Building up hypotheses in clinical psychology and neuroscience


Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia


31 March, 2017


Osimo, S.A. & Rumiati, R.I.

Hypotheses are the first step in scientific and clinical enquiry. They guide all of the subsequent steps in an investigation, and influence data collection, analysis, and interpretation. But how do we build scientific and clinical hypotheses? In both research and clinical contexts, a professional’s idiosyncratic way of perceiving reality, her prejudices and biases will influence the process of hypothesis formulation. We compare the process of formulating a scientific hypothesis in the field of neuroscience with the process of building a clinical hypothesis in the systemic therapeutic approach. This comparison is intended to highlight the biases that influence researchers and clinicians when formulating hypotheses. Our aim is to raise awareness of the most common biases, and to point out how the tools developed by clinicians could be useful to researchers, and vice versa.


Osimo, S.A. & Rumiati, R.I. (2017). Building up hypotheses in clinical psychology and neuroscience: Similarities and differences. Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia, 8, pp. 110-117.

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