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## How to Write a Great Hypothesis

Hypothesis Definition, Format, Examples, and Tips

Verywell / Alex Dos Diaz

- The Scientific Method

## Hypothesis Format

Falsifiability of a hypothesis.

- Operationalization

## Hypothesis Types

Hypotheses examples.

- Collecting Data

A hypothesis is a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables. It is a specific, testable prediction about what you expect to happen in a study. It is a preliminary answer to your question that helps guide the research process.

Consider a study designed to examine the relationship between sleep deprivation and test performance. The hypothesis might be: "This study is designed to assess the hypothesis that sleep-deprived people will perform worse on a test than individuals who are not sleep-deprived."

## At a Glance

A hypothesis is crucial to scientific research because it offers a clear direction for what the researchers are looking to find. This allows them to design experiments to test their predictions and add to our scientific knowledge about the world. This article explores how a hypothesis is used in psychology research, how to write a good hypothesis, and the different types of hypotheses you might use.

## The Hypothesis in the Scientific Method

In the scientific method , whether it involves research in psychology, biology, or some other area, a hypothesis represents what the researchers think will happen in an experiment. The scientific method involves the following steps:

- Forming a question
- Performing background research
- Creating a hypothesis
- Designing an experiment
- Collecting data
- Analyzing the results
- Drawing conclusions
- Communicating the results

The hypothesis is a prediction, but it involves more than a guess. Most of the time, the hypothesis begins with a question which is then explored through background research. At this point, researchers then begin to develop a testable hypothesis.

Unless you are creating an exploratory study, your hypothesis should always explain what you expect to happen.

In a study exploring the effects of a particular drug, the hypothesis might be that researchers expect the drug to have some type of effect on the symptoms of a specific illness. In psychology, the hypothesis might focus on how a certain aspect of the environment might influence a particular behavior.

Remember, a hypothesis does not have to be correct. While the hypothesis predicts what the researchers expect to see, the goal of the research is to determine whether this guess is right or wrong. When conducting an experiment, researchers might explore numerous factors to determine which ones might contribute to the ultimate outcome.

In many cases, researchers may find that the results of an experiment do not support the original hypothesis. When writing up these results, the researchers might suggest other options that should be explored in future studies.

In many cases, researchers might draw a hypothesis from a specific theory or build on previous research. For example, prior research has shown that stress can impact the immune system. So a researcher might hypothesize: "People with high-stress levels will be more likely to contract a common cold after being exposed to the virus than people who have low-stress levels."

In other instances, researchers might look at commonly held beliefs or folk wisdom. "Birds of a feather flock together" is one example of folk adage that a psychologist might try to investigate. The researcher might pose a specific hypothesis that "People tend to select romantic partners who are similar to them in interests and educational level."

## Elements of a Good Hypothesis

So how do you write a good hypothesis? When trying to come up with a hypothesis for your research or experiments, ask yourself the following questions:

- Is your hypothesis based on your research on a topic?
- Can your hypothesis be tested?
- Does your hypothesis include independent and dependent variables?

Before you come up with a specific hypothesis, spend some time doing background research. Once you have completed a literature review, start thinking about potential questions you still have. Pay attention to the discussion section in the journal articles you read . Many authors will suggest questions that still need to be explored.

## How to Formulate a Good Hypothesis

To form a hypothesis, you should take these steps:

- Collect as many observations about a topic or problem as you can.
- Evaluate these observations and look for possible causes of the problem.
- Create a list of possible explanations that you might want to explore.
- After you have developed some possible hypotheses, think of ways that you could confirm or disprove each hypothesis through experimentation. This is known as falsifiability.

In the scientific method , falsifiability is an important part of any valid hypothesis. In order to test a claim scientifically, it must be possible that the claim could be proven false.

Students sometimes confuse the idea of falsifiability with the idea that it means that something is false, which is not the case. What falsifiability means is that if something was false, then it is possible to demonstrate that it is false.

One of the hallmarks of pseudoscience is that it makes claims that cannot be refuted or proven false.

## The Importance of Operational Definitions

A variable is a factor or element that can be changed and manipulated in ways that are observable and measurable. However, the researcher must also define how the variable will be manipulated and measured in the study.

Operational definitions are specific definitions for all relevant factors in a study. This process helps make vague or ambiguous concepts detailed and measurable.

For example, a researcher might operationally define the variable " test anxiety " as the results of a self-report measure of anxiety experienced during an exam. A "study habits" variable might be defined by the amount of studying that actually occurs as measured by time.

These precise descriptions are important because many things can be measured in various ways. Clearly defining these variables and how they are measured helps ensure that other researchers can replicate your results.

## Replicability

One of the basic principles of any type of scientific research is that the results must be replicable.

Replication means repeating an experiment in the same way to produce the same results. By clearly detailing the specifics of how the variables were measured and manipulated, other researchers can better understand the results and repeat the study if needed.

Some variables are more difficult than others to define. For example, how would you operationally define a variable such as aggression ? For obvious ethical reasons, researchers cannot create a situation in which a person behaves aggressively toward others.

To measure this variable, the researcher must devise a measurement that assesses aggressive behavior without harming others. The researcher might utilize a simulated task to measure aggressiveness in this situation.

## Hypothesis Checklist

- Does your hypothesis focus on something that you can actually test?
- Does your hypothesis include both an independent and dependent variable?
- Can you manipulate the variables?
- Can your hypothesis be tested without violating ethical standards?

The hypothesis you use will depend on what you are investigating and hoping to find. Some of the main types of hypotheses that you might use include:

- Simple hypothesis : This type of hypothesis suggests there is a relationship between one independent variable and one dependent variable.
- Complex hypothesis : This type suggests a relationship between three or more variables, such as two independent and dependent variables.
- Null hypothesis : This hypothesis suggests no relationship exists between two or more variables.
- Alternative hypothesis : This hypothesis states the opposite of the null hypothesis.
- Statistical hypothesis : This hypothesis uses statistical analysis to evaluate a representative population sample and then generalizes the findings to the larger group.
- Logical hypothesis : This hypothesis assumes a relationship between variables without collecting data or evidence.

A hypothesis often follows a basic format of "If {this happens} then {this will happen}." One way to structure your hypothesis is to describe what will happen to the dependent variable if you change the independent variable .

The basic format might be: "If {these changes are made to a certain independent variable}, then we will observe {a change in a specific dependent variable}."

## A few examples of simple hypotheses:

- "Students who eat breakfast will perform better on a math exam than students who do not eat breakfast."
- "Students who experience test anxiety before an English exam will get lower scores than students who do not experience test anxiety."
- "Motorists who talk on the phone while driving will be more likely to make errors on a driving course than those who do not talk on the phone."
- "Children who receive a new reading intervention will have higher reading scores than students who do not receive the intervention."

## Examples of a complex hypothesis include:

- "People with high-sugar diets and sedentary activity levels are more likely to develop depression."
- "Younger people who are regularly exposed to green, outdoor areas have better subjective well-being than older adults who have limited exposure to green spaces."

## Examples of a null hypothesis include:

- "There is no difference in anxiety levels between people who take St. John's wort supplements and those who do not."
- "There is no difference in scores on a memory recall task between children and adults."
- "There is no difference in aggression levels between children who play first-person shooter games and those who do not."

## Examples of an alternative hypothesis:

- "People who take St. John's wort supplements will have less anxiety than those who do not."
- "Adults will perform better on a memory task than children."
- "Children who play first-person shooter games will show higher levels of aggression than children who do not."

## Collecting Data on Your Hypothesis

Once a researcher has formed a testable hypothesis, the next step is to select a research design and start collecting data. The research method depends largely on exactly what they are studying. There are two basic types of research methods: descriptive research and experimental research.

## Descriptive Research Methods

Descriptive research such as case studies , naturalistic observations , and surveys are often used when conducting an experiment is difficult or impossible. These methods are best used to describe different aspects of a behavior or psychological phenomenon.

Once a researcher has collected data using descriptive methods, a correlational study can examine how the variables are related. This research method might be used to investigate a hypothesis that is difficult to test experimentally.

## Experimental Research Methods

Experimental methods are used to demonstrate causal relationships between variables. In an experiment, the researcher systematically manipulates a variable of interest (known as the independent variable) and measures the effect on another variable (known as the dependent variable).

Unlike correlational studies, which can only be used to determine if there is a relationship between two variables, experimental methods can be used to determine the actual nature of the relationship—whether changes in one variable actually cause another to change.

The hypothesis is a critical part of any scientific exploration. It represents what researchers expect to find in a study or experiment. In situations where the hypothesis is unsupported by the research, the research still has value. Such research helps us better understand how different aspects of the natural world relate to one another. It also helps us develop new hypotheses that can then be tested in the future.

Thompson WH, Skau S. On the scope of scientific hypotheses . R Soc Open Sci . 2023;10(8):230607. doi:10.1098/rsos.230607

Taran S, Adhikari NKJ, Fan E. Falsifiability in medicine: what clinicians can learn from Karl Popper [published correction appears in Intensive Care Med. 2021 Jun 17;:]. Intensive Care Med . 2021;47(9):1054-1056. doi:10.1007/s00134-021-06432-z

Eyler AA. Research Methods for Public Health . 1st ed. Springer Publishing Company; 2020. doi:10.1891/9780826182067.0004

Nosek BA, Errington TM. What is replication ? PLoS Biol . 2020;18(3):e3000691. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.3000691

Aggarwal R, Ranganathan P. Study designs: Part 2 - Descriptive studies . Perspect Clin Res . 2019;10(1):34-36. doi:10.4103/picr.PICR_154_18

Nevid J. Psychology: Concepts and Applications. Wadworth, 2013.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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Home » What is a Hypothesis – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

## What is a Hypothesis – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

Table of Contents

Definition:

Hypothesis is an educated guess or proposed explanation for a phenomenon, based on some initial observations or data. It is a tentative statement that can be tested and potentially proven or disproven through further investigation and experimentation.

Hypothesis is often used in scientific research to guide the design of experiments and the collection and analysis of data. It is an essential element of the scientific method, as it allows researchers to make predictions about the outcome of their experiments and to test those predictions to determine their accuracy.

## Types of Hypothesis

Types of Hypothesis are as follows:

## Research Hypothesis

A research hypothesis is a statement that predicts a relationship between variables. It is usually formulated as a specific statement that can be tested through research, and it is often used in scientific research to guide the design of experiments.

## Null Hypothesis

The null hypothesis is a statement that assumes there is no significant difference or relationship between variables. It is often used as a starting point for testing the research hypothesis, and if the results of the study reject the null hypothesis, it suggests that there is a significant difference or relationship between variables.

## Alternative Hypothesis

An alternative hypothesis is a statement that assumes there is a significant difference or relationship between variables. It is often used as an alternative to the null hypothesis and is tested against the null hypothesis to determine which statement is more accurate.

## Directional Hypothesis

A directional hypothesis is a statement that predicts the direction of the relationship between variables. For example, a researcher might predict that increasing the amount of exercise will result in a decrease in body weight.

## Non-directional Hypothesis

A non-directional hypothesis is a statement that predicts the relationship between variables but does not specify the direction. For example, a researcher might predict that there is a relationship between the amount of exercise and body weight, but they do not specify whether increasing or decreasing exercise will affect body weight.

## Statistical Hypothesis

A statistical hypothesis is a statement that assumes a particular statistical model or distribution for the data. It is often used in statistical analysis to test the significance of a particular result.

## Composite Hypothesis

A composite hypothesis is a statement that assumes more than one condition or outcome. It can be divided into several sub-hypotheses, each of which represents a different possible outcome.

## Empirical Hypothesis

An empirical hypothesis is a statement that is based on observed phenomena or data. It is often used in scientific research to develop theories or models that explain the observed phenomena.

## Simple Hypothesis

A simple hypothesis is a statement that assumes only one outcome or condition. It is often used in scientific research to test a single variable or factor.

## Complex Hypothesis

A complex hypothesis is a statement that assumes multiple outcomes or conditions. It is often used in scientific research to test the effects of multiple variables or factors on a particular outcome.

## Applications of Hypothesis

Hypotheses are used in various fields to guide research and make predictions about the outcomes of experiments or observations. Here are some examples of how hypotheses are applied in different fields:

- Science : In scientific research, hypotheses are used to test the validity of theories and models that explain natural phenomena. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of a particular variable on a natural system, such as the effects of climate change on an ecosystem.
- Medicine : In medical research, hypotheses are used to test the effectiveness of treatments and therapies for specific conditions. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of a new drug on a particular disease.
- Psychology : In psychology, hypotheses are used to test theories and models of human behavior and cognition. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of a particular stimulus on the brain or behavior.
- Sociology : In sociology, hypotheses are used to test theories and models of social phenomena, such as the effects of social structures or institutions on human behavior. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of income inequality on crime rates.
- Business : In business research, hypotheses are used to test the validity of theories and models that explain business phenomena, such as consumer behavior or market trends. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of a new marketing campaign on consumer buying behavior.
- Engineering : In engineering, hypotheses are used to test the effectiveness of new technologies or designs. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the efficiency of a new solar panel design.

## How to write a Hypothesis

Here are the steps to follow when writing a hypothesis:

## Identify the Research Question

The first step is to identify the research question that you want to answer through your study. This question should be clear, specific, and focused. It should be something that can be investigated empirically and that has some relevance or significance in the field.

## Conduct a Literature Review

Before writing your hypothesis, it’s essential to conduct a thorough literature review to understand what is already known about the topic. This will help you to identify the research gap and formulate a hypothesis that builds on existing knowledge.

## Determine the Variables

The next step is to identify the variables involved in the research question. A variable is any characteristic or factor that can vary or change. There are two types of variables: independent and dependent. The independent variable is the one that is manipulated or changed by the researcher, while the dependent variable is the one that is measured or observed as a result of the independent variable.

## Formulate the Hypothesis

Based on the research question and the variables involved, you can now formulate your hypothesis. A hypothesis should be a clear and concise statement that predicts the relationship between the variables. It should be testable through empirical research and based on existing theory or evidence.

## Write the Null Hypothesis

The null hypothesis is the opposite of the alternative hypothesis, which is the hypothesis that you are testing. The null hypothesis states that there is no significant difference or relationship between the variables. It is important to write the null hypothesis because it allows you to compare your results with what would be expected by chance.

## Refine the Hypothesis

After formulating the hypothesis, it’s important to refine it and make it more precise. This may involve clarifying the variables, specifying the direction of the relationship, or making the hypothesis more testable.

