Browse Definitions:
Definition

falsifiability

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Falsifiability is the capacity for some proposition, statement, theory or hypothesis to be proven wrong. That capacity is an essential component of the scientific method and hypothesis testing. In a scientific context, falsifiability is sometimes considered synonymous with testability.

In hypothesis testing, the null hypothesis usually states the contrary of the experimental or alternative hypothesis. The null hypothesis provides the basis of falsifiability, describing what the outcome would demonstrate, should the prediction of the hypothesis not be supported by the study. The researcher's hypothesis might predict, for example, that fewer hours working correlates to lower employee productivity. The null hypothesis would be that fewer hours working is correlated with higher productivity, or that there is no change when employees spend less time at work.

The requirement of falsifiability means that conclusions cannot be drawn from simple observation of a particular phenomenon. The black swan problem is an illustration: If a man lives his life seeing only white swans and never knows that there are any non-white swans, he might assume that all swans are white. For falsifiability, it isn't necessary to know that there are black swans but simply to understand that the statement "All swans are white" would be disproven should a single non-white swan exist.

The Austrian philosopher and scientist Karl Popper (1902-1994) introduced the concept of falsifiability in his writings on the demarcation problem, which explored the difficulty of separating science from pseudo-science.

Watch a brief tutorial about falsifiability:

This was last updated in January 2017

Continue Reading About falsifiability

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • password

    A password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is...

  • adware

    Adware is any software application in which advertising banners are displayed while a program is running.

  • botnet

    A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices, which may include PCs, servers, mobile devices and internet of things ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • data migration

    Data migration is the process of transferring data between data storage systems, data formats or computer systems.

  • compact disc (CD)

    A compact disc is a portable storage medium that can be used for recording, storing and playing back audio, video and other data ...

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is used to protect inactive data written from a primary storage array to a nonvolatile tier of disk, flash or ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close