Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 37–45

Developing multiple hypotheses in behavioral ecology


DOI: 10.1007/s00265-010-1039-4

Cite this article as:
Dochtermann, N.A. & Jenkins, S.H. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (2011) 65: 37. doi:10.1007/s00265-010-1039-4


Researchers in behavioral ecology are increasingly turning to research methods that allow the simultaneous evaluation of hypotheses. This approach has great potential to increase our scientific understanding, but researchers interested in the approach should be aware of its long and somewhat contentious history. Also, prior to implementing multiple hypothesis evaluation, researchers should be aware of the importance of clearly specifying a priori hypotheses. This is one of the more difficult aspects of research based on multiple hypothesis evaluation, and we outline and provide examples of three approaches for doing so. Finally, multiple hypothesis evaluation has some limitations important to behavioral ecologists; we discuss two practical issues behavioral ecologists are likely to face.


Multiple hypothesesMultimodel inferenceHypothesis testingModel selection

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of NevadaRenoUSA