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ERIC Number: EJ784002
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0002-7685
Strong Inference: The Way of Science
Kinraide, Thomas B.; Denison, R. Ford
American Biology Teacher, v65 n6 p419-424 Aug 2003
Science teachers and science textbooks commonly introduce students to the scientific method in elementary and junior high school, but the study of scientific method and philosophy can be a life-long endeavor. This essay concentrates on a particular aspect of the scientific method--the testing of hypotheses. Concepts of hypothesis testing have changed even within the relatively short period of modern science. Specifically, the concept of proof has been abandoned for reasons described in the essay. The authors describe the modern method of hypothesis testing by borrowing the term "strong inference" from John R. Platt's "Science" (1964) essay by the same name. Strong inference is the method of testing a hypothesis by deliberately attempting to demonstrate the falsity of the hypothesis. Because the formulation and testing of hypotheses are at the heart of strong inference, the authors first present a definition and a detailed discussion of hypothesis, and consider terms which are incorporated in the definition. Then, they provide a case study of hypothesis testing and a summary of strong inference.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A