Philosopher examines the hypothesis vs. Exploratory capital divideDate:September 27, 2013Source:Case west Reserve UniversitySummary:A professor wonder why some varieties of research were much more apt come secure federal grants, while rather -- particularly exploratory scientific research -- frequently didn"t.Share:

A situation Western Reserve university professor wonder why some types of research study were an ext apt come secure commonwealth grants, while rather -- specifically exploratory science -- regularly didn"t.

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Using the national Institutes of health (NIH) as a instance study, Assistant approach Professor kris Haufe concluded the hypothesis-based research has the edge over discovery research because that several factors that he explains in a new paper.

Haufe discusses the NIH"s peer-reviewed grant process in his Studies in history and approach of Science journal article, "Why do resources agencies favor theory testing?"

Hypothesis-driven research study is based upon scientific theories, while exploration is based upon a search for discovery backed by few theories or none in ~ all.

While looking right into the species of research most frequently funded, Haufe shows that instructions to reviewers and applicants strongly favor hypothesis-based inquiries the are associated to and also relevant to current science issues.

For example, Haufe reports the the NIH guidelines for RO1 grants (described through the NIH as investigator-initiated or a response to a regime announcement or request for application) to researcher advise applicants, "A solid grant applications is propelled by a strong, solid hypothesis v clear research objectives. The particular aims room a officially statement the objectives and also milestones that the research project towards trial and error the hypothesis."

The write-up offers 2 explanations why the NIH prefers theory testing: The study is pushed by finest practices (how to do and also test science), and it"s simple for peer reviewers to separate an excellent from negative science based upon the study methods.


Those through a realistic possibility to prove what they collection out to find and also have the biggest affect for the public"s benefit tend to get the federal research study dollars, Haufe concludes.

With theory testing, researchers present what the study wishes to accomplish, just how it will be done and feasible outcomes. Numerous researchers additionally conduct pilot research studies or draw from findings by other researchers to construct a solid case for future success.

Exploratory research, however, is driven much more by hope and chance the discovery, Haufe writes.

Funding success also tends to take the path of the very least risk, Haufe explains.

Hypothesis testing takes the following step in scientific theory, having already stood the rigors of examination. Meanwhile, exploratory research study examines unknown areas with no or little-known theories to back them -- perceived as a riskier bet.


Haufe said the commonwealth government, with restricted funding, desires to support study where there"s a possibility of success the serves both public and science interests. The closer the research is come what"s currently known likewise improves opportunities of funding, the reports.

The science community has long embraced hypothesis testing. An ext than 50 years ago, British thinker Karl Popper ended up being known because that his principles that great science connected testing to determine validity.

Haufe stated hypothesis trial and error now has become a traditional when assessing research proposals.

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Still, Haufe go not desire to dominance out exploratory research. His next step is to develop guidelines that aid determine the clinical merits of exploratory research and also what off a sound task from one that could go nowhere.