Hypothesis and prediction are two different terms that people can easily construe to be the same. As Baker and Garland assert “hypothesis is the fundamental instrument in conducting research that proposes new experiments and observations and indeed most of the experiments are undertaken, with the sole aim of testing the hypothesis.” On the other hand Vilardell and Sanchez-Pla hold that “prediction is forecasting of future events, which is sometimes, on a person’s instinct or gut feeling.” Similarly Baker and Garland asserts that “hypothesis in science is a provisional supposition from which to draw conclusions that shall be in accordance with known facts, and which serves as a starting-point for further investigation.” From these definitions, it is evident that hypothesis and prediction have several salient differences.
The first difference between hypothesis and prediction is that the former means proposed elucidation of an event that is vividly observable and is put forth based on established facts as a way of providing grounds for further inquiry. On the other hand, prediction is a statement that gives an estimation of something that will happen in future. The second difference is that hypothesis is an uncertain assumption that can be easily tested by use of scientific methods. On the other hand, a prediction is an assertion put across in advance on what is anticipated to occur subsequently, in the series of events. The third difference is that a hypothesis is an educated guess whereas a prediction is a pure guess. What this statement means is that a hypothesis is a guess that a researcher in academia or other fields make and then follows an extensive research to either prove or disqualify the developed hypothesis as true or false. In contrary, a prediction is just but a guess that an individual makes without backing it with the necessary research in hope that it will happen. In prediction, it is only when the predicted events happens that it can be true or untrue.
The fourth difference is that a hypothesis is based on facts and concrete evidence. This way, it can be proved or disqualified based on the available facts and concrete evidence. On the other hand, a prediction may either or not be based on facts and concrete evidence. The fifth difference is that a hypothesis scan be explained in depth whereas a prediction cannot be explained. The sixth difference is that a hypothesis takes a very long time to formulate. This assertion is true because it is based on facts and concrete evidence that is obtained and the trend observed over a long period of time. On the other hand, a prediction is an impromptu assertion of what the future event will turn out without any supportive evidence and thus does not require too much time. The seventh difference is that hypothesis can either be describing a past event or a future occurrence whereas prediction describes a future event or occurrence. The eighth difference is that prediction gives relationship between variables whereas prediction does not give the relationship between variables.
A good example of a prediction is “if it is raining and there is sun, one can predict that a rainbow will occur.” This prediction can only be proved by waiting to see whether the rainbow will appear or not. On the other hand, an example of a hypothesis is “the high cost of living is largely caused by high prices of fuel.” This hypothesis can be proved by conducting a substantial research to either approve or disqualify the assertion.
Baker, Jeffrey J. W, and Garland E Allen. Hypothesis, Prediction And Implication And Biology. 1st ed. Addison-Wesley, 1968. Print.
Vilardell, M., and A. Sanchez-Pla. “Hypothesis Testing Approaches To The Exon Prediction Problem”. Bioinformatics 22.24 (2006): 3003-3008. Web.