## Examples of Hypothesis

Here are a few examples of hypotheses in different fields:

- Psychology : “Increased exposure to violent video games leads to increased aggressive behavior in adolescents.”
- Biology : “Higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will lead to increased plant growth.”
- Sociology : “Individuals who grow up in households with higher socioeconomic status will have higher levels of education and income as adults.”
- Education : “Implementing a new teaching method will result in higher student achievement scores.”
- Marketing : “Customers who receive a personalized email will be more likely to make a purchase than those who receive a generic email.”
- Physics : “An increase in temperature will cause an increase in the volume of a gas, assuming all other variables remain constant.”
- Medicine : “Consuming a diet high in saturated fats will increase the risk of developing heart disease.”

## Purpose of Hypothesis

The purpose of a hypothesis is to provide a testable explanation for an observed phenomenon or a prediction of a future outcome based on existing knowledge or theories. A hypothesis is an essential part of the scientific method and helps to guide the research process by providing a clear focus for investigation. It enables scientists to design experiments or studies to gather evidence and data that can support or refute the proposed explanation or prediction.

The formulation of a hypothesis is based on existing knowledge, observations, and theories, and it should be specific, testable, and falsifiable. A specific hypothesis helps to define the research question, which is important in the research process as it guides the selection of an appropriate research design and methodology. Testability of the hypothesis means that it can be proven or disproven through empirical data collection and analysis. Falsifiability means that the hypothesis should be formulated in such a way that it can be proven wrong if it is incorrect.

In addition to guiding the research process, the testing of hypotheses can lead to new discoveries and advancements in scientific knowledge. When a hypothesis is supported by the data, it can be used to develop new theories or models to explain the observed phenomenon. When a hypothesis is not supported by the data, it can help to refine existing theories or prompt the development of new hypotheses to explain the phenomenon.

## When to use Hypothesis

Here are some common situations in which hypotheses are used:

- In scientific research , hypotheses are used to guide the design of experiments and to help researchers make predictions about the outcomes of those experiments.
- In social science research , hypotheses are used to test theories about human behavior, social relationships, and other phenomena.
- I n business , hypotheses can be used to guide decisions about marketing, product development, and other areas. For example, a hypothesis might be that a new product will sell well in a particular market, and this hypothesis can be tested through market research.

## Characteristics of Hypothesis

Here are some common characteristics of a hypothesis:

- Testable : A hypothesis must be able to be tested through observation or experimentation. This means that it must be possible to collect data that will either support or refute the hypothesis.
- Falsifiable : A hypothesis must be able to be proven false if it is not supported by the data. If a hypothesis cannot be falsified, then it is not a scientific hypothesis.
- Clear and concise : A hypothesis should be stated in a clear and concise manner so that it can be easily understood and tested.
- Based on existing knowledge : A hypothesis should be based on existing knowledge and research in the field. It should not be based on personal beliefs or opinions.
- Specific : A hypothesis should be specific in terms of the variables being tested and the predicted outcome. This will help to ensure that the research is focused and well-designed.
- Tentative: A hypothesis is a tentative statement or assumption that requires further testing and evidence to be confirmed or refuted. It is not a final conclusion or assertion.
- Relevant : A hypothesis should be relevant to the research question or problem being studied. It should address a gap in knowledge or provide a new perspective on the issue.

## Advantages of Hypothesis

Hypotheses have several advantages in scientific research and experimentation:

- Guides research: A hypothesis provides a clear and specific direction for research. It helps to focus the research question, select appropriate methods and variables, and interpret the results.
- Predictive powe r: A hypothesis makes predictions about the outcome of research, which can be tested through experimentation. This allows researchers to evaluate the validity of the hypothesis and make new discoveries.
- Facilitates communication: A hypothesis provides a common language and framework for scientists to communicate with one another about their research. This helps to facilitate the exchange of ideas and promotes collaboration.
- Efficient use of resources: A hypothesis helps researchers to use their time, resources, and funding efficiently by directing them towards specific research questions and methods that are most likely to yield results.
- Provides a basis for further research: A hypothesis that is supported by data provides a basis for further research and exploration. It can lead to new hypotheses, theories, and discoveries.
- Increases objectivity: A hypothesis can help to increase objectivity in research by providing a clear and specific framework for testing and interpreting results. This can reduce bias and increase the reliability of research findings.

## Limitations of Hypothesis

Some Limitations of the Hypothesis are as follows:

- Limited to observable phenomena: Hypotheses are limited to observable phenomena and cannot account for unobservable or intangible factors. This means that some research questions may not be amenable to hypothesis testing.
- May be inaccurate or incomplete: Hypotheses are based on existing knowledge and research, which may be incomplete or inaccurate. This can lead to flawed hypotheses and erroneous conclusions.
- May be biased: Hypotheses may be biased by the researcher’s own beliefs, values, or assumptions. This can lead to selective interpretation of data and a lack of objectivity in research.
- Cannot prove causation: A hypothesis can only show a correlation between variables, but it cannot prove causation. This requires further experimentation and analysis.
- Limited to specific contexts: Hypotheses are limited to specific contexts and may not be generalizable to other situations or populations. This means that results may not be applicable in other contexts or may require further testing.
- May be affected by chance : Hypotheses may be affected by chance or random variation, which can obscure or distort the true relationship between variables.

## About the author

## Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

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## What is a Research Hypothesis: How to Write it, Types, and Examples

Any research begins with a research question and a research hypothesis . A research question alone may not suffice to design the experiment(s) needed to answer it. A hypothesis is central to the scientific method. But what is a hypothesis ? A hypothesis is a testable statement that proposes a possible explanation to a phenomenon, and it may include a prediction. Next, you may ask what is a research hypothesis ? Simply put, a research hypothesis is a prediction or educated guess about the relationship between the variables that you want to investigate.

It is important to be thorough when developing your research hypothesis. Shortcomings in the framing of a hypothesis can affect the study design and the results. A better understanding of the research hypothesis definition and characteristics of a good hypothesis will make it easier for you to develop your own hypothesis for your research. Let’s dive in to know more about the types of research hypothesis , how to write a research hypothesis , and some research hypothesis examples .

Table of Contents

## What is a hypothesis ?

A hypothesis is based on the existing body of knowledge in a study area. Framed before the data are collected, a hypothesis states the tentative relationship between independent and dependent variables, along with a prediction of the outcome.

## What is a research hypothesis ?

Young researchers starting out their journey are usually brimming with questions like “ What is a hypothesis ?” “ What is a research hypothesis ?” “How can I write a good research hypothesis ?”

A research hypothesis is a statement that proposes a possible explanation for an observable phenomenon or pattern. It guides the direction of a study and predicts the outcome of the investigation. A research hypothesis is testable, i.e., it can be supported or disproven through experimentation or observation.

## Characteristics of a good hypothesis

Here are the characteristics of a good hypothesis :

- Clearly formulated and free of language errors and ambiguity
- Concise and not unnecessarily verbose
- Has clearly defined variables
- Testable and stated in a way that allows for it to be disproven
- Can be tested using a research design that is feasible, ethical, and practical
- Specific and relevant to the research problem
- Rooted in a thorough literature search
- Can generate new knowledge or understanding.

## How to create an effective research hypothesis

A study begins with the formulation of a research question. A researcher then performs background research. This background information forms the basis for building a good research hypothesis . The researcher then performs experiments, collects, and analyzes the data, interprets the findings, and ultimately, determines if the findings support or negate the original hypothesis.

Let’s look at each step for creating an effective, testable, and good research hypothesis :

- Identify a research problem or question: Start by identifying a specific research problem.
- Review the literature: Conduct an in-depth review of the existing literature related to the research problem to grasp the current knowledge and gaps in the field.
- Formulate a clear and testable hypothesis : Based on the research question, use existing knowledge to form a clear and testable hypothesis . The hypothesis should state a predicted relationship between two or more variables that can be measured and manipulated. Improve the original draft till it is clear and meaningful.
- State the null hypothesis: The null hypothesis is a statement that there is no relationship between the variables you are studying.
- Define the population and sample: Clearly define the population you are studying and the sample you will be using for your research.
- Select appropriate methods for testing the hypothesis: Select appropriate research methods, such as experiments, surveys, or observational studies, which will allow you to test your research hypothesis .

Remember that creating a research hypothesis is an iterative process, i.e., you might have to revise it based on the data you collect. You may need to test and reject several hypotheses before answering the research problem.

## How to write a research hypothesis

When you start writing a research hypothesis , you use an “if–then” statement format, which states the predicted relationship between two or more variables. Clearly identify the independent variables (the variables being changed) and the dependent variables (the variables being measured), as well as the population you are studying. Review and revise your hypothesis as needed.

An example of a research hypothesis in this format is as follows:

“ If [athletes] follow [cold water showers daily], then their [endurance] increases.”

Population: athletes

Independent variable: daily cold water showers

Dependent variable: endurance

You may have understood the characteristics of a good hypothesis . But note that a research hypothesis is not always confirmed; a researcher should be prepared to accept or reject the hypothesis based on the study findings.

## Research hypothesis checklist

Following from above, here is a 10-point checklist for a good research hypothesis :

- Testable: A research hypothesis should be able to be tested via experimentation or observation.
- Specific: A research hypothesis should clearly state the relationship between the variables being studied.
- Based on prior research: A research hypothesis should be based on existing knowledge and previous research in the field.
- Falsifiable: A research hypothesis should be able to be disproven through testing.
- Clear and concise: A research hypothesis should be stated in a clear and concise manner.
- Logical: A research hypothesis should be logical and consistent with current understanding of the subject.
- Relevant: A research hypothesis should be relevant to the research question and objectives.
- Feasible: A research hypothesis should be feasible to test within the scope of the study.
- Reflects the population: A research hypothesis should consider the population or sample being studied.
- Uncomplicated: A good research hypothesis is written in a way that is easy for the target audience to understand.

By following this research hypothesis checklist , you will be able to create a research hypothesis that is strong, well-constructed, and more likely to yield meaningful results.

## Types of research hypothesis

Different types of research hypothesis are used in scientific research:

## 1. Null hypothesis:

A null hypothesis states that there is no change in the dependent variable due to changes to the independent variable. This means that the results are due to chance and are not significant. A null hypothesis is denoted as H0 and is stated as the opposite of what the alternative hypothesis states.

Example: “ The newly identified virus is not zoonotic .”

## 2. Alternative hypothesis:

This states that there is a significant difference or relationship between the variables being studied. It is denoted as H1 or Ha and is usually accepted or rejected in favor of the null hypothesis.

Example: “ The newly identified virus is zoonotic .”

## 3. Directional hypothesis :

This specifies the direction of the relationship or difference between variables; therefore, it tends to use terms like increase, decrease, positive, negative, more, or less.

Example: “ The inclusion of intervention X decreases infant mortality compared to the original treatment .”

## 4. Non-directional hypothesis:

While it does not predict the exact direction or nature of the relationship between the two variables, a non-directional hypothesis states the existence of a relationship or difference between variables but not the direction, nature, or magnitude of the relationship. A non-directional hypothesis may be used when there is no underlying theory or when findings contradict previous research.

Example, “ Cats and dogs differ in the amount of affection they express .”

## 5. Simple hypothesis :

A simple hypothesis only predicts the relationship between one independent and another independent variable.

Example: “ Applying sunscreen every day slows skin aging .”

## 6 . Complex hypothesis :

A complex hypothesis states the relationship or difference between two or more independent and dependent variables.

Example: “ Applying sunscreen every day slows skin aging, reduces sun burn, and reduces the chances of skin cancer .” (Here, the three dependent variables are slowing skin aging, reducing sun burn, and reducing the chances of skin cancer.)

## 7. Associative hypothesis:

An associative hypothesis states that a change in one variable results in the change of the other variable. The associative hypothesis defines interdependency between variables.

Example: “ There is a positive association between physical activity levels and overall health .”

## 8 . Causal hypothesis:

A causal hypothesis proposes a cause-and-effect interaction between variables.

Example: “ Long-term alcohol use causes liver damage .”

Note that some of the types of research hypothesis mentioned above might overlap. The types of hypothesis chosen will depend on the research question and the objective of the study.

## Research hypothesis examples

Here are some good research hypothesis examples :

“The use of a specific type of therapy will lead to a reduction in symptoms of depression in individuals with a history of major depressive disorder.”

“Providing educational interventions on healthy eating habits will result in weight loss in overweight individuals.”

“Plants that are exposed to certain types of music will grow taller than those that are not exposed to music.”

“The use of the plant growth regulator X will lead to an increase in the number of flowers produced by plants.”

Characteristics that make a research hypothesis weak are unclear variables, unoriginality, being too general or too vague, and being untestable. A weak hypothesis leads to weak research and improper methods.

Some bad research hypothesis examples (and the reasons why they are “bad”) are as follows:

“This study will show that treatment X is better than any other treatment . ” (This statement is not testable, too broad, and does not consider other treatments that may be effective.)

“This study will prove that this type of therapy is effective for all mental disorders . ” (This statement is too broad and not testable as mental disorders are complex and different disorders may respond differently to different types of therapy.)

“Plants can communicate with each other through telepathy . ” (This statement is not testable and lacks a scientific basis.)

## Importance of testable hypothesis

If a research hypothesis is not testable, the results will not prove or disprove anything meaningful. The conclusions will be vague at best. A testable hypothesis helps a researcher focus on the study outcome and understand the implication of the question and the different variables involved. A testable hypothesis helps a researcher make precise predictions based on prior research.

To be considered testable, there must be a way to prove that the hypothesis is true or false; further, the results of the hypothesis must be reproducible.

## Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on research hypothesis

1. What is the difference between research question and research hypothesis ?

A research question defines the problem and helps outline the study objective(s). It is an open-ended statement that is exploratory or probing in nature. Therefore, it does not make predictions or assumptions. It helps a researcher identify what information to collect. A research hypothesis , however, is a specific, testable prediction about the relationship between variables. Accordingly, it guides the study design and data analysis approach.

2. When to reject null hypothesis ?

A null hypothesis should be rejected when the evidence from a statistical test shows that it is unlikely to be true. This happens when the test statistic (e.g., p -value) is less than the defined significance level (e.g., 0.05). Rejecting the null hypothesis does not necessarily mean that the alternative hypothesis is true; it simply means that the evidence found is not compatible with the null hypothesis.

3. How can I be sure my hypothesis is testable?

A testable hypothesis should be specific and measurable, and it should state a clear relationship between variables that can be tested with data. To ensure that your hypothesis is testable, consider the following:

- Clearly define the key variables in your hypothesis. You should be able to measure and manipulate these variables in a way that allows you to test the hypothesis.
- The hypothesis should predict a specific outcome or relationship between variables that can be measured or quantified.
- You should be able to collect the necessary data within the constraints of your study.
- It should be possible for other researchers to replicate your study, using the same methods and variables.
- Your hypothesis should be testable by using appropriate statistical analysis techniques, so you can draw conclusions, and make inferences about the population from the sample data.
- The hypothesis should be able to be disproven or rejected through the collection of data.

