What Is a Practical Implication?

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A practical implication is the outcome or end result that occurs if specific events take place. “Practical” applies to actual results while an “implication” refers to a logical connection between the condition and the outcome.

An example of a practical implication is a student who does not want to do his or her homework. Another practical implication, using the same model, is that the same student doesn’t do things he or she does not want to do. The end result, based on those reasons, is the student fails to complete the homework assignment.

Practical implications are based on logic and reasoning. Practical implications are found in everyday life, such as in the example above. Practical implications are also valuable to people in certain professional fields, such as medicine, science and engineering, because these professionals can translate their findings into ways to make useful changes and improvements in society. Scientists studying the effects of a medication, for instance, may figure out a way to reduce unpleasant side effects by making changes like adjusting the medicine’s prescribed dosage or changing the formula slightly to reduce the severity and risk of such side effects.

Example of a Practical Implication Practical implications are based on reason and rationale, regardless of whether they’re applied in personal situations or in professional settings. Engineering in public transportation is one example of a practical implication being used to make a real-life change. Engineers, for instance, may conduct a study on a local area to determine the volume of people who walk to work versus driving or taking public transportation. They may then determine, based on the study, that more people would like to take public transportation instead of walking or driving to work, but there is not enough public transportation available at present for them to do so. The engineers can then apply the results of their study into making recommendations for the town or city to increase the availability of public transportation for commuters and residents who would like to travel by train, subway, bus or other type of transportation mode. The study can also lead to campaigns and other measures undertaken to raise awareness of the forthcoming public transportation, which in turn convinces people to use the public transportation once it’s in place.

Limitations and External Factors When applying the results of a study to a segment of society, however, researchers should be aware that there may be some limitations based on factors surrounding the study. For that reason, scientists and engineers generally survey the relevant segments of the population in question to ensure the results are accurate and apply directly to that population group.

Engineers, for instance, who are conducting a study on the benefit of adding more public transportation to an area must survey the local population to determine the need for additional transportation. They cannot simply take survey results from another area, such as a large metropolitan area, and apply them to their local municipalities. Scientists conducting research studies can control their experiments by gender, length of time people have been taking a certain medication and by screening for additional ancillary factors such as age, use of alcohol and tobacco products and other factors that may skew the results of the study.