Difference between Hypothesis and Prediction

Key Difference: A Hypothesis is an uncertain explanation regarding a phenomenon or event. It is widely used as a base for conducting tests and the results of the tests determine the acceptance or rejection of the hypothesis. On the other hand, prediction is generally associated with the non-scientific guess. It defines the outcome of future events based on observation, experience and even a hypothesis. Hypothesis can also be defined in terms of prediction as a type of prediction which can be tested.

A Hypothesis is an uncertain explanation regarding a phenomenon or event. It is widely used as a base for conducting tests and the results of the tests determine the acceptance or rejection of the hypothesis. It can always be tested by experimentation after the formulation. It is generated by gathering possible evidence. Later, the investigation is carried out to test the hypothesis. It is either accepted or assumed.

Example of a hypothesis -

“I think that these leaves of the plant became discolored due to lack of sunlight”

In this sentence, one can easily smell a sense of guess. However, this guess is a type of educated guess. Therefore, hypothesis is also known as an educated guess. This hypothesis can be tested by various scientific methods or further investigation.

Prediction is generally used in non-scientific world to define the outcome of future events. It is also referred to as forecast and in most of the cases it is not based on any experience or knowledge.

For example, if I will buy a lottery ticket, I will win today. Now, in this example, a prediction is made regarding the future. However, it cannot be tested before its actual occurrence. Therefore, it will be termed as a prediction.

However, a scientific prediction is specially the one that is based on the hypothesis. A prediction in research evolves from a hypothesis, but they still do not guarantee the success of each other. Thus, the meaning of the prediction may vary a little depending upon the context. Generally, it depicts only a statement regarding the future. However, in scientific research it is based on the hypothesis and can be regarding any type of phenomenon.

Comparison between Hypothesis and Prediction:

 

Hypothesis

Prediction

Definition

A Hypothesis is an uncertain explanation regarding a phenomenon or event. It is widely used as a base for conducting tests and the results of the tests determine the acceptance or rejection of the hypothesis.

Prediction is generally associated with a non-scientific guess. It defines the outcome of future events based on observation, experience and even a hypothesis.

Origin

The term derived from the Greek, hypotithenai meaning "to put under" or "to suppose."

From Latin praedict- 'made known beforehand, declared'.

Proving methodology

Various experiments can lead to various results. Thus, a hypothesis can be proved or rejected depending upon the method used by the scientists.

Predictions which are based on irrational notions can be tested on the occurrence of the associated phenomenon or occurrence.

A scientific prediction is based on the hypothesis and can be tested.

Supported by Reasoning

Yes

Depends

Example

Ultra violet light may cause skin cancer.

Leaves will change color when the next season arrives.

Image Courtesy: seminolestate.edu, nature.com

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