4. How do I revise my research hypothesis if my data does not support it?

If your data does not support your research hypothesis , you will need to revise it or develop a new one. You should examine your data carefully and identify any patterns or anomalies, re-examine your research question, and/or revisit your theory to look for any alternative explanations for your results. Based on your review of the data, literature, and theories, modify your research hypothesis to better align it with the results you obtained. Use your revised hypothesis to guide your research design and data collection. It is important to remain objective throughout the process.

5. I am performing exploratory research. Do I need to formulate a research hypothesis?

As opposed to “confirmatory” research, where a researcher has some idea about the relationship between the variables under investigation, exploratory research (or hypothesis-generating research) looks into a completely new topic about which limited information is available. Therefore, the researcher will not have any prior hypotheses. In such cases, a researcher will need to develop a post-hoc hypothesis. A post-hoc research hypothesis is generated after these results are known.

6. How is a research hypothesis different from a research question?

A research question is an inquiry about a specific topic or phenomenon, typically expressed as a question. It seeks to explore and understand a particular aspect of the research subject. In contrast, a research hypothesis is a specific statement or prediction that suggests an expected relationship between variables. It is formulated based on existing knowledge or theories and guides the research design and data analysis.

7. Can a research hypothesis change during the research process?

Yes, research hypotheses can change during the research process. As researchers collect and analyze data, new insights and information may emerge that require modification or refinement of the initial hypotheses. This can be due to unexpected findings, limitations in the original hypotheses, or the need to explore additional dimensions of the research topic. Flexibility is crucial in research, allowing for adaptation and adjustment of hypotheses to align with the evolving understanding of the subject matter.

8. How many hypotheses should be included in a research study?

The number of research hypotheses in a research study varies depending on the nature and scope of the research. It is not necessary to have multiple hypotheses in every study. Some studies may have only one primary hypothesis, while others may have several related hypotheses. The number of hypotheses should be determined based on the research objectives, research questions, and the complexity of the research topic. It is important to ensure that the hypotheses are focused, testable, and directly related to the research aims.

9. Can research hypotheses be used in qualitative research?

Yes, research hypotheses can be used in qualitative research, although they are more commonly associated with quantitative research. In qualitative research, hypotheses may be formulated as tentative or exploratory statements that guide the investigation. Instead of testing hypotheses through statistical analysis, qualitative researchers may use the hypotheses to guide data collection and analysis, seeking to uncover patterns, themes, or relationships within the qualitative data. The emphasis in qualitative research is often on generating insights and understanding rather than confirming or rejecting specific research hypotheses through statistical testing.

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## The Craft of Writing a Strong Hypothesis

## Table of Contents

Writing a hypothesis is one of the essential elements of a scientific research paper. It needs to be to the point, clearly communicating what your research is trying to accomplish. A blurry, drawn-out, or complexly-structured hypothesis can confuse your readers. Or worse, the editor and peer reviewers.

A captivating hypothesis is not too intricate. This blog will take you through the process so that, by the end of it, you have a better idea of how to convey your research paper's intent in just one sentence.

## What is a Hypothesis?

The first step in your scientific endeavor, a hypothesis, is a strong, concise statement that forms the basis of your research. It is not the same as a thesis statement , which is a brief summary of your research paper .

The sole purpose of a hypothesis is to predict your paper's findings, data, and conclusion. It comes from a place of curiosity and intuition . When you write a hypothesis, you're essentially making an educated guess based on scientific prejudices and evidence, which is further proven or disproven through the scientific method.

The reason for undertaking research is to observe a specific phenomenon. A hypothesis, therefore, lays out what the said phenomenon is. And it does so through two variables, an independent and dependent variable.

The independent variable is the cause behind the observation, while the dependent variable is the effect of the cause. A good example of this is “mixing red and blue forms purple.” In this hypothesis, mixing red and blue is the independent variable as you're combining the two colors at your own will. The formation of purple is the dependent variable as, in this case, it is conditional to the independent variable.

## Different Types of Hypotheses

Types of hypotheses

Some would stand by the notion that there are only two types of hypotheses: a Null hypothesis and an Alternative hypothesis. While that may have some truth to it, it would be better to fully distinguish the most common forms as these terms come up so often, which might leave you out of context.

Apart from Null and Alternative, there are Complex, Simple, Directional, Non-Directional, Statistical, and Associative and casual hypotheses. They don't necessarily have to be exclusive, as one hypothesis can tick many boxes, but knowing the distinctions between them will make it easier for you to construct your own.

## 1. Null hypothesis

A null hypothesis proposes no relationship between two variables. Denoted by H 0 , it is a negative statement like “Attending physiotherapy sessions does not affect athletes' on-field performance.” Here, the author claims physiotherapy sessions have no effect on on-field performances. Even if there is, it's only a coincidence.

## 2. Alternative hypothesis

Considered to be the opposite of a null hypothesis, an alternative hypothesis is donated as H1 or Ha. It explicitly states that the dependent variable affects the independent variable. A good alternative hypothesis example is “Attending physiotherapy sessions improves athletes' on-field performance.” or “Water evaporates at 100 °C. ” The alternative hypothesis further branches into directional and non-directional.

- Directional hypothesis: A hypothesis that states the result would be either positive or negative is called directional hypothesis. It accompanies H1 with either the ‘<' or ‘>' sign.
- Non-directional hypothesis: A non-directional hypothesis only claims an effect on the dependent variable. It does not clarify whether the result would be positive or negative. The sign for a non-directional hypothesis is ‘≠.'

## 3. Simple hypothesis

A simple hypothesis is a statement made to reflect the relation between exactly two variables. One independent and one dependent. Consider the example, “Smoking is a prominent cause of lung cancer." The dependent variable, lung cancer, is dependent on the independent variable, smoking.

## 4. Complex hypothesis

In contrast to a simple hypothesis, a complex hypothesis implies the relationship between multiple independent and dependent variables. For instance, “Individuals who eat more fruits tend to have higher immunity, lesser cholesterol, and high metabolism.” The independent variable is eating more fruits, while the dependent variables are higher immunity, lesser cholesterol, and high metabolism.

## 5. Associative and casual hypothesis

Associative and casual hypotheses don't exhibit how many variables there will be. They define the relationship between the variables. In an associative hypothesis, changing any one variable, dependent or independent, affects others. In a casual hypothesis, the independent variable directly affects the dependent.

## 6. Empirical hypothesis

Also referred to as the working hypothesis, an empirical hypothesis claims a theory's validation via experiments and observation. This way, the statement appears justifiable and different from a wild guess.

Say, the hypothesis is “Women who take iron tablets face a lesser risk of anemia than those who take vitamin B12.” This is an example of an empirical hypothesis where the researcher the statement after assessing a group of women who take iron tablets and charting the findings.

## 7. Statistical hypothesis

The point of a statistical hypothesis is to test an already existing hypothesis by studying a population sample. Hypothesis like “44% of the Indian population belong in the age group of 22-27.” leverage evidence to prove or disprove a particular statement.

## Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis

Writing a hypothesis is essential as it can make or break your research for you. That includes your chances of getting published in a journal. So when you're designing one, keep an eye out for these pointers:

- A research hypothesis has to be simple yet clear to look justifiable enough.
- It has to be testable — your research would be rendered pointless if too far-fetched into reality or limited by technology.
- It has to be precise about the results —what you are trying to do and achieve through it should come out in your hypothesis.
- A research hypothesis should be self-explanatory, leaving no doubt in the reader's mind.
- If you are developing a relational hypothesis, you need to include the variables and establish an appropriate relationship among them.
- A hypothesis must keep and reflect the scope for further investigations and experiments.

## Separating a Hypothesis from a Prediction

Outside of academia, hypothesis and prediction are often used interchangeably. In research writing, this is not only confusing but also incorrect. And although a hypothesis and prediction are guesses at their core, there are many differences between them.

A hypothesis is an educated guess or even a testable prediction validated through research. It aims to analyze the gathered evidence and facts to define a relationship between variables and put forth a logical explanation behind the nature of events.

Predictions are assumptions or expected outcomes made without any backing evidence. They are more fictionally inclined regardless of where they originate from.

For this reason, a hypothesis holds much more weight than a prediction. It sticks to the scientific method rather than pure guesswork. "Planets revolve around the Sun." is an example of a hypothesis as it is previous knowledge and observed trends. Additionally, we can test it through the scientific method.

Whereas "COVID-19 will be eradicated by 2030." is a prediction. Even though it results from past trends, we can't prove or disprove it. So, the only way this gets validated is to wait and watch if COVID-19 cases end by 2030.

## Finally, How to Write a Hypothesis

Quick tips on writing a hypothesis

## 1. Be clear about your research question

A hypothesis should instantly address the research question or the problem statement. To do so, you need to ask a question. Understand the constraints of your undertaken research topic and then formulate a simple and topic-centric problem. Only after that can you develop a hypothesis and further test for evidence.

## 2. Carry out a recce

Once you have your research's foundation laid out, it would be best to conduct preliminary research. Go through previous theories, academic papers, data, and experiments before you start curating your research hypothesis. It will give you an idea of your hypothesis's viability or originality.

Making use of references from relevant research papers helps draft a good research hypothesis. SciSpace Discover offers a repository of over 270 million research papers to browse through and gain a deeper understanding of related studies on a particular topic. Additionally, you can use SciSpace Copilot , your AI research assistant, for reading any lengthy research paper and getting a more summarized context of it. A hypothesis can be formed after evaluating many such summarized research papers. Copilot also offers explanations for theories and equations, explains paper in simplified version, allows you to highlight any text in the paper or clip math equations and tables and provides a deeper, clear understanding of what is being said. This can improve the hypothesis by helping you identify potential research gaps.

## 3. Create a 3-dimensional hypothesis

Variables are an essential part of any reasonable hypothesis. So, identify your independent and dependent variable(s) and form a correlation between them. The ideal way to do this is to write the hypothetical assumption in the ‘if-then' form. If you use this form, make sure that you state the predefined relationship between the variables.

In another way, you can choose to present your hypothesis as a comparison between two variables. Here, you must specify the difference you expect to observe in the results.

## 4. Write the first draft

Now that everything is in place, it's time to write your hypothesis. For starters, create the first draft. In this version, write what you expect to find from your research.

Clearly separate your independent and dependent variables and the link between them. Don't fixate on syntax at this stage. The goal is to ensure your hypothesis addresses the issue.

## 5. Proof your hypothesis

After preparing the first draft of your hypothesis, you need to inspect it thoroughly. It should tick all the boxes, like being concise, straightforward, relevant, and accurate. Your final hypothesis has to be well-structured as well.

Research projects are an exciting and crucial part of being a scholar. And once you have your research question, you need a great hypothesis to begin conducting research. Thus, knowing how to write a hypothesis is very important.

Now that you have a firmer grasp on what a good hypothesis constitutes, the different kinds there are, and what process to follow, you will find it much easier to write your hypothesis, which ultimately helps your research.

Now it's easier than ever to streamline your research workflow with SciSpace Discover . Its integrated, comprehensive end-to-end platform for research allows scholars to easily discover, write and publish their research and fosters collaboration.

It includes everything you need, including a repository of over 270 million research papers across disciplines, SEO-optimized summaries and public profiles to show your expertise and experience.

If you found these tips on writing a research hypothesis useful, head over to our blog on Statistical Hypothesis Testing to learn about the top researchers, papers, and institutions in this domain.

## Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. what is the definition of hypothesis.

According to the Oxford dictionary, a hypothesis is defined as “An idea or explanation of something that is based on a few known facts, but that has not yet been proved to be true or correct”.

## 2. What is an example of hypothesis?

The hypothesis is a statement that proposes a relationship between two or more variables. An example: "If we increase the number of new users who join our platform by 25%, then we will see an increase in revenue."

## 3. What is an example of null hypothesis?

A null hypothesis is a statement that there is no relationship between two variables. The null hypothesis is written as H0. The null hypothesis states that there is no effect. For example, if you're studying whether or not a particular type of exercise increases strength, your null hypothesis will be "there is no difference in strength between people who exercise and people who don't."

## 4. What are the types of research?

• Fundamental research

• Applied research

• Qualitative research

• Quantitative research

• Mixed research

• Exploratory research

• Longitudinal research

• Cross-sectional research

• Field research

• Laboratory research

• Fixed research

• Flexible research

• Action research

• Policy research

• Classification research

• Comparative research

• Causal research

• Inductive research

• Deductive research

## 5. How to write a hypothesis?

• Your hypothesis should be able to predict the relationship and outcome.

• Avoid wordiness by keeping it simple and brief.

• Your hypothesis should contain observable and testable outcomes.

• Your hypothesis should be relevant to the research question.

## 6. What are the 2 types of hypothesis?

• Null hypotheses are used to test the claim that "there is no difference between two groups of data".

• Alternative hypotheses test the claim that "there is a difference between two data groups".

## 7. Difference between research question and research hypothesis?

A research question is a broad, open-ended question you will try to answer through your research. A hypothesis is a statement based on prior research or theory that you expect to be true due to your study. Example - Research question: What are the factors that influence the adoption of the new technology? Research hypothesis: There is a positive relationship between age, education and income level with the adoption of the new technology.

## 8. What is plural for hypothesis?

The plural of hypothesis is hypotheses. Here's an example of how it would be used in a statement, "Numerous well-considered hypotheses are presented in this part, and they are supported by tables and figures that are well-illustrated."

## 9. What is the red queen hypothesis?

The red queen hypothesis in evolutionary biology states that species must constantly evolve to avoid extinction because if they don't, they will be outcompeted by other species that are evolving. Leigh Van Valen first proposed it in 1973; since then, it has been tested and substantiated many times.

## 10. Who is known as the father of null hypothesis?

The father of the null hypothesis is Sir Ronald Fisher. He published a paper in 1925 that introduced the concept of null hypothesis testing, and he was also the first to use the term itself.

## 11. When to reject null hypothesis?

You need to find a significant difference between your two populations to reject the null hypothesis. You can determine that by running statistical tests such as an independent sample t-test or a dependent sample t-test. You should reject the null hypothesis if the p-value is less than 0.05.

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## Definition of hypothesis

Did you know.

The Difference Between Hypothesis and Theory

A hypothesis is an assumption, an idea that is proposed for the sake of argument so that it can be tested to see if it might be true.

In the scientific method, the hypothesis is constructed before any applicable research has been done, apart from a basic background review. You ask a question, read up on what has been studied before, and then form a hypothesis.

A hypothesis is usually tentative; it's an assumption or suggestion made strictly for the objective of being tested.

A theory , in contrast, is a principle that has been formed as an attempt to explain things that have already been substantiated by data. It is used in the names of a number of principles accepted in the scientific community, such as the Big Bang Theory . Because of the rigors of experimentation and control, it is understood to be more likely to be true than a hypothesis is.

