6
$\begingroup$

As a layperson, I am interested about the scientific method but whenever I search it online I get endless results about how to formulate and test hypotheses for the purpose of writing a scientific paper.

I'm trying to find the term of the process by which people make and test informal theories and hypotheses during their daily lives.

Example A young child touches an unfamiliar object and, purely by coincidence, there is a distant clap of thunder. The child 'hypothesized' that the touch caused the clap of thunder. This is now testable because the child can repeat the experiment.

If I want to read more about this in psychology, what do I put in my search engine to avoid getting thousands of results about null hypotheses and t-tests?

$\endgroup$
8
$\begingroup$

One umbrella term is causal reasoning, though this is a bit broader since there are theories of causal reasoning that are not about hypothesis testing.

A Google Scholar search for "causal reasoning psychology" generates several hundred thousand hits, and the first page is full of relevant papers.

Getting more specific, Klayman & Ha (1987) wrote an influential article about the kinds of hypothesis testing you describe. Looking at the papers that cite that article might give you some additional leads into the literature.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I'll spend some time exploring your leads. It's clear that in many cases I need access to online publications in order to read more than the abstracts but I may be able to arrange that. I'll be dropping in from time to time to see if there are other developments. Again, many thanks. $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Jul 9 '15 at 23:42
0
$\begingroup$

This is actually called abductive reasoning. As for how it the hypotheses are generated, one way is through analogical matching and inference (search google scholar for Analogico-deductive reasoning, for example).

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.