The Role of Hypotheses in Biomechanical Research

Science in Context 25 (2):247-262 (2012)
This paper investigates whether there is a discrepancy between the stated and actual aims in biomechanical research, particularly with respect to hypothesis testing. We present an analysis of one hundred papers recently published in The Journal of Experimental Biology and Journal of Biomechanics, and examine the prevalence of papers which (a) have hypothesis testing as a stated aim, (b) contain hypothesis testing claims that appear to be purely presentational (i.e. which seem not to have influenced the actual study), and (c) have exploration as a stated aim. We found that whereas no papers had exploration as a stated aim, 58% of papers had hypothesis testing as a stated aim. We had strong suspicions, at the bare minimum, that presentational hypotheses were present in 31% of the papers in this latter group.
Keywords Hypothesis Testing  Biomechanics  Prediction  Accommodation
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DOI 10.1017/S0269889712000051
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Chris Haufe (2013). Why Do Funding Agencies Favor Hypothesis Testing? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):363-374.
Jane Calvert & Joan H. Fujimura (2011). Calculating Life? Duelling Discourses in Interdisciplinary Systems Biology. 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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Max Albert (1992). Die Falsifikation Statistischer Hypothesen. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 23 (1):1 - 32.
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