In non-scientific use, however, hypothesis and theory are often used interchangeably to mean simply an idea, speculation, or hunch, with theory being the more common choice.

Since this casual use does away with the distinctions upheld by the scientific community, hypothesis and theory are prone to being wrongly interpreted even when they are encountered in scientific contexts—or at least, contexts that allude to scientific study without making the critical distinction that scientists employ when weighing hypotheses and theories.

The most common occurrence is when theory is interpreted—and sometimes even gleefully seized upon—to mean something having less truth value than other scientific principles. (The word law applies to principles so firmly established that they are almost never questioned, such as the law of gravity.)

This mistake is one of projection: since we use theory in general to mean something lightly speculated, then it's implied that scientists must be talking about the same level of uncertainty when they use theory to refer to their well-tested and reasoned principles.

The distinction has come to the forefront particularly on occasions when the content of science curricula in schools has been challenged—notably, when a school board in Georgia put stickers on textbooks stating that evolution was "a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things." As Kenneth R. Miller, a cell biologist at Brown University, has said , a theory "doesn’t mean a hunch or a guess. A theory is a system of explanations that ties together a whole bunch of facts. It not only explains those facts, but predicts what you ought to find from other observations and experiments.”

While theories are never completely infallible, they form the basis of scientific reasoning because, as Miller said "to the best of our ability, we’ve tested them, and they’ve held up."

- proposition
- supposition

hypothesis , theory , law mean a formula derived by inference from scientific data that explains a principle operating in nature.

hypothesis implies insufficient evidence to provide more than a tentative explanation.

theory implies a greater range of evidence and greater likelihood of truth.

law implies a statement of order and relation in nature that has been found to be invariable under the same conditions.

## Examples of hypothesis in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hypothesis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

## Word History

Greek, from hypotithenai to put under, suppose, from hypo- + tithenai to put — more at do

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

## Phrases Containing hypothesis

- counter - hypothesis
- nebular hypothesis
- null hypothesis
- planetesimal hypothesis
- Whorfian hypothesis

## Articles Related to hypothesis

This is the Difference Between a...

## This is the Difference Between a Hypothesis and a Theory

In scientific reasoning, they're two completely different things

## Dictionary Entries Near hypothesis

hypothermia

hypothesize

## Cite this Entry

“Hypothesis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypothesis. Accessed 27 Jul. 2024.

## Kids Definition

Kids definition of hypothesis, medical definition, medical definition of hypothesis, more from merriam-webster on hypothesis.

Nglish: Translation of hypothesis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hypothesis for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hypothesis

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## Can you solve 4 words at once?

Word of the day, jurisprudence.

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## What Is A Research (Scientific) Hypothesis? A plain-language explainer + examples

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Reviewed By: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | June 2020

If you’re new to the world of research, or it’s your first time writing a dissertation or thesis, you’re probably noticing that the words “research hypothesis” and “scientific hypothesis” are used quite a bit, and you’re wondering what they mean in a research context .

“Hypothesis” is one of those words that people use loosely, thinking they understand what it means. However, it has a very specific meaning within academic research. So, it’s important to understand the exact meaning before you start hypothesizing.

## Research Hypothesis 101

- What is a hypothesis ?
- What is a research hypothesis (scientific hypothesis)?
- Requirements for a research hypothesis
- Definition of a research hypothesis
- The null hypothesis

## What is a hypothesis?

Let’s start with the general definition of a hypothesis (not a research hypothesis or scientific hypothesis), according to the Cambridge Dictionary:

Hypothesis: an idea or explanation for something that is based on known facts but has not yet been proved.

In other words, it’s a statement that provides an explanation for why or how something works, based on facts (or some reasonable assumptions), but that has not yet been specifically tested . For example, a hypothesis might look something like this:

Hypothesis: sleep impacts academic performance.

This statement predicts that academic performance will be influenced by the amount and/or quality of sleep a student engages in – sounds reasonable, right? It’s based on reasonable assumptions , underpinned by what we currently know about sleep and health (from the existing literature). So, loosely speaking, we could call it a hypothesis, at least by the dictionary definition.

But that’s not good enough…

Unfortunately, that’s not quite sophisticated enough to describe a research hypothesis (also sometimes called a scientific hypothesis), and it wouldn’t be acceptable in a dissertation, thesis or research paper . In the world of academic research, a statement needs a few more criteria to constitute a true research hypothesis .

## What is a research hypothesis?

A research hypothesis (also called a scientific hypothesis) is a statement about the expected outcome of a study (for example, a dissertation or thesis). To constitute a quality hypothesis, the statement needs to have three attributes – specificity , clarity and testability .

Let’s take a look at these more closely.

## Need a helping hand?

## Hypothesis Essential #1: Specificity & Clarity

A good research hypothesis needs to be extremely clear and articulate about both what’ s being assessed (who or what variables are involved ) and the expected outcome (for example, a difference between groups, a relationship between variables, etc.).

Let’s stick with our sleepy students example and look at how this statement could be more specific and clear.

Hypothesis: Students who sleep at least 8 hours per night will, on average, achieve higher grades in standardised tests than students who sleep less than 8 hours a night.

As you can see, the statement is very specific as it identifies the variables involved (sleep hours and test grades), the parties involved (two groups of students), as well as the predicted relationship type (a positive relationship). There’s no ambiguity or uncertainty about who or what is involved in the statement, and the expected outcome is clear.

Contrast that to the original hypothesis we looked at – “Sleep impacts academic performance” – and you can see the difference. “Sleep” and “academic performance” are both comparatively vague , and there’s no indication of what the expected relationship direction is (more sleep or less sleep). As you can see, specificity and clarity are key.

## Hypothesis Essential #2: Testability (Provability)

A statement must be testable to qualify as a research hypothesis. In other words, there needs to be a way to prove (or disprove) the statement. If it’s not testable, it’s not a hypothesis – simple as that.

For example, consider the hypothesis we mentioned earlier:

Hypothesis: Students who sleep at least 8 hours per night will, on average, achieve higher grades in standardised tests than students who sleep less than 8 hours a night.

We could test this statement by undertaking a quantitative study involving two groups of students, one that gets 8 or more hours of sleep per night for a fixed period, and one that gets less. We could then compare the standardised test results for both groups to see if there’s a statistically significant difference.

Again, if you compare this to the original hypothesis we looked at – “Sleep impacts academic performance” – you can see that it would be quite difficult to test that statement, primarily because it isn’t specific enough. How much sleep? By who? What type of academic performance?

So, remember the mantra – if you can’t test it, it’s not a hypothesis 🙂

## Defining A Research Hypothesis

You’re still with us? Great! Let’s recap and pin down a clear definition of a hypothesis.

A research hypothesis (or scientific hypothesis) is a statement about an expected relationship between variables, or explanation of an occurrence, that is clear, specific and testable.

So, when you write up hypotheses for your dissertation or thesis, make sure that they meet all these criteria. If you do, you’ll not only have rock-solid hypotheses but you’ll also ensure a clear focus for your entire research project.

## What about the null hypothesis?

You may have also heard the terms null hypothesis , alternative hypothesis, or H-zero thrown around. At a simple level, the null hypothesis is the counter-proposal to the original hypothesis.

For example, if the hypothesis predicts that there is a relationship between two variables (for example, sleep and academic performance), the null hypothesis would predict that there is no relationship between those variables.

At a more technical level, the null hypothesis proposes that no statistical significance exists in a set of given observations and that any differences are due to chance alone.

And there you have it – hypotheses in a nutshell.

If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you. If you need hands-on help developing and testing your hypotheses, consider our private coaching service , where we hold your hand through the research journey.

## Psst... there’s more!

This post was based on one of our popular Research Bootcamps . If you're working on a research project, you'll definitely want to check this out ...

## 17 Comments

Very useful information. I benefit more from getting more information in this regard.

Very great insight,educative and informative. Please give meet deep critics on many research data of public international Law like human rights, environment, natural resources, law of the sea etc

In a book I read a distinction is made between null, research, and alternative hypothesis. As far as I understand, alternative and research hypotheses are the same. Can you please elaborate? Best Afshin

This is a self explanatory, easy going site. I will recommend this to my friends and colleagues.

Very good definition. How can I cite your definition in my thesis? Thank you. Is nul hypothesis compulsory in a research?

It’s a counter-proposal to be proven as a rejection

Please what is the difference between alternate hypothesis and research hypothesis?

It is a very good explanation. However, it limits hypotheses to statistically tasteable ideas. What about for qualitative researches or other researches that involve quantitative data that don’t need statistical tests?

In qualitative research, one typically uses propositions, not hypotheses.

could you please elaborate it more

I’ve benefited greatly from these notes, thank you.

This is very helpful

well articulated ideas are presented here, thank you for being reliable sources of information

Excellent. Thanks for being clear and sound about the research methodology and hypothesis (quantitative research)

I have only a simple question regarding the null hypothesis. – Is the null hypothesis (Ho) known as the reversible hypothesis of the alternative hypothesis (H1? – How to test it in academic research?

this is very important note help me much more

Hi” best wishes to you and your very nice blog”

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## Frequently asked questions

What is a hypothesis.

A hypothesis states your predictions about what your research will find. It is a tentative answer to your research question that has not yet been tested. For some research projects, you might have to write several hypotheses that address different aspects of your research question.

A hypothesis is not just a guess — it should be based on existing theories and knowledge. It also has to be testable, which means you can support or refute it through scientific research methods (such as experiments, observations and statistical analysis of data).

## Frequently asked questions: Methodology

Attrition refers to participants leaving a study. It always happens to some extent—for example, in randomized controlled trials for medical research.

Differential attrition occurs when attrition or dropout rates differ systematically between the intervention and the control group . As a result, the characteristics of the participants who drop out differ from the characteristics of those who stay in the study. Because of this, study results may be biased .

Action research is conducted in order to solve a particular issue immediately, while case studies are often conducted over a longer period of time and focus more on observing and analyzing a particular ongoing phenomenon.

Action research is focused on solving a problem or informing individual and community-based knowledge in a way that impacts teaching, learning, and other related processes. It is less focused on contributing theoretical input, instead producing actionable input.

Action research is particularly popular with educators as a form of systematic inquiry because it prioritizes reflection and bridges the gap between theory and practice. Educators are able to simultaneously investigate an issue as they solve it, and the method is very iterative and flexible.

A cycle of inquiry is another name for action research . It is usually visualized in a spiral shape following a series of steps, such as “planning → acting → observing → reflecting.”

To make quantitative observations , you need to use instruments that are capable of measuring the quantity you want to observe. For example, you might use a ruler to measure the length of an object or a thermometer to measure its temperature.

Criterion validity and construct validity are both types of measurement validity . In other words, they both show you how accurately a method measures something.

While construct validity is the degree to which a test or other measurement method measures what it claims to measure, criterion validity is the degree to which a test can predictively (in the future) or concurrently (in the present) measure something.

Construct validity is often considered the overarching type of measurement validity . You need to have face validity , content validity , and criterion validity in order to achieve construct validity.

Convergent validity and discriminant validity are both subtypes of construct validity . Together, they help you evaluate whether a test measures the concept it was designed to measure.

- Convergent validity indicates whether a test that is designed to measure a particular construct correlates with other tests that assess the same or similar construct.
- Discriminant validity indicates whether two tests that should not be highly related to each other are indeed not related. This type of validity is also called divergent validity .

You need to assess both in order to demonstrate construct validity. Neither one alone is sufficient for establishing construct validity.

- Discriminant validity indicates whether two tests that should not be highly related to each other are indeed not related

Content validity shows you how accurately a test or other measurement method taps into the various aspects of the specific construct you are researching.

In other words, it helps you answer the question: “does the test measure all aspects of the construct I want to measure?” If it does, then the test has high content validity.

The higher the content validity, the more accurate the measurement of the construct.

If the test fails to include parts of the construct, or irrelevant parts are included, the validity of the instrument is threatened, which brings your results into question.

Face validity and content validity are similar in that they both evaluate how suitable the content of a test is. The difference is that face validity is subjective, and assesses content at surface level.

When a test has strong face validity, anyone would agree that the test’s questions appear to measure what they are intended to measure.

For example, looking at a 4th grade math test consisting of problems in which students have to add and multiply, most people would agree that it has strong face validity (i.e., it looks like a math test).

On the other hand, content validity evaluates how well a test represents all the aspects of a topic. Assessing content validity is more systematic and relies on expert evaluation. of each question, analyzing whether each one covers the aspects that the test was designed to cover.

A 4th grade math test would have high content validity if it covered all the skills taught in that grade. Experts(in this case, math teachers), would have to evaluate the content validity by comparing the test to the learning objectives.

Snowball sampling is a non-probability sampling method . Unlike probability sampling (which involves some form of random selection ), the initial individuals selected to be studied are the ones who recruit new participants.

Because not every member of the target population has an equal chance of being recruited into the sample, selection in snowball sampling is non-random.

Snowball sampling is a non-probability sampling method , where there is not an equal chance for every member of the population to be included in the sample .

This means that you cannot use inferential statistics and make generalizations —often the goal of quantitative research . As such, a snowball sample is not representative of the target population and is usually a better fit for qualitative research .

Snowball sampling relies on the use of referrals. Here, the researcher recruits one or more initial participants, who then recruit the next ones.

Participants share similar characteristics and/or know each other. Because of this, not every member of the population has an equal chance of being included in the sample, giving rise to sampling bias .

Snowball sampling is best used in the following cases:

- If there is no sampling frame available (e.g., people with a rare disease)
- If the population of interest is hard to access or locate (e.g., people experiencing homelessness)
- If the research focuses on a sensitive topic (e.g., extramarital affairs)

The reproducibility and replicability of a study can be ensured by writing a transparent, detailed method section and using clear, unambiguous language.

Reproducibility and replicability are related terms.

- Reproducing research entails reanalyzing the existing data in the same manner.
- Replicating (or repeating ) the research entails reconducting the entire analysis, including the collection of new data .
- A successful reproduction shows that the data analyses were conducted in a fair and honest manner.
- A successful replication shows that the reliability of the results is high.

Stratified sampling and quota sampling both involve dividing the population into subgroups and selecting units from each subgroup. The purpose in both cases is to select a representative sample and/or to allow comparisons between subgroups.

The main difference is that in stratified sampling, you draw a random sample from each subgroup ( probability sampling ). In quota sampling you select a predetermined number or proportion of units, in a non-random manner ( non-probability sampling ).

Purposive and convenience sampling are both sampling methods that are typically used in qualitative data collection.

A convenience sample is drawn from a source that is conveniently accessible to the researcher. Convenience sampling does not distinguish characteristics among the participants. On the other hand, purposive sampling focuses on selecting participants possessing characteristics associated with the research study.

The findings of studies based on either convenience or purposive sampling can only be generalized to the (sub)population from which the sample is drawn, and not to the entire population.

