Full Text

Hypothesis

Benjamin Fretwurst


Extract

Hypotheses are assumptions about empirical (observable) phenomena. They are formulated as empirical (experience-related) statements; thus they can be either true or false – i.e., they are testable. This implies that hypotheses are tentative: their validity (truth or falseness) is subject to empirical test. In this general form, the definition also corresponds to the conventional, everyday meaning of “hypothesis.” In the social sciences – thus including social science-oriented communication sciences – the concept is more narrowly circumscribed: scientific hypotheses are empirically testable universal (nomological) propositions about causal relationships . They are stated in terms of either “if–then” or “the more–the more (or less)” propositions. Example: “People learn from news media which are the most important problems facing their country” (→  Agenda-Setting Effects ). • This statement is an assumption which can be empirically tested. • The statement can be translated into an “if–then” proposition: “If an issue is prominently discussed in the news media, then people will regard it as an important problem.” In this case, it can also be translated into a “the more–the more” proposition: “The more an issue is discussed in the news media, the more people will regard it as an important problem.” • The statement applies not merely to a single media user, but to all media users; it ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top