Hypothesis versus Theory comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartHypothesisTheory
Definition A suggested explanation for an observable phenomenon or prediction of a possible causal correlation among multiple phenomena. In science, a theory is a well-substantiated, unifying explanation for a set of verified, proven hypotheses.
Based on Suggestion, possibility, projection or prediction, but the result is uncertain. Evidence, verification, repeated testing, wide scientific consensus
Testable Yes Yes
Falsifiable Yes Yes
Is well-substantiated? No Yes
Is well-tested? No Yes
Data Usually based on very limited data Based on a very wide set of data tested under various circumstances.
Instance Specific: Hypothesis is usually based on a very specific observation and is limited to that instance. General: A theory is the establishment of a general principle through multiple tests and experiments, and this principle may apply to various specific instances.
Purpose To present an uncertain possibility that can be explored further through experiments and observations. To explain why a large set of observations are consistently made.