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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References found in this work BETA
E. C. Barnes (2005). Predictivism for Pluralists. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (3):421-450.
David Harker (2008). On the Predilections for Predictions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):429-453.
Alan Musgrave (1974). Logical Versus Historical Theories of Confirmation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 25 (1):1-23.

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Citations of this work BETA
Chris Haufe (2013). Why Do Funding Agencies Favor Hypothesis Testing? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):363-374.
Similar books and articles
Max Albert (1992). Die Falsifikation Statistischer Hypothesen. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 23 (1):1 - 32.
Edward Erwin (1998). The Logic of Null Hypothesis Testing. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):197-198.

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