A hypothesis refers to a suggested explanation for observed occurrences. It is a reasonable or educated guess founded on what can be known or observed. These occurrences are generally empirical, implying they are collected through experimentation or observation (Castillo, 2013). A hypothesis can be regarded as a declaration that can be tested and disproved or collaborated. A hypothesis can be disproved or supported at any time with a new observation or an experiment (Extension.purdue.edu, 2017). In case a hypothesis is invalidated, the researcher generates a new hypothesis that contains the new knowledge gathered from the experiment. A hypothesis is normally founded on past experiments and responds to a scientific question. Many scientists working on the same issue frequently test the same hypotheses, therefore, sharing experimental methodology is highly essential (Eastwell, 2014).
A theory, on the other hand, refers to the final results of the past tested hypothesis. It is a verified set of principles that describe observed occurrences. While a hypothesis is a phenomenon under investigation, and that is yet to be disproved or proved through research, a theory denotes a hypothesis that has been proven with recurrent testing, normally by multiple scientists (Castillo, 2013). Similar to a hypothesis, a theory holds until there is evidence to challenge it. It is normally a general principle defined to explain an occurrence and proven by recurrent experiments. Also, a theory can be improved or refined by novel observations or data, just like a hypothesis can be altered based on refuting claims (Eastwell, 2014). Theories are normally believed as being true in the scientific field, while hypotheses are just suggestions. This means a theory can be used to explain an occurrence or research more on an occurrence, while a hypothesis cannot (Extension.purdue.edu, 2017).