Random sampling or probability sampling is based on random selection. This means that each unit has an equal chance (i.e., equal probability) of being included in the sample.

On the other hand, convenience sampling involves stopping people at random, which means that not everyone has an equal chance of being selected depending on the place, time, or day you are collecting your data.

Convenience sampling and quota sampling are both non-probability sampling methods. They both use non-random criteria like availability, geographical proximity, or expert knowledge to recruit study participants.

However, in convenience sampling, you continue to sample units or cases until you reach the required sample size.

In quota sampling, you first need to divide your population of interest into subgroups (strata) and estimate their proportions (quota) in the population. Then you can start your data collection, using convenience sampling to recruit participants, until the proportions in each subgroup coincide with the estimated proportions in the population.

A sampling frame is a list of every member in the entire population . It is important that the sampling frame is as complete as possible, so that your sample accurately reflects your population.

Stratified and cluster sampling may look similar, but bear in mind that groups created in cluster sampling are heterogeneous , so the individual characteristics in the cluster vary. In contrast, groups created in stratified sampling are homogeneous , as units share characteristics.

Relatedly, in cluster sampling you randomly select entire groups and include all units of each group in your sample. However, in stratified sampling, you select some units of all groups and include them in your sample. In this way, both methods can ensure that your sample is representative of the target population .

A systematic review is secondary research because it uses existing research. You don’t collect new data yourself.

The key difference between observational studies and experimental designs is that a well-done observational study does not influence the responses of participants, while experiments do have some sort of treatment condition applied to at least some participants by random assignment .

An observational study is a great choice for you if your research question is based purely on observations. If there are ethical, logistical, or practical concerns that prevent you from conducting a traditional experiment , an observational study may be a good choice. In an observational study, there is no interference or manipulation of the research subjects, as well as no control or treatment groups .

It’s often best to ask a variety of people to review your measurements. You can ask experts, such as other researchers, or laypeople, such as potential participants, to judge the face validity of tests.

While experts have a deep understanding of research methods , the people you’re studying can provide you with valuable insights you may have missed otherwise.

Face validity is important because it’s a simple first step to measuring the overall validity of a test or technique. It’s a relatively intuitive, quick, and easy way to start checking whether a new measure seems useful at first glance.

Good face validity means that anyone who reviews your measure says that it seems to be measuring what it’s supposed to. With poor face validity, someone reviewing your measure may be left confused about what you’re measuring and why you’re using this method.

Face validity is about whether a test appears to measure what it’s supposed to measure. This type of validity is concerned with whether a measure seems relevant and appropriate for what it’s assessing only on the surface.

Statistical analyses are often applied to test validity with data from your measures. You test convergent validity and discriminant validity with correlations to see if results from your test are positively or negatively related to those of other established tests.

You can also use regression analyses to assess whether your measure is actually predictive of outcomes that you expect it to predict theoretically. A regression analysis that supports your expectations strengthens your claim of construct validity .

When designing or evaluating a measure, construct validity helps you ensure you’re actually measuring the construct you’re interested in. If you don’t have construct validity, you may inadvertently measure unrelated or distinct constructs and lose precision in your research.

Construct validity is often considered the overarching type of measurement validity , because it covers all of the other types. You need to have face validity , content validity , and criterion validity to achieve construct validity.

Construct validity is about how well a test measures the concept it was designed to evaluate. It’s one of four types of measurement validity , which includes construct validity, face validity , and criterion validity.

There are two subtypes of construct validity.

- Convergent validity : The extent to which your measure corresponds to measures of related constructs
- Discriminant validity : The extent to which your measure is unrelated or negatively related to measures of distinct constructs

Naturalistic observation is a valuable tool because of its flexibility, external validity , and suitability for topics that can’t be studied in a lab setting.

The downsides of naturalistic observation include its lack of scientific control , ethical considerations , and potential for bias from observers and subjects.

Naturalistic observation is a qualitative research method where you record the behaviors of your research subjects in real world settings. You avoid interfering or influencing anything in a naturalistic observation.

You can think of naturalistic observation as “people watching” with a purpose.

A dependent variable is what changes as a result of the independent variable manipulation in experiments . It’s what you’re interested in measuring, and it “depends” on your independent variable.

In statistics, dependent variables are also called:

- Response variables (they respond to a change in another variable)
- Outcome variables (they represent the outcome you want to measure)
- Left-hand-side variables (they appear on the left-hand side of a regression equation)

An independent variable is the variable you manipulate, control, or vary in an experimental study to explore its effects. It’s called “independent” because it’s not influenced by any other variables in the study.

Independent variables are also called:

- Explanatory variables (they explain an event or outcome)
- Predictor variables (they can be used to predict the value of a dependent variable)
- Right-hand-side variables (they appear on the right-hand side of a regression equation).

As a rule of thumb, questions related to thoughts, beliefs, and feelings work well in focus groups. Take your time formulating strong questions, paying special attention to phrasing. Be careful to avoid leading questions , which can bias your responses.

Overall, your focus group questions should be:

- Open-ended and flexible
- Impossible to answer with “yes” or “no” (questions that start with “why” or “how” are often best)
- Unambiguous, getting straight to the point while still stimulating discussion
- Unbiased and neutral

A structured interview is a data collection method that relies on asking questions in a set order to collect data on a topic. They are often quantitative in nature. Structured interviews are best used when:

- You already have a very clear understanding of your topic. Perhaps significant research has already been conducted, or you have done some prior research yourself, but you already possess a baseline for designing strong structured questions.
- You are constrained in terms of time or resources and need to analyze your data quickly and efficiently.
- Your research question depends on strong parity between participants, with environmental conditions held constant.

More flexible interview options include semi-structured interviews , unstructured interviews , and focus groups .

Social desirability bias is the tendency for interview participants to give responses that will be viewed favorably by the interviewer or other participants. It occurs in all types of interviews and surveys , but is most common in semi-structured interviews , unstructured interviews , and focus groups .

Social desirability bias can be mitigated by ensuring participants feel at ease and comfortable sharing their views. Make sure to pay attention to your own body language and any physical or verbal cues, such as nodding or widening your eyes.

This type of bias can also occur in observations if the participants know they’re being observed. They might alter their behavior accordingly.

The interviewer effect is a type of bias that emerges when a characteristic of an interviewer (race, age, gender identity, etc.) influences the responses given by the interviewee.

There is a risk of an interviewer effect in all types of interviews , but it can be mitigated by writing really high-quality interview questions.

A semi-structured interview is a blend of structured and unstructured types of interviews. Semi-structured interviews are best used when:

- You have prior interview experience. Spontaneous questions are deceptively challenging, and it’s easy to accidentally ask a leading question or make a participant uncomfortable.
- Your research question is exploratory in nature. Participant answers can guide future research questions and help you develop a more robust knowledge base for future research.

An unstructured interview is the most flexible type of interview, but it is not always the best fit for your research topic.

Unstructured interviews are best used when:

- You are an experienced interviewer and have a very strong background in your research topic, since it is challenging to ask spontaneous, colloquial questions.
- Your research question is exploratory in nature. While you may have developed hypotheses, you are open to discovering new or shifting viewpoints through the interview process.
- You are seeking descriptive data, and are ready to ask questions that will deepen and contextualize your initial thoughts and hypotheses.
- Your research depends on forming connections with your participants and making them feel comfortable revealing deeper emotions, lived experiences, or thoughts.

The four most common types of interviews are:

- Structured interviews : The questions are predetermined in both topic and order.
- Semi-structured interviews : A few questions are predetermined, but other questions aren’t planned.
- Unstructured interviews : None of the questions are predetermined.
- Focus group interviews : The questions are presented to a group instead of one individual.

Deductive reasoning is commonly used in scientific research, and it’s especially associated with quantitative research .

In research, you might have come across something called the hypothetico-deductive method . It’s the scientific method of testing hypotheses to check whether your predictions are substantiated by real-world data.

Deductive reasoning is a logical approach where you progress from general ideas to specific conclusions. It’s often contrasted with inductive reasoning , where you start with specific observations and form general conclusions.

Deductive reasoning is also called deductive logic.

There are many different types of inductive reasoning that people use formally or informally.

Here are a few common types:

- Inductive generalization : You use observations about a sample to come to a conclusion about the population it came from.
- Statistical generalization: You use specific numbers about samples to make statements about populations.
- Causal reasoning: You make cause-and-effect links between different things.
- Sign reasoning: You make a conclusion about a correlational relationship between different things.
- Analogical reasoning: You make a conclusion about something based on its similarities to something else.

Inductive reasoning is a bottom-up approach, while deductive reasoning is top-down.

Inductive reasoning takes you from the specific to the general, while in deductive reasoning, you make inferences by going from general premises to specific conclusions.

In inductive research , you start by making observations or gathering data. Then, you take a broad scan of your data and search for patterns. Finally, you make general conclusions that you might incorporate into theories.

Inductive reasoning is a method of drawing conclusions by going from the specific to the general. It’s usually contrasted with deductive reasoning, where you proceed from general information to specific conclusions.

Inductive reasoning is also called inductive logic or bottom-up reasoning.

Triangulation can help:

- Reduce research bias that comes from using a single method, theory, or investigator
- Enhance validity by approaching the same topic with different tools
- Establish credibility by giving you a complete picture of the research problem

But triangulation can also pose problems:

- It’s time-consuming and labor-intensive, often involving an interdisciplinary team.
- Your results may be inconsistent or even contradictory.

There are four main types of triangulation :

- Data triangulation : Using data from different times, spaces, and people
- Investigator triangulation : Involving multiple researchers in collecting or analyzing data
- Theory triangulation : Using varying theoretical perspectives in your research
- Methodological triangulation : Using different methodologies to approach the same topic

Many academic fields use peer review , largely to determine whether a manuscript is suitable for publication. Peer review enhances the credibility of the published manuscript.

However, peer review is also common in non-academic settings. The United Nations, the European Union, and many individual nations use peer review to evaluate grant applications. It is also widely used in medical and health-related fields as a teaching or quality-of-care measure.

Peer assessment is often used in the classroom as a pedagogical tool. Both receiving feedback and providing it are thought to enhance the learning process, helping students think critically and collaboratively.

Peer review can stop obviously problematic, falsified, or otherwise untrustworthy research from being published. It also represents an excellent opportunity to get feedback from renowned experts in your field. It acts as a first defense, helping you ensure your argument is clear and that there are no gaps, vague terms, or unanswered questions for readers who weren’t involved in the research process.

Peer-reviewed articles are considered a highly credible source due to this stringent process they go through before publication.

In general, the peer review process follows the following steps:

- First, the author submits the manuscript to the editor.
- Reject the manuscript and send it back to author, or
- Send it onward to the selected peer reviewer(s)
- Next, the peer review process occurs. The reviewer provides feedback, addressing any major or minor issues with the manuscript, and gives their advice regarding what edits should be made.
- Lastly, the edited manuscript is sent back to the author. They input the edits, and resubmit it to the editor for publication.

Exploratory research is often used when the issue you’re studying is new or when the data collection process is challenging for some reason.

You can use exploratory research if you have a general idea or a specific question that you want to study but there is no preexisting knowledge or paradigm with which to study it.

Exploratory research is a methodology approach that explores research questions that have not previously been studied in depth. It is often used when the issue you’re studying is new, or the data collection process is challenging in some way.

Explanatory research is used to investigate how or why a phenomenon occurs. Therefore, this type of research is often one of the first stages in the research process , serving as a jumping-off point for future research.

Exploratory research aims to explore the main aspects of an under-researched problem, while explanatory research aims to explain the causes and consequences of a well-defined problem.

Explanatory research is a research method used to investigate how or why something occurs when only a small amount of information is available pertaining to that topic. It can help you increase your understanding of a given topic.

Clean data are valid, accurate, complete, consistent, unique, and uniform. Dirty data include inconsistencies and errors.

Dirty data can come from any part of the research process, including poor research design , inappropriate measurement materials, or flawed data entry.

Data cleaning takes place between data collection and data analyses. But you can use some methods even before collecting data.

For clean data, you should start by designing measures that collect valid data. Data validation at the time of data entry or collection helps you minimize the amount of data cleaning you’ll need to do.

After data collection, you can use data standardization and data transformation to clean your data. You’ll also deal with any missing values, outliers, and duplicate values.

Every dataset requires different techniques to clean dirty data , but you need to address these issues in a systematic way. You focus on finding and resolving data points that don’t agree or fit with the rest of your dataset.

These data might be missing values, outliers, duplicate values, incorrectly formatted, or irrelevant. You’ll start with screening and diagnosing your data. Then, you’ll often standardize and accept or remove data to make your dataset consistent and valid.

Data cleaning is necessary for valid and appropriate analyses. Dirty data contain inconsistencies or errors , but cleaning your data helps you minimize or resolve these.

Without data cleaning, you could end up with a Type I or II error in your conclusion. These types of erroneous conclusions can be practically significant with important consequences, because they lead to misplaced investments or missed opportunities.

Data cleaning involves spotting and resolving potential data inconsistencies or errors to improve your data quality. An error is any value (e.g., recorded weight) that doesn’t reflect the true value (e.g., actual weight) of something that’s being measured.

In this process, you review, analyze, detect, modify, or remove “dirty” data to make your dataset “clean.” Data cleaning is also called data cleansing or data scrubbing.

Research misconduct means making up or falsifying data, manipulating data analyses, or misrepresenting results in research reports. It’s a form of academic fraud.

These actions are committed intentionally and can have serious consequences; research misconduct is not a simple mistake or a point of disagreement but a serious ethical failure.

Anonymity means you don’t know who the participants are, while confidentiality means you know who they are but remove identifying information from your research report. Both are important ethical considerations .

You can only guarantee anonymity by not collecting any personally identifying information—for example, names, phone numbers, email addresses, IP addresses, physical characteristics, photos, or videos.

You can keep data confidential by using aggregate information in your research report, so that you only refer to groups of participants rather than individuals.

Research ethics matter for scientific integrity, human rights and dignity, and collaboration between science and society. These principles make sure that participation in studies is voluntary, informed, and safe.

Ethical considerations in research are a set of principles that guide your research designs and practices. These principles include voluntary participation, informed consent, anonymity, confidentiality, potential for harm, and results communication.

Scientists and researchers must always adhere to a certain code of conduct when collecting data from others .

These considerations protect the rights of research participants, enhance research validity , and maintain scientific integrity.

In multistage sampling , you can use probability or non-probability sampling methods .

For a probability sample, you have to conduct probability sampling at every stage.

You can mix it up by using simple random sampling , systematic sampling , or stratified sampling to select units at different stages, depending on what is applicable and relevant to your study.

Multistage sampling can simplify data collection when you have large, geographically spread samples, and you can obtain a probability sample without a complete sampling frame.

