Difference Between Hypothesis and Theory

When we want to do a scientific and objective study , without a doubt we have to follow a method that allows us to achieve our purpose. For this type of research it is necessary to follow the steps of the Scientific Method: observation, hypothesis, experimentation, theory and law. Difference Between Hypothesis and Theory

Next we will see what are the differences between theory and hypothesis.

HYPOTHESIS  Difference Between Hypothesis and Theory

A hypothesis is an explanation that is given to the phenomenon or event observed before carrying out the experimentation. It is used as a basis for testing, and the results of these tests are what will determine whether the hypothesis is accepted or rejected.

Hypotheses can be tested using various methods, including direct experimentation or using certain observation skills. It is important to clarify that theories and laws can begin by being only hypotheses in their initial phase.

After the formulation of the hypotheses, what follows is experimentation. All possible evidence is collected, then research is done to test the hypotheses, and finally, they are discarded or not.


A theory is basically a system that comprises all the ideas of which explanations are made. Theories comprise a set of hypotheses. If the hypothesis is capable of passing all the tests, then it is eligible to be mentioned in the theory.

Theories are always supported by evidence, therefore, they are considered as a well-confirmed explanation. They can also be used for the prediction of any of the future observations.

One of the most famous theories is Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. In these, information from various fields and topics is used, which allows them to sustain themselves.

Hypotheses and theories are related to each other, but they are very different in many respects. Hypotheses are testable assumptions and this is their basic property. On the other hand, theories are the results that are obtained from various rigorous tests and investigations.

Key differences between hypothesis and theory

  • A hypothesis is a provisional explanation that is given to an event or phenomenon, while theories are basically logical systems that comprise the ideas from which explanations are made.
  • Theories are based on hypotheses, whereas hypotheses are only mentioned in theories when they pass all the tests.
  • The term theory comes from the Greek word “theoros” (spectator), while the term hypothesis derives from the Greek “hypothesis” (hypo = below; thesis = thesis, conclusion).
  • Example of hypothesis: “Colors can influence people’s behavior.”
  • Theory example: “The Heliocentric Theory” and “The Theory of Evolution”.

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