This chapter describes the analyst in the process of hypothesis formulation and introduces mechanisms used to weigh and ultimately select the best one. If the analysis does not begin with the correct hypothesis, it is unlikely to get the correct answer. The intelligence analyst goes through a process similar to that of a research scientist to create the hypothesis. Sometimes known as an "educated guess," a hypothesis rests upon some existing level of knowledge of a given subject. Situational logic is the framework for choice, and therefore action, defined by the actor's position within a given social structure in terms of his or her access to and control over resources. Situational logic commonly focuses on tracing cause–effect relationships when dealing with means–ends relationships. Another approach for developing a hypothesis is comparison. One of the strengths of historical comparison is that it allows analysts to develop a hypothesis when they cannot find enough situational data or a suitable theory.