But multistage sampling may not lead to a representative sample, and larger samples are needed for multistage samples to achieve the statistical properties of simple random samples .

These are four of the most common mixed methods designs :

- Convergent parallel: Quantitative and qualitative data are collected at the same time and analyzed separately. After both analyses are complete, compare your results to draw overall conclusions.
- Embedded: Quantitative and qualitative data are collected at the same time, but within a larger quantitative or qualitative design. One type of data is secondary to the other.
- Explanatory sequential: Quantitative data is collected and analyzed first, followed by qualitative data. You can use this design if you think your qualitative data will explain and contextualize your quantitative findings.
- Exploratory sequential: Qualitative data is collected and analyzed first, followed by quantitative data. You can use this design if you think the quantitative data will confirm or validate your qualitative findings.

Triangulation in research means using multiple datasets, methods, theories and/or investigators to address a research question. It’s a research strategy that can help you enhance the validity and credibility of your findings.

Triangulation is mainly used in qualitative research , but it’s also commonly applied in quantitative research . Mixed methods research always uses triangulation.

In multistage sampling , or multistage cluster sampling, you draw a sample from a population using smaller and smaller groups at each stage.

This method is often used to collect data from a large, geographically spread group of people in national surveys, for example. You take advantage of hierarchical groupings (e.g., from state to city to neighborhood) to create a sample that’s less expensive and time-consuming to collect data from.

No, the steepness or slope of the line isn’t related to the correlation coefficient value. The correlation coefficient only tells you how closely your data fit on a line, so two datasets with the same correlation coefficient can have very different slopes.

To find the slope of the line, you’ll need to perform a regression analysis .

Correlation coefficients always range between -1 and 1.

The sign of the coefficient tells you the direction of the relationship: a positive value means the variables change together in the same direction, while a negative value means they change together in opposite directions.

The absolute value of a number is equal to the number without its sign. The absolute value of a correlation coefficient tells you the magnitude of the correlation: the greater the absolute value, the stronger the correlation.

These are the assumptions your data must meet if you want to use Pearson’s r :

- Both variables are on an interval or ratio level of measurement
- Data from both variables follow normal distributions
- Your data have no outliers
- Your data is from a random or representative sample
- You expect a linear relationship between the two variables

Quantitative research designs can be divided into two main categories:

- Correlational and descriptive designs are used to investigate characteristics, averages, trends, and associations between variables.
- Experimental and quasi-experimental designs are used to test causal relationships .

Qualitative research designs tend to be more flexible. Common types of qualitative design include case study , ethnography , and grounded theory designs.

A well-planned research design helps ensure that your methods match your research aims, that you collect high-quality data, and that you use the right kind of analysis to answer your questions, utilizing credible sources . This allows you to draw valid , trustworthy conclusions.

The priorities of a research design can vary depending on the field, but you usually have to specify:

- Your research questions and/or hypotheses
- Your overall approach (e.g., qualitative or quantitative )
- The type of design you’re using (e.g., a survey , experiment , or case study )
- Your sampling methods or criteria for selecting subjects
- Your data collection methods (e.g., questionnaires , observations)
- Your data collection procedures (e.g., operationalization , timing and data management)
- Your data analysis methods (e.g., statistical tests or thematic analysis )

A research design is a strategy for answering your research question . It defines your overall approach and determines how you will collect and analyze data.

Questionnaires can be self-administered or researcher-administered.

Self-administered questionnaires can be delivered online or in paper-and-pen formats, in person or through mail. All questions are standardized so that all respondents receive the same questions with identical wording.

Researcher-administered questionnaires are interviews that take place by phone, in-person, or online between researchers and respondents. You can gain deeper insights by clarifying questions for respondents or asking follow-up questions.

You can organize the questions logically, with a clear progression from simple to complex, or randomly between respondents. A logical flow helps respondents process the questionnaire easier and quicker, but it may lead to bias. Randomization can minimize the bias from order effects.

Closed-ended, or restricted-choice, questions offer respondents a fixed set of choices to select from. These questions are easier to answer quickly.

Open-ended or long-form questions allow respondents to answer in their own words. Because there are no restrictions on their choices, respondents can answer in ways that researchers may not have otherwise considered.

A questionnaire is a data collection tool or instrument, while a survey is an overarching research method that involves collecting and analyzing data from people using questionnaires.

The third variable and directionality problems are two main reasons why correlation isn’t causation .

The third variable problem means that a confounding variable affects both variables to make them seem causally related when they are not.

The directionality problem is when two variables correlate and might actually have a causal relationship, but it’s impossible to conclude which variable causes changes in the other.

Correlation describes an association between variables : when one variable changes, so does the other. A correlation is a statistical indicator of the relationship between variables.

Causation means that changes in one variable brings about changes in the other (i.e., there is a cause-and-effect relationship between variables). The two variables are correlated with each other, and there’s also a causal link between them.

While causation and correlation can exist simultaneously, correlation does not imply causation. In other words, correlation is simply a relationship where A relates to B—but A doesn’t necessarily cause B to happen (or vice versa). Mistaking correlation for causation is a common error and can lead to false cause fallacy .

Controlled experiments establish causality, whereas correlational studies only show associations between variables.

- In an experimental design , you manipulate an independent variable and measure its effect on a dependent variable. Other variables are controlled so they can’t impact the results.
- In a correlational design , you measure variables without manipulating any of them. You can test whether your variables change together, but you can’t be sure that one variable caused a change in another.

In general, correlational research is high in external validity while experimental research is high in internal validity .

A correlation is usually tested for two variables at a time, but you can test correlations between three or more variables.

A correlation coefficient is a single number that describes the strength and direction of the relationship between your variables.

Different types of correlation coefficients might be appropriate for your data based on their levels of measurement and distributions . The Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (Pearson’s r ) is commonly used to assess a linear relationship between two quantitative variables.

A correlational research design investigates relationships between two variables (or more) without the researcher controlling or manipulating any of them. It’s a non-experimental type of quantitative research .

A correlation reflects the strength and/or direction of the association between two or more variables.

- A positive correlation means that both variables change in the same direction.
- A negative correlation means that the variables change in opposite directions.
- A zero correlation means there’s no relationship between the variables.

Random error is almost always present in scientific studies, even in highly controlled settings. While you can’t eradicate it completely, you can reduce random error by taking repeated measurements, using a large sample, and controlling extraneous variables .

You can avoid systematic error through careful design of your sampling , data collection , and analysis procedures. For example, use triangulation to measure your variables using multiple methods; regularly calibrate instruments or procedures; use random sampling and random assignment ; and apply masking (blinding) where possible.

Systematic error is generally a bigger problem in research.

With random error, multiple measurements will tend to cluster around the true value. When you’re collecting data from a large sample , the errors in different directions will cancel each other out.

Systematic errors are much more problematic because they can skew your data away from the true value. This can lead you to false conclusions ( Type I and II errors ) about the relationship between the variables you’re studying.

Random and systematic error are two types of measurement error.

Random error is a chance difference between the observed and true values of something (e.g., a researcher misreading a weighing scale records an incorrect measurement).

Systematic error is a consistent or proportional difference between the observed and true values of something (e.g., a miscalibrated scale consistently records weights as higher than they actually are).

On graphs, the explanatory variable is conventionally placed on the x-axis, while the response variable is placed on the y-axis.

- If you have quantitative variables , use a scatterplot or a line graph.
- If your response variable is categorical, use a scatterplot or a line graph.
- If your explanatory variable is categorical, use a bar graph.

The term “ explanatory variable ” is sometimes preferred over “ independent variable ” because, in real world contexts, independent variables are often influenced by other variables. This means they aren’t totally independent.

Multiple independent variables may also be correlated with each other, so “explanatory variables” is a more appropriate term.

The difference between explanatory and response variables is simple:

- An explanatory variable is the expected cause, and it explains the results.
- A response variable is the expected effect, and it responds to other variables.

In a controlled experiment , all extraneous variables are held constant so that they can’t influence the results. Controlled experiments require:

- A control group that receives a standard treatment, a fake treatment, or no treatment.
- Random assignment of participants to ensure the groups are equivalent.

Depending on your study topic, there are various other methods of controlling variables .

There are 4 main types of extraneous variables :

- Demand characteristics : environmental cues that encourage participants to conform to researchers’ expectations.
- Experimenter effects : unintentional actions by researchers that influence study outcomes.
- Situational variables : environmental variables that alter participants’ behaviors.
- Participant variables : any characteristic or aspect of a participant’s background that could affect study results.

An extraneous variable is any variable that you’re not investigating that can potentially affect the dependent variable of your research study.

A confounding variable is a type of extraneous variable that not only affects the dependent variable, but is also related to the independent variable.

In a factorial design, multiple independent variables are tested.

If you test two variables, each level of one independent variable is combined with each level of the other independent variable to create different conditions.

Within-subjects designs have many potential threats to internal validity , but they are also very statistically powerful .

Advantages:

- Only requires small samples
- Statistically powerful
- Removes the effects of individual differences on the outcomes

Disadvantages:

- Internal validity threats reduce the likelihood of establishing a direct relationship between variables
- Time-related effects, such as growth, can influence the outcomes
- Carryover effects mean that the specific order of different treatments affect the outcomes

While a between-subjects design has fewer threats to internal validity , it also requires more participants for high statistical power than a within-subjects design .

- Prevents carryover effects of learning and fatigue.
- Shorter study duration.
- Needs larger samples for high power.
- Uses more resources to recruit participants, administer sessions, cover costs, etc.
- Individual differences may be an alternative explanation for results.

Yes. Between-subjects and within-subjects designs can be combined in a single study when you have two or more independent variables (a factorial design). In a mixed factorial design, one variable is altered between subjects and another is altered within subjects.

In a between-subjects design , every participant experiences only one condition, and researchers assess group differences between participants in various conditions.

In a within-subjects design , each participant experiences all conditions, and researchers test the same participants repeatedly for differences between conditions.

The word “between” means that you’re comparing different conditions between groups, while the word “within” means you’re comparing different conditions within the same group.

Random assignment is used in experiments with a between-groups or independent measures design. In this research design, there’s usually a control group and one or more experimental groups. Random assignment helps ensure that the groups are comparable.

In general, you should always use random assignment in this type of experimental design when it is ethically possible and makes sense for your study topic.

To implement random assignment , assign a unique number to every member of your study’s sample .

Then, you can use a random number generator or a lottery method to randomly assign each number to a control or experimental group. You can also do so manually, by flipping a coin or rolling a dice to randomly assign participants to groups.

Random selection, or random sampling , is a way of selecting members of a population for your study’s sample.

In contrast, random assignment is a way of sorting the sample into control and experimental groups.

Random sampling enhances the external validity or generalizability of your results, while random assignment improves the internal validity of your study.

In experimental research, random assignment is a way of placing participants from your sample into different groups using randomization. With this method, every member of the sample has a known or equal chance of being placed in a control group or an experimental group.

“Controlling for a variable” means measuring extraneous variables and accounting for them statistically to remove their effects on other variables.

Researchers often model control variable data along with independent and dependent variable data in regression analyses and ANCOVAs . That way, you can isolate the control variable’s effects from the relationship between the variables of interest.

Control variables help you establish a correlational or causal relationship between variables by enhancing internal validity .

If you don’t control relevant extraneous variables , they may influence the outcomes of your study, and you may not be able to demonstrate that your results are really an effect of your independent variable .

A control variable is any variable that’s held constant in a research study. It’s not a variable of interest in the study, but it’s controlled because it could influence the outcomes.

Including mediators and moderators in your research helps you go beyond studying a simple relationship between two variables for a fuller picture of the real world. They are important to consider when studying complex correlational or causal relationships.

Mediators are part of the causal pathway of an effect, and they tell you how or why an effect takes place. Moderators usually help you judge the external validity of your study by identifying the limitations of when the relationship between variables holds.

If something is a mediating variable :

- It’s caused by the independent variable .
- It influences the dependent variable
- When it’s taken into account, the statistical correlation between the independent and dependent variables is higher than when it isn’t considered.

A confounder is a third variable that affects variables of interest and makes them seem related when they are not. In contrast, a mediator is the mechanism of a relationship between two variables: it explains the process by which they are related.

A mediator variable explains the process through which two variables are related, while a moderator variable affects the strength and direction of that relationship.

There are three key steps in systematic sampling :

- Define and list your population , ensuring that it is not ordered in a cyclical or periodic order.
- Decide on your sample size and calculate your interval, k , by dividing your population by your target sample size.
- Choose every k th member of the population as your sample.

Systematic sampling is a probability sampling method where researchers select members of the population at a regular interval – for example, by selecting every 15th person on a list of the population. If the population is in a random order, this can imitate the benefits of simple random sampling .

Yes, you can create a stratified sample using multiple characteristics, but you must ensure that every participant in your study belongs to one and only one subgroup. In this case, you multiply the numbers of subgroups for each characteristic to get the total number of groups.

For example, if you were stratifying by location with three subgroups (urban, rural, or suburban) and marital status with five subgroups (single, divorced, widowed, married, or partnered), you would have 3 x 5 = 15 subgroups.

You should use stratified sampling when your sample can be divided into mutually exclusive and exhaustive subgroups that you believe will take on different mean values for the variable that you’re studying.

Using stratified sampling will allow you to obtain more precise (with lower variance ) statistical estimates of whatever you are trying to measure.

For example, say you want to investigate how income differs based on educational attainment, but you know that this relationship can vary based on race. Using stratified sampling, you can ensure you obtain a large enough sample from each racial group, allowing you to draw more precise conclusions.

In stratified sampling , researchers divide subjects into subgroups called strata based on characteristics that they share (e.g., race, gender, educational attainment).

Once divided, each subgroup is randomly sampled using another probability sampling method.

Cluster sampling is more time- and cost-efficient than other probability sampling methods , particularly when it comes to large samples spread across a wide geographical area.

However, it provides less statistical certainty than other methods, such as simple random sampling , because it is difficult to ensure that your clusters properly represent the population as a whole.

There are three types of cluster sampling : single-stage, double-stage and multi-stage clustering. In all three types, you first divide the population into clusters, then randomly select clusters for use in your sample.

- In single-stage sampling , you collect data from every unit within the selected clusters.
- In double-stage sampling , you select a random sample of units from within the clusters.
- In multi-stage sampling , you repeat the procedure of randomly sampling elements from within the clusters until you have reached a manageable sample.

Cluster sampling is a probability sampling method in which you divide a population into clusters, such as districts or schools, and then randomly select some of these clusters as your sample.

The clusters should ideally each be mini-representations of the population as a whole.

If properly implemented, simple random sampling is usually the best sampling method for ensuring both internal and external validity . However, it can sometimes be impractical and expensive to implement, depending on the size of the population to be studied,

If you have a list of every member of the population and the ability to reach whichever members are selected, you can use simple random sampling.

