Definition of negative evidence in English:

negative evidence


  • [mass noun] Evidence for a theory provided by the non-occurrence or absence of something.

    • ‘He is correct in believing that the silence of Pius XII remains an unresolved problem, even if his case against the pope, apart from a few lines of conventional prejudice in a 1919 Pacelli letter, rests largely on negative evidence.’
    • ‘Recent studies examining the effects of explicit positive evidence and/or negative evidence in formal learning provide an important test of the theory.’
    • ‘They exhibit the naiveté of persons who refuse to think critically regarding revered institutions, even when confronted directly by negative evidence.’
    • ‘It is important here to emphasize the word contemporary, because the topic of ESP was of greater interest to psychologists some years ago, before the current bulk of negative evidence had accumulated.’
    • ‘It is important negative evidence that no witness speaks of any such harassment, alarm or distress - which is an essential ingredient of the offence.’
    • ‘Many others just go along with the demands of their corporate sponsors and suppress negative evidence.’
    • ‘In addition to this mixture of positive and negative evidence, the extent to which interspecific variation in extrapair paternity among birds is associated with features of bird song remains completely unknown.’
    • ‘Although these have not been located in every civitas capital, because later developments have obscured their location, none has produced clearly negative evidence from the central locations where they are to be expected.’
    • ‘In the face of overwhelming negative evidence, astrologers faced a tough choice: either reject their discredited beliefs or create post-hoc explanations.’
    • ‘While I'm always comforted by the fact that they never believe any negative evidence, and will persist in their false beliefs they hold, I still feel that they must undergo some disillusionment when they fail so grandly.’
    • ‘In fact this is a case of implicit negative evidence, a phenomenon that some language learning theorists have claimed not to exist.’
    • ‘Both supernaturalist and rationalist interpretations, both positive and negative evidence, might be interwoven into single discourses as individuals considered the reality of the fairies and human interactions with them.’
    • ‘Given that scientists were very likely involved in a large portion of this research and duty-bound to publish, how did so much of this negative evidence drop from public view?’
    • ‘Hypotheses built upon negative evidence, in this case the absence of the volcanic ash, both in the coal or in any surrounding areas, carry a considerable burden of proof.’
    • ‘Rumbaugh's work on the connection between method and outcome should be required reading for anyone who attaches significance to negative evidence.’
    • ‘Analysis was conducted by forming categories, establishing the boundaries of the categories, assigning data segments to categories, summarizing the content of each category, and examining negative evidence.’
    • ‘But many other major positive categories have been ignored, and when what purports to be a weighing of evidence only takes into account negative evidence, the result is foam.’
    • ‘He listed a dozen which he thought gave neither positive nor negative evidence and therefore should be discounted and a dozen more by which to distinguish true from false affections.’
    • ‘And remind me later, there's a certain linguist who is eager to ask you about negative evidence…’
    • ‘Such negative evidence must however be interpreted carefully.’