Otherwise, I am not quite sure I understand how turn out is used in the sentence. According to dictionaries, when turn out is used as intransitive verb, it means 'appear', which doesn't make sense in the context, as it means 'predictions appear'.

Some beginning researchers mistakenly believe that a good hypothesis is one that is guaranteed to be right (e.g., alcohol will slow down reaction time). However, if we already know your hypothesis is true before you test it, test- ing your hypothesis won’t tell us anything new (as Einstein said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”). Remember, research is supposed to produce new knowledge. To get new knowledge, you, as a researcher–explorer, need to leave the safety of the shore (established facts) and venture into uncharted waters (as Einstein said, “If we knew what we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”). If your predictions about what will happen in these uncharted waters is wrong, that’s okay: Scientists are allowed to make mistakes (as Bates said, “Research is the pro- cess of going up alleys to see if they are blind”). Indeed, scientists often learn more from predictions that do not turn out than from those that do.

Research Design Explained


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The phrase "turn out" can mean a lot of things in different contexts. In this context, you're correct that you can read this as if it says "from predictions that do not turn out to be correct." The phrase is common enough that it can be shortened and still understood, so the end part is often omitted.

I think that I would more generally define "turn out" to be referring to the end of something, most likely a process or event.

Some other examples of "turn out" in a natural sounding context:

  • It turned out that I had more time for the project than I thought I did, so I finished it easily.
  • I am writing a new piece of music. I don't know if I like it yet; we'll see how it turns out.
  • My new kitten is too wild! I hope she will turn out calmer than she is now.

The common meaning here is that they are all related to a process or event ending.

Another Meaning of "Turn Out"

You also might encounter this phrase used in a different way. As a slang term, "turn out" can refer to a group of people who show up to an event.

  • This party really has a great turn out. There must be more than 100 people here.

  • The city turned out for the political rally. This candidate will surely win the election.

  • My store's opening event didn't have such a good turn out. Only a few customers came.

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