The American Community Survey is an example of simple random sampling . In order to collect detailed data on the population of the US, the Census Bureau officials randomly select 3.5 million households per year and use a variety of methods to convince them to fill out the survey.

Simple random sampling is a type of probability sampling in which the researcher randomly selects a subset of participants from a population . Each member of the population has an equal chance of being selected. Data is then collected from as large a percentage as possible of this random subset.

Quasi-experimental design is most useful in situations where it would be unethical or impractical to run a true experiment .

Quasi-experiments have lower internal validity than true experiments, but they often have higher external validity as they can use real-world interventions instead of artificial laboratory settings.

A quasi-experiment is a type of research design that attempts to establish a cause-and-effect relationship. The main difference with a true experiment is that the groups are not randomly assigned.

Blinding is important to reduce research bias (e.g., observer bias , demand characteristics ) and ensure a study’s internal validity .

If participants know whether they are in a control or treatment group , they may adjust their behavior in ways that affect the outcome that researchers are trying to measure. If the people administering the treatment are aware of group assignment, they may treat participants differently and thus directly or indirectly influence the final results.

- In a single-blind study , only the participants are blinded.
- In a double-blind study , both participants and experimenters are blinded.
- In a triple-blind study , the assignment is hidden not only from participants and experimenters, but also from the researchers analyzing the data.

Blinding means hiding who is assigned to the treatment group and who is assigned to the control group in an experiment .

A true experiment (a.k.a. a controlled experiment) always includes at least one control group that doesn’t receive the experimental treatment.

However, some experiments use a within-subjects design to test treatments without a control group. In these designs, you usually compare one group’s outcomes before and after a treatment (instead of comparing outcomes between different groups).

For strong internal validity , it’s usually best to include a control group if possible. Without a control group, it’s harder to be certain that the outcome was caused by the experimental treatment and not by other variables.

An experimental group, also known as a treatment group, receives the treatment whose effect researchers wish to study, whereas a control group does not. They should be identical in all other ways.

Individual Likert-type questions are generally considered ordinal data , because the items have clear rank order, but don’t have an even distribution.

Overall Likert scale scores are sometimes treated as interval data. These scores are considered to have directionality and even spacing between them.

The type of data determines what statistical tests you should use to analyze your data.

A Likert scale is a rating scale that quantitatively assesses opinions, attitudes, or behaviors. It is made up of 4 or more questions that measure a single attitude or trait when response scores are combined.

To use a Likert scale in a survey , you present participants with Likert-type questions or statements, and a continuum of items, usually with 5 or 7 possible responses, to capture their degree of agreement.

In scientific research, concepts are the abstract ideas or phenomena that are being studied (e.g., educational achievement). Variables are properties or characteristics of the concept (e.g., performance at school), while indicators are ways of measuring or quantifying variables (e.g., yearly grade reports).

The process of turning abstract concepts into measurable variables and indicators is called operationalization .

There are various approaches to qualitative data analysis , but they all share five steps in common:

- Prepare and organize your data.
- Review and explore your data.
- Develop a data coding system.
- Assign codes to the data.
- Identify recurring themes.

The specifics of each step depend on the focus of the analysis. Some common approaches include textual analysis , thematic analysis , and discourse analysis .

There are five common approaches to qualitative research :

- Grounded theory involves collecting data in order to develop new theories.
- Ethnography involves immersing yourself in a group or organization to understand its culture.
- Narrative research involves interpreting stories to understand how people make sense of their experiences and perceptions.
- Phenomenological research involves investigating phenomena through people’s lived experiences.
- Action research links theory and practice in several cycles to drive innovative changes.

Hypothesis testing is a formal procedure for investigating our ideas about the world using statistics. It is used by scientists to test specific predictions, called hypotheses , by calculating how likely it is that a pattern or relationship between variables could have arisen by chance.

Operationalization means turning abstract conceptual ideas into measurable observations.

For example, the concept of social anxiety isn’t directly observable, but it can be operationally defined in terms of self-rating scores, behavioral avoidance of crowded places, or physical anxiety symptoms in social situations.

Before collecting data , it’s important to consider how you will operationalize the variables that you want to measure.

When conducting research, collecting original data has significant advantages:

- You can tailor data collection to your specific research aims (e.g. understanding the needs of your consumers or user testing your website)
- You can control and standardize the process for high reliability and validity (e.g. choosing appropriate measurements and sampling methods )

However, there are also some drawbacks: data collection can be time-consuming, labor-intensive and expensive. In some cases, it’s more efficient to use secondary data that has already been collected by someone else, but the data might be less reliable.

Data collection is the systematic process by which observations or measurements are gathered in research. It is used in many different contexts by academics, governments, businesses, and other organizations.

There are several methods you can use to decrease the impact of confounding variables on your research: restriction, matching, statistical control and randomization.

In restriction , you restrict your sample by only including certain subjects that have the same values of potential confounding variables.

In matching , you match each of the subjects in your treatment group with a counterpart in the comparison group. The matched subjects have the same values on any potential confounding variables, and only differ in the independent variable .

In statistical control , you include potential confounders as variables in your regression .

In randomization , you randomly assign the treatment (or independent variable) in your study to a sufficiently large number of subjects, which allows you to control for all potential confounding variables.

A confounding variable is closely related to both the independent and dependent variables in a study. An independent variable represents the supposed cause , while the dependent variable is the supposed effect . A confounding variable is a third variable that influences both the independent and dependent variables.

Failing to account for confounding variables can cause you to wrongly estimate the relationship between your independent and dependent variables.

To ensure the internal validity of your research, you must consider the impact of confounding variables. If you fail to account for them, you might over- or underestimate the causal relationship between your independent and dependent variables , or even find a causal relationship where none exists.

Yes, but including more than one of either type requires multiple research questions .

For example, if you are interested in the effect of a diet on health, you can use multiple measures of health: blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, pulse, and many more. Each of these is its own dependent variable with its own research question.

You could also choose to look at the effect of exercise levels as well as diet, or even the additional effect of the two combined. Each of these is a separate independent variable .

To ensure the internal validity of an experiment , you should only change one independent variable at a time.

No. The value of a dependent variable depends on an independent variable, so a variable cannot be both independent and dependent at the same time. It must be either the cause or the effect, not both!

You want to find out how blood sugar levels are affected by drinking diet soda and regular soda, so you conduct an experiment .

- The type of soda – diet or regular – is the independent variable .
- The level of blood sugar that you measure is the dependent variable – it changes depending on the type of soda.

Determining cause and effect is one of the most important parts of scientific research. It’s essential to know which is the cause – the independent variable – and which is the effect – the dependent variable.

In non-probability sampling , the sample is selected based on non-random criteria, and not every member of the population has a chance of being included.

Common non-probability sampling methods include convenience sampling , voluntary response sampling, purposive sampling , snowball sampling, and quota sampling .

Probability sampling means that every member of the target population has a known chance of being included in the sample.

Probability sampling methods include simple random sampling , systematic sampling , stratified sampling , and cluster sampling .

Using careful research design and sampling procedures can help you avoid sampling bias . Oversampling can be used to correct undercoverage bias .

Some common types of sampling bias include self-selection bias , nonresponse bias , undercoverage bias , survivorship bias , pre-screening or advertising bias, and healthy user bias.

Sampling bias is a threat to external validity – it limits the generalizability of your findings to a broader group of people.

A sampling error is the difference between a population parameter and a sample statistic .

A statistic refers to measures about the sample , while a parameter refers to measures about the population .

Populations are used when a research question requires data from every member of the population. This is usually only feasible when the population is small and easily accessible.

Samples are used to make inferences about populations . Samples are easier to collect data from because they are practical, cost-effective, convenient, and manageable.

There are seven threats to external validity : selection bias , history, experimenter effect, Hawthorne effect , testing effect, aptitude-treatment and situation effect.

The two types of external validity are population validity (whether you can generalize to other groups of people) and ecological validity (whether you can generalize to other situations and settings).

The external validity of a study is the extent to which you can generalize your findings to different groups of people, situations, and measures.

Cross-sectional studies cannot establish a cause-and-effect relationship or analyze behavior over a period of time. To investigate cause and effect, you need to do a longitudinal study or an experimental study .

Cross-sectional studies are less expensive and time-consuming than many other types of study. They can provide useful insights into a population’s characteristics and identify correlations for further research.

Sometimes only cross-sectional data is available for analysis; other times your research question may only require a cross-sectional study to answer it.

Longitudinal studies can last anywhere from weeks to decades, although they tend to be at least a year long.

The 1970 British Cohort Study , which has collected data on the lives of 17,000 Brits since their births in 1970, is one well-known example of a longitudinal study .

Longitudinal studies are better to establish the correct sequence of events, identify changes over time, and provide insight into cause-and-effect relationships, but they also tend to be more expensive and time-consuming than other types of studies.

Longitudinal studies and cross-sectional studies are two different types of research design . In a cross-sectional study you collect data from a population at a specific point in time; in a longitudinal study you repeatedly collect data from the same sample over an extended period of time.

Longitudinal study | Cross-sectional study |
---|---|

observations | Observations at a in time |

Observes the multiple times | Observes (a “cross-section”) in the population |

Follows in participants over time | Provides of society at a given point |

There are eight threats to internal validity : history, maturation, instrumentation, testing, selection bias , regression to the mean, social interaction and attrition .

Internal validity is the extent to which you can be confident that a cause-and-effect relationship established in a study cannot be explained by other factors.

In mixed methods research , you use both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods to answer your research question .

The research methods you use depend on the type of data you need to answer your research question .

- If you want to measure something or test a hypothesis , use quantitative methods . If you want to explore ideas, thoughts and meanings, use qualitative methods .
- If you want to analyze a large amount of readily-available data, use secondary data. If you want data specific to your purposes with control over how it is generated, collect primary data.
- If you want to establish cause-and-effect relationships between variables , use experimental methods. If you want to understand the characteristics of a research subject, use descriptive methods.

A confounding variable , also called a confounder or confounding factor, is a third variable in a study examining a potential cause-and-effect relationship.

A confounding variable is related to both the supposed cause and the supposed effect of the study. It can be difficult to separate the true effect of the independent variable from the effect of the confounding variable.

In your research design , it’s important to identify potential confounding variables and plan how you will reduce their impact.

Discrete and continuous variables are two types of quantitative variables :

- Discrete variables represent counts (e.g. the number of objects in a collection).
- Continuous variables represent measurable amounts (e.g. water volume or weight).

Quantitative variables are any variables where the data represent amounts (e.g. height, weight, or age).

Categorical variables are any variables where the data represent groups. This includes rankings (e.g. finishing places in a race), classifications (e.g. brands of cereal), and binary outcomes (e.g. coin flips).

You need to know what type of variables you are working with to choose the right statistical test for your data and interpret your results .

You can think of independent and dependent variables in terms of cause and effect: an independent variable is the variable you think is the cause , while a dependent variable is the effect .

In an experiment, you manipulate the independent variable and measure the outcome in the dependent variable. For example, in an experiment about the effect of nutrients on crop growth:

- The independent variable is the amount of nutrients added to the crop field.
- The dependent variable is the biomass of the crops at harvest time.

Defining your variables, and deciding how you will manipulate and measure them, is an important part of experimental design .

Experimental design means planning a set of procedures to investigate a relationship between variables . To design a controlled experiment, you need:

- A testable hypothesis
- At least one independent variable that can be precisely manipulated
- At least one dependent variable that can be precisely measured

When designing the experiment, you decide:

- How you will manipulate the variable(s)
- How you will control for any potential confounding variables
- How many subjects or samples will be included in the study
- How subjects will be assigned to treatment levels

Experimental design is essential to the internal and external validity of your experiment.

I nternal validity is the degree of confidence that the causal relationship you are testing is not influenced by other factors or variables .

External validity is the extent to which your results can be generalized to other contexts.

The validity of your experiment depends on your experimental design .

Reliability and validity are both about how well a method measures something:

- Reliability refers to the consistency of a measure (whether the results can be reproduced under the same conditions).
- Validity refers to the accuracy of a measure (whether the results really do represent what they are supposed to measure).

If you are doing experimental research, you also have to consider the internal and external validity of your experiment.

A sample is a subset of individuals from a larger population . Sampling means selecting the group that you will actually collect data from in your research. For example, if you are researching the opinions of students in your university, you could survey a sample of 100 students.

In statistics, sampling allows you to test a hypothesis about the characteristics of a population.

Quantitative research deals with numbers and statistics, while qualitative research deals with words and meanings.

Quantitative methods allow you to systematically measure variables and test hypotheses . Qualitative methods allow you to explore concepts and experiences in more detail.

Methodology refers to the overarching strategy and rationale of your research project . It involves studying the methods used in your field and the theories or principles behind them, in order to develop an approach that matches your objectives.

Methods are the specific tools and procedures you use to collect and analyze data (for example, experiments, surveys , and statistical tests ).

In shorter scientific papers, where the aim is to report the findings of a specific study, you might simply describe what you did in a methods section .

In a longer or more complex research project, such as a thesis or dissertation , you will probably include a methodology section , where you explain your approach to answering the research questions and cite relevant sources to support your choice of methods.

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- Education Resources Information Center - Understanding Hypotheses, Predictions, Laws, and Theories
- Simply Psychology - Research Hypothesis: Definition, Types, & Examples
- Cornell University - The Learning Strategies Center - Hypothesis
- Washington State University - Developing a Hypothesis
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hypothesis , something supposed or taken for granted, with the object of following out its consequences (Greek hypothesis , “a putting under,” the Latin equivalent being suppositio ).

In planning a course of action, one may consider various alternatives , working out each in detail. Although the word hypothesis is not typically used in this case, the procedure is virtually the same as that of an investigator of crime considering various suspects. Different methods may be used for deciding what the various alternatives may be, but what is fundamental is the consideration of a supposal as if it were true, without actually accepting it as true. One of the earliest uses of the word in this sense was in geometry . It is described by Plato in the Meno .

The most important modern use of a hypothesis is in relation to scientific investigation . A scientist is not merely concerned to accumulate such facts as can be discovered by observation: linkages must be discovered to connect those facts. An initial puzzle or problem provides the impetus , but clues must be used to ascertain which facts will help yield a solution. The best guide is a tentative hypothesis, which fits within the existing body of doctrine. It is so framed that, with its help, deductions can be made that under certain factual conditions (“initial conditions”) certain other facts would be found if the hypothesis were correct.

The concepts involved in the hypothesis need not themselves refer to observable objects. However, the initial conditions should be able to be observed or to be produced experimentally, and the deduced facts should be able to be observed. William Harvey ’s research on circulation in animals demonstrates how greatly experimental observation can be helped by a fruitful hypothesis. While a hypothesis can be partially confirmed by showing that what is deduced from it with certain initial conditions is actually found under those conditions, it cannot be completely proved in this way. What would have to be shown is that no other hypothesis would serve. Hence, in assessing the soundness of a hypothesis, stress is laid on the range and variety of facts that can be brought under its scope. Again, it is important that it should be capable of being linked systematically with hypotheses which have been found fertile in other fields.

