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Significance Questing

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University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts

Ann Intern Med. 1986;105(3):445-447. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-105-3-445
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The method of science, as described by the philosopher Karl Popper (1), is to formulate bold conjectures, to determine by deduction the consequences of these conjectures, and then to collect data in a directed way to test each conjecture by attempting to falsify it ( 1, 2). A crucial test is one in which two different theories predict different outcomes for an observation; then, the observation will refute at least one of the theories.

A cornerstone of scientific testing is the reliance on measurement. Whereas a theory is considered qualitatively to be either true or false, its validity is assessed


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