Difference between Hypothesis and Theory

Hypothesis vs. Theory

What is the Difference between Hypothesis and Theory? When we want to do a scientific and objective study, no doubt we have to follow a method that allows us to achieve our purpose. For this type of research it is necessary to follow the steps of the Scientific Method: observation, hypothesis, experimentation, theory and law.

Difference between Hypothesis and Theory

Next we will see what the differences between Hypothesis and Theory are.

Hypothesis
A hypothesis is an explanation given to the phenomenon or event observed before performing the experimentation. It is used as the basis for testing, and the results of these tests will determine whether the hypothesis is accepted or rejected.

Hypotheses can be tested using several methods, including direct experimentation or using certain observational skills. It is important to clarify those theories and laws can begin as hypotheses only in their initial phase.

After the formulation of the hypotheses what follows is the experimentation. All possible evidence is collected, then the research is done to test the hypotheses and finally, they are discarded or not.

Theory
A theory is basically a system that comprises all the ideas from which explanations are made. Theories comprise a set of hypotheses. If the hypothesis is able to pass all the tests, then it is eligible to be mentioned in theory.

Theories are always supported by evidence, therefore, they are considered as a well-confirmed explanation. They can also be used for the prediction of any future observations.

One of the most famous theories is Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. In these they use information from various fields and themes, which allows them to sustain themselves.

Hypotheses and theories are interrelated, but they are very different in many respects. Hypotheses are testable assumptions and this is their basic property. On the other hand, theories are the results that are obtained from various rigorous tests and investigations.

Key Differences between Hypotheses and Theory

  • A hypothesis is an interim explanation given to an event or phenomenon, while theories are basically logical systems that comprise the ideas from which explanations are made.
  • Theories are based on hypotheses, while hypotheses are only mentioned in theories when they pass all the tests.
  • The term theory comes from the Greek word “theories” (spectator), while the term hypothesis derives from the Greek “hypothesis” (hypo = below; thesis = thesis, conclusion).
  • Example of hypothesis: “Colors can influence the behavior of people”.
  • Example of theory: “The Heliocentric Theory” and “The Theory of Evolution”.