Basic Principles and Practical Applications of by Jung-Der Wang

By Jung-Der Wang

...this ebook simplifies the layout and inferences of human observational experiences into kinds: descriptive and causal

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Additional resources for Basic Principles and Practical Applications of Epidemiological Research (Quantitative Sciences on Biology and Medicine)

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3 Successful refutation and auxiliary hypotheses — disproved the primary hypothesis? Has one In the process of conjectures and refutations, one may observe facts contradictory to the deductions made from the primary hypothesis, leading one to conclude that the primary hypothesis is false. However, one should not jump to such an early conclusion in any human observational study, including that of epidemiology. Owing to the reliance on observation Chapter 3 Scientific hypothesis 47 rather than experimentation, one cannot control all determinants of a particular outcome and must then invoke auxiliary hypotheses.

No, since these hypotheses cannot predict any future behavior, one cannot empirically verify anything at all and cannot distinguish which one is the more corroborated hypothesis. The conditions for Marx's hypothesis are different. Popper (1966) provided a great deal of argument in his book entitled, "The open society and its enemies", and claimed that Marx's hypothesis was already refuted by empirical evidence from capitalist societies or nations. However, Marx's followers tried to save his theory by creating an "ad hoc hypothesis," making it immune to falsification and thus, pseudo-scientific.

Thus, one is dealing with a different issue from that in the research of pure natural science. Instead of only searching for more definite answers, one must make decisions under some uncertainty, which is called decision-making (Bell, et al, 1988; Raiffa, 1976). In general, one needs to weigh the cost and benefits or cost and effectiveness, as well as medical ethics, for making such policy decisions in public health. This will be discussed in more depth in Chapters 4 and 13. Chapter 3 Scientific hypothesis 51 Credibility change for a hypothesis To help measure one's degree of belief for a hypothesis to facilitate rational action, I recommend Bayesian's approach of quantifying subjective probability (Savage, 1972; Howson and Urbach, 1993; Greenland, 1998a).

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