Article ID: CBB001251561

The Role of Hypotheses in Biomechanical Research (2012)


This 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 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 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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Authors & Contributors
Cooper, Stephen
Detlefsen, Karen
Emmott, James
Feyerabend, Paul K.
Itokazu, Anastasia Guidi
Jansson, Lina
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Acta Historica Leopoldina
Biological Theory
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine
Cambridge University Press
Humana Press
Polity Press
Methodology of science; scientific method
Explanation; hypotheses; theories
Philosophy of science
Experimental biology
Feyerabend, Paul K.
Fleck, Ludwig
Gould, Stephen Jay
Kepler, Johannes
Lambert, Johann Heinrich
Newton, Isaac
Time Periods
19th century
17th century
18th century
20th century
21st century
20th century, early
Great Britain

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