Guest post by James Garnett.
How inferential science works, episode one: the null hypothesis.
Ever wonder what things like medical studies are actually showing, and why they are sometimes (often?) disproved?
Inferential studies attempt to demonstrate a correlation between two things, generally speaking. That correlation is stated in a way that can be tested, through what is called a null hypothesis. Think of it as the default assumption. For example, in simple (aka not rigorous) terms: “the amount of cholesterol in the food that a person consumes is correlated to the amount of cholesterol present in their blood”. A statement of that nature can be tested, and disproved.
But null hypotheses cannot be proved. There are simply … Read the rest