Title

The role of hypotheses in biomechanical research

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Science in Context

Publication Date

6-1-2012

Volume

25

Issue

2

First Page

247

Last Page

262

Abstract

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.

DOI

10.1017/S0269889712000051

Print ISSN

02698897

E-ISSN

14740664

Publisher Statement

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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Recommended Citation

Rowbottom, D. P. & Alexander, R. M. (2012). The role of hypotheses in biomechanical research. Science in Context, 25(2), 247-262. doi: 10.1017/S0269889712000051