The Breakthrough Model of Scientific Research
contrasted with the Principle of Connectivity

The Breakthrough Model of scientific research and the Principle of Connectivity are both models describing how progress occurs with scientific theories. The Breakthrough Model of scientific research, also known as the Great Leap Model, supports the idea that scientific problems and issues are explained or solved when a single experiment overturns all previous theories and completely explains the concept of interest. While the Breakthrough Model may take into account previous theories, it does not build upon them in a gradual manner.  It either explains previous theories in a revolutionary way, or it completely dismisses them.  Breakthrough theories often violate the Principle of Connectivity, which states that new theories should connect with old theories by supporting and building on previously established facts.  While not all Breakthrough theories are incorrect and the result of bad science, it is nearly always the case that new theories are linked with previous theories, and new theories advance through a gradual accumulation of knowledge.  The media glamorizes Breakthrough theories, and plays on the misguided non-scientific beliefs that breakthroughs must occur for a new theory to be successful, and new theories should prove a previous theory wrong.

 


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