When you are studying a variable that you know little or nothing about, you are expected to ask questions and try to answer the questions in the course of your study. By the end of the process, you are expected to arrive at a conclusion based on your findings. To be honest, this conclusion of yours is more like guesswork because you are not quite sure you know all there is to know about the subject matter.
In this post, we would be talking about the difference between hypothesis and prediction. First of all, we would define them distinctly, and then we would go ahead to point out how they are entirely different from the other. In some cases, these terms are used interchangeably, which is understandable considering that they have some things in common. However, this should not be the case judging from their applications, especially in the field of science.
DEFINITION OF HYPOTHESIS
Hypothesis is defined as a proposed explanation of how two or more variables may be related to one another on the basis of established facts as an introduction to further studies. One can only arrive at this proposed explanation after a series of experiments grounded by facts that can either be approved or disapproved.
Another way to look at it is to think of it in two different levels. The first level deals with a proposed explanation based on observation, while the second level is about further studies to verify the proposed explanation. The difference between hypothesis and prediction is also seen in the following characteristics of the former.
– It should be in the form of a simple statement meant to be as short and as precise as possible. The simpler and more specific it is, the better.
– There should be a high level of comprehension in the statement such that a person who is not familiar with the situation can grasp it at a glance.
– It should correlate variables that are capable of being tested.
– It should be consistent with known facts.
In comparing hypothesis vs prediction, it is important to note that the aim of the statement in the case of the former, should be to represent what a researcher thinks would happen in a controlled situation.
DEFINITION OF PREDICTION
Prediction is defined as a statement that aims at estimating a future event which may or may not be based on knowledge and experience. In other words, this statement can be categorized as a pure guess prompted by a person’s instinct or some form of knowledge and experience. On that note, it is safe to say that, out of many, one difference between prediction and hypothesis is that in this case, the statement may or may not be based on facts, unlike in the previous case where the statement is definitely based on established facts.
Other things you need to know in this case is that the statement was made without any clear indication of how true it might be. In a lot of cases, scientists like to classify unintelligent predictions as prophesy because they are not based on any prior studies and events. Whereas when it is based on some form of established knowledge, it is referred to as “scientific”.
Examples include the following.
– A person showing symptoms like bleeding gum, fatigue, tiredness, a lump in the breast, etc, can be predicted to have breast cancer.
– When the sun is out and it is raining at the same time, one can predict the possibility of a rainbow
– Weather forecast
MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HYPOTHESIS VS PREDICTION
Here is a table to answer the question – what is the difference between a hypothesis and a prediction? Hopefully, this would help you gain a better understanding of how these two terms are different from the other.
BASIS OF COMPARISON HYPOTHESIS PREDICTION
Definition A proposed explanation of how two or more variables may be related to one another on the basis of established facts as an introduction to further studies. A statement that aims at estimating a future event which may or may not be based on knowledge and experience
Based on Established facts and evidence May on may not be based on facts and evidence
Comprehension Explains the situation in simple terms Does not explain the situation
Nature Works for a controlled environment May or may not work for a controlled environment
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HYPOTHESIS AND PREDICTION: CONCLUSION
In contrast to hypothesis vs prediction, it is obvious that the former is a proposed explanation of a phenomenon, while the latter is used to describe discernment of the future. The latter can be made by anyone, irrespective of their knowledge about the subject at hand. This is not the case with the former which requires a series of controlled studies and observation to come up with a statement.