, and have exploration as a stated aim. We found that whereas no papers had exploration as a stated aim, 58 per cent of papers had hypothesis testing as a stated aim. We had strong suspicions, at the bare minimum, that presentational hypotheses were present in 31 per cent of the papers in this latter group.

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Darrell P. Rowbottom
Lingnan University

References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Raimund Popper - 1934 - London, England: Routledge.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Popper - 1959 - Studia Logica 9:262-265.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.David Bohm - 1964 - Philosophical Quarterly 14 (57):377-379.

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Citations of this work

Calculating Life? Duelling Discourses in Interdisciplinary Systems Biology.Jane Calvert & Joan H. Fujimura - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):155-163.
Why Do Funding Agencies Favor Hypothesis Testing?Chris Haufe - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):363-374.
Calculating Life? Duelling Discourses in Interdisciplinary Systems Biology.Jane Calvert & Joan H. Fujimura - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):155-163.

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