Brief notes on the indirect and direct methods for the verification of hypothesis


The verification of hypothesis is usually done in two ways, i.e., directly and indirectly. The direct verification takes place through observations or experiments.

The indirect method of verification constitutes deduction and comparison with the established laws. The second one is none the less a deductive method because whether the newly formed hypothesis is consistent with other established laws or not is to be tested. When a
hypothesis gradually gets confirmation from subsequent facts then it is accepted as proved. This method is considered as proving through accumulation of consistent facts.

Direct verification:


Where direct verification is possible it takes place either through observation or through experiment.

The verification through experiment is more dependable than the verification through observations.

Because the verification of a hypothesis should take place in as many cases as possible, otherwise, the chance of being falsified cannot be ruled out. For example, a generalization likes ‘Swans are white’ if verified at various places in India is not sufficient. In Australia black swans are seen. It shows that observational hypothesis is more vulnerable than experimental ones.

Indirect verification:


If it is not possible to verify a hypothesis through observation or experiment then the verification takes place by making a comparison with the knowledge of accumulated facts or through a process of deduction from a supposed cause. This later process of verification is considered as the method of indirect verification.

In case of indirect verification the conclusions possible from the supposed cause are verified on the basis of the knowledge of the facts of experience. If the conclusions are found to be true, then the hypothesis is considered to be verified.

In order to prove the supposition that mercury level rises in a barometer due to atmospheric pressure Torricelli went to a mountain top and verified it directly. But Galileo proved the pressure of atmosphere indirectly from the observed facts that two objects with different weight would reach the ground at the same time when dropped from a height.

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