If the predictions derived from the hypothesis are not found to be true, the hypothesis may have to be given up or modified. The fault may lie, however, in some other principle forming part of the body of accepted doctrine which has been utilized in deducing consequences from the hypothesis. It may also lie in the fact that other conditions, hitherto unobserved, are present beside the initial conditions, affecting the result. Thus the hypothesis may be kept, pending further examination of facts or some remodeling of principles. A good illustration of this is to be found in the history of the corpuscular and the undulatory hypotheses about light .

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## Biology archive

Course: biology archive > unit 1, the scientific method.

- Controlled experiments
- The scientific method and experimental design

## Introduction

- Make an observation.
- Ask a question.
- Form a hypothesis , or testable explanation.
- Make a prediction based on the hypothesis.
- Test the prediction.
- Iterate: use the results to make new hypotheses or predictions.

## Scientific method example: Failure to toast

1. make an observation., 2. ask a question., 3. propose a hypothesis., 4. make predictions., 5. test the predictions..

- If the toaster does toast, then the hypothesis is supported—likely correct.
- If the toaster doesn't toast, then the hypothesis is not supported—likely wrong.

## Logical possibility

Practical possibility, building a body of evidence, 6. iterate..

- If the hypothesis was supported, we might do additional tests to confirm it, or revise it to be more specific. For instance, we might investigate why the outlet is broken.
- If the hypothesis was not supported, we would come up with a new hypothesis. For instance, the next hypothesis might be that there's a broken wire in the toaster.

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## Tutorial Playlist

Statistics tutorial, everything you need to know about the probability density function in statistics, the best guide to understand central limit theorem, an in-depth guide to measures of central tendency : mean, median and mode, the ultimate guide to understand conditional probability.

A Comprehensive Look at Percentile in Statistics

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Everything you need to know about the normal distribution, an in-depth explanation of cumulative distribution function, a complete guide to chi-square test, what is hypothesis testing in statistics types and examples, understanding the fundamentals of arithmetic and geometric progression, the definitive guide to understand spearman’s rank correlation, mean squared error: overview, examples, concepts and more, all you need to know about the empirical rule in statistics, the complete guide to skewness and kurtosis, a holistic look at bernoulli distribution.

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## The Complete Guide to Understand Pearson's Correlation

A complete guide on the types of statistical studies, everything you need to know about poisson distribution, your best guide to understand correlation vs. regression, the most comprehensive guide for beginners on what is correlation, what is hypothesis testing in statistics types and examples.

Lesson 10 of 24 By Avijeet Biswal

## Table of Contents

In today’s data-driven world, decisions are based on data all the time. Hypothesis plays a crucial role in that process, whether it may be making business decisions, in the health sector, academia, or in quality improvement. Without hypothesis & hypothesis tests, you risk drawing the wrong conclusions and making bad decisions. In this tutorial, you will look at Hypothesis Testing in Statistics.

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## What Is Hypothesis Testing in Statistics?

Hypothesis Testing is a type of statistical analysis in which you put your assumptions about a population parameter to the test. It is used to estimate the relationship between 2 statistical variables.

Let's discuss few examples of statistical hypothesis from real-life -

- A teacher assumes that 60% of his college's students come from lower-middle-class families.
- A doctor believes that 3D (Diet, Dose, and Discipline) is 90% effective for diabetic patients.

Now that you know about hypothesis testing, look at the two types of hypothesis testing in statistics.

## Hypothesis Testing Formula

Z = ( x̅ – μ0 ) / (σ /√n)

- Here, x̅ is the sample mean,
- μ0 is the population mean,
- σ is the standard deviation,
- n is the sample size.

## How Hypothesis Testing Works?

An analyst performs hypothesis testing on a statistical sample to present evidence of the plausibility of the null hypothesis. Measurements and analyses are conducted on a random sample of the population to test a theory. Analysts use a random population sample to test two hypotheses: the null and alternative hypotheses.

The null hypothesis is typically an equality hypothesis between population parameters; for example, a null hypothesis may claim that the population means return equals zero. The alternate hypothesis is essentially the inverse of the null hypothesis (e.g., the population means the return is not equal to zero). As a result, they are mutually exclusive, and only one can be correct. One of the two possibilities, however, will always be correct.

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## Null Hypothesis and Alternate Hypothesis

The Null Hypothesis is the assumption that the event will not occur. A null hypothesis has no bearing on the study's outcome unless it is rejected.

H0 is the symbol for it, and it is pronounced H-naught.

The Alternate Hypothesis is the logical opposite of the null hypothesis. The acceptance of the alternative hypothesis follows the rejection of the null hypothesis. H1 is the symbol for it.

Let's understand this with an example.

A sanitizer manufacturer claims that its product kills 95 percent of germs on average.

To put this company's claim to the test, create a null and alternate hypothesis.

H0 (Null Hypothesis): Average = 95%.

Alternative Hypothesis (H1): The average is less than 95%.

Another straightforward example to understand this concept is determining whether or not a coin is fair and balanced. The null hypothesis states that the probability of a show of heads is equal to the likelihood of a show of tails. In contrast, the alternate theory states that the probability of a show of heads and tails would be very different.

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## Hypothesis Testing Calculation With Examples

Let's consider a hypothesis test for the average height of women in the United States. Suppose our null hypothesis is that the average height is 5'4". We gather a sample of 100 women and determine that their average height is 5'5". The standard deviation of population is 2.

To calculate the z-score, we would use the following formula:

z = ( x̅ – μ0 ) / (σ /√n)

z = (5'5" - 5'4") / (2" / √100)

z = 0.5 / (0.045)

We will reject the null hypothesis as the z-score of 11.11 is very large and conclude that there is evidence to suggest that the average height of women in the US is greater than 5'4".

## Steps of Hypothesis Testing

Hypothesis testing is a statistical method to determine if there is enough evidence in a sample of data to infer that a certain condition is true for the entire population. Here’s a breakdown of the typical steps involved in hypothesis testing:

## Formulate Hypotheses

- Null Hypothesis (H0): This hypothesis states that there is no effect or difference, and it is the hypothesis you attempt to reject with your test.
- Alternative Hypothesis (H1 or Ha): This hypothesis is what you might believe to be true or hope to prove true. It is usually considered the opposite of the null hypothesis.

## Choose the Significance Level (α)

The significance level, often denoted by alpha (α), is the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when it is true. Common choices for α are 0.05 (5%), 0.01 (1%), and 0.10 (10%).

## Select the Appropriate Test

Choose a statistical test based on the type of data and the hypothesis. Common tests include t-tests, chi-square tests, ANOVA, and regression analysis. The selection depends on data type, distribution, sample size, and whether the hypothesis is one-tailed or two-tailed.

## Collect Data

Gather the data that will be analyzed in the test. This data should be representative of the population to infer conclusions accurately.

## Calculate the Test Statistic

Based on the collected data and the chosen test, calculate a test statistic that reflects how much the observed data deviates from the null hypothesis.

## Determine the p-value

The p-value is the probability of observing test results at least as extreme as the results observed, assuming the null hypothesis is correct. It helps determine the strength of the evidence against the null hypothesis.

## Make a Decision

Compare the p-value to the chosen significance level:

- If the p-value ≤ α: Reject the null hypothesis, suggesting sufficient evidence in the data supports the alternative hypothesis.
- If the p-value > α: Do not reject the null hypothesis, suggesting insufficient evidence to support the alternative hypothesis.

## Report the Results

Present the findings from the hypothesis test, including the test statistic, p-value, and the conclusion about the hypotheses.

## Perform Post-hoc Analysis (if necessary)

Depending on the results and the study design, further analysis may be needed to explore the data more deeply or to address multiple comparisons if several hypotheses were tested simultaneously.

## Types of Hypothesis Testing

To determine whether a discovery or relationship is statistically significant, hypothesis testing uses a z-test. It usually checks to see if two means are the same (the null hypothesis). Only when the population standard deviation is known and the sample size is 30 data points or more, can a z-test be applied.

A statistical test called a t-test is employed to compare the means of two groups. To determine whether two groups differ or if a procedure or treatment affects the population of interest, it is frequently used in hypothesis testing.

## Chi-Square

You utilize a Chi-square test for hypothesis testing concerning whether your data is as predicted. To determine if the expected and observed results are well-fitted, the Chi-square test analyzes the differences between categorical variables from a random sample. The test's fundamental premise is that the observed values in your data should be compared to the predicted values that would be present if the null hypothesis were true.

## Hypothesis Testing and Confidence Intervals

Both confidence intervals and hypothesis tests are inferential techniques that depend on approximating the sample distribution. Data from a sample is used to estimate a population parameter using confidence intervals. Data from a sample is used in hypothesis testing to examine a given hypothesis. We must have a postulated parameter to conduct hypothesis testing.

Bootstrap distributions and randomization distributions are created using comparable simulation techniques. The observed sample statistic is the focal point of a bootstrap distribution, whereas the null hypothesis value is the focal point of a randomization distribution.

A variety of feasible population parameter estimates are included in confidence ranges. In this lesson, we created just two-tailed confidence intervals. There is a direct connection between these two-tail confidence intervals and these two-tail hypothesis tests. The results of a two-tailed hypothesis test and two-tailed confidence intervals typically provide the same results. In other words, a hypothesis test at the 0.05 level will virtually always fail to reject the null hypothesis if the 95% confidence interval contains the predicted value. A hypothesis test at the 0.05 level will nearly certainly reject the null hypothesis if the 95% confidence interval does not include the hypothesized parameter.

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## Simple and Composite Hypothesis Testing

Depending on the population distribution, you can classify the statistical hypothesis into two types.

Simple Hypothesis: A simple hypothesis specifies an exact value for the parameter.

Composite Hypothesis: A composite hypothesis specifies a range of values.

A company is claiming that their average sales for this quarter are 1000 units. This is an example of a simple hypothesis.

Suppose the company claims that the sales are in the range of 900 to 1000 units. Then this is a case of a composite hypothesis.

## One-Tailed and Two-Tailed Hypothesis Testing

The One-Tailed test, also called a directional test, considers a critical region of data that would result in the null hypothesis being rejected if the test sample falls into it, inevitably meaning the acceptance of the alternate hypothesis.

In a one-tailed test, the critical distribution area is one-sided, meaning the test sample is either greater or lesser than a specific value.

In two tails, the test sample is checked to be greater or less than a range of values in a Two-Tailed test, implying that the critical distribution area is two-sided.

If the sample falls within this range, the alternate hypothesis will be accepted, and the null hypothesis will be rejected.

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## Right Tailed Hypothesis Testing

If the larger than (>) sign appears in your hypothesis statement, you are using a right-tailed test, also known as an upper test. Or, to put it another way, the disparity is to the right. For instance, you can contrast the battery life before and after a change in production. Your hypothesis statements can be the following if you want to know if the battery life is longer than the original (let's say 90 hours):

- The null hypothesis is (H0 <= 90) or less change.
- A possibility is that battery life has risen (H1) > 90.

The crucial point in this situation is that the alternate hypothesis (H1), not the null hypothesis, decides whether you get a right-tailed test.

## Left Tailed Hypothesis Testing

Alternative hypotheses that assert the true value of a parameter is lower than the null hypothesis are tested with a left-tailed test; they are indicated by the asterisk "<".

Suppose H0: mean = 50 and H1: mean not equal to 50

According to the H1, the mean can be greater than or less than 50. This is an example of a Two-tailed test.

In a similar manner, if H0: mean >=50, then H1: mean <50

Here the mean is less than 50. It is called a One-tailed test.

## Type 1 and Type 2 Error

A hypothesis test can result in two types of errors.

Type 1 Error: A Type-I error occurs when sample results reject the null hypothesis despite being true.

Type 2 Error: A Type-II error occurs when the null hypothesis is not rejected when it is false, unlike a Type-I error.

Suppose a teacher evaluates the examination paper to decide whether a student passes or fails.

H0: Student has passed

H1: Student has failed

Type I error will be the teacher failing the student [rejects H0] although the student scored the passing marks [H0 was true].

Type II error will be the case where the teacher passes the student [do not reject H0] although the student did not score the passing marks [H1 is true].

## Level of Significance

The alpha value is a criterion for determining whether a test statistic is statistically significant. In a statistical test, Alpha represents an acceptable probability of a Type I error. Because alpha is a probability, it can be anywhere between 0 and 1. In practice, the most commonly used alpha values are 0.01, 0.05, and 0.1, which represent a 1%, 5%, and 10% chance of a Type I error, respectively (i.e. rejecting the null hypothesis when it is in fact correct).

A p-value is a metric that expresses the likelihood that an observed difference could have occurred by chance. As the p-value decreases the statistical significance of the observed difference increases. If the p-value is too low, you reject the null hypothesis.

Here you have taken an example in which you are trying to test whether the new advertising campaign has increased the product's sales. The p-value is the likelihood that the null hypothesis, which states that there is no change in the sales due to the new advertising campaign, is true. If the p-value is .30, then there is a 30% chance that there is no increase or decrease in the product's sales. If the p-value is 0.03, then there is a 3% probability that there is no increase or decrease in the sales value due to the new advertising campaign. As you can see, the lower the p-value, the chances of the alternate hypothesis being true increases, which means that the new advertising campaign causes an increase or decrease in sales.

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## Why Is Hypothesis Testing Important in Research Methodology?

Hypothesis testing is crucial in research methodology for several reasons:

- Provides evidence-based conclusions: It allows researchers to make objective conclusions based on empirical data, providing evidence to support or refute their research hypotheses.
- Supports decision-making: It helps make informed decisions, such as accepting or rejecting a new treatment, implementing policy changes, or adopting new practices.
- Adds rigor and validity: It adds scientific rigor to research using statistical methods to analyze data, ensuring that conclusions are based on sound statistical evidence.
- Contributes to the advancement of knowledge: By testing hypotheses, researchers contribute to the growth of knowledge in their respective fields by confirming existing theories or discovering new patterns and relationships.

## When Did Hypothesis Testing Begin?

Hypothesis testing as a formalized process began in the early 20th century, primarily through the work of statisticians such as Ronald A. Fisher, Jerzy Neyman, and Egon Pearson. The development of hypothesis testing is closely tied to the evolution of statistical methods during this period.

- Ronald A. Fisher (1920s): Fisher was one of the key figures in developing the foundation for modern statistical science. In the 1920s, he introduced the concept of the null hypothesis in his book "Statistical Methods for Research Workers" (1925). Fisher also developed significance testing to examine the likelihood of observing the collected data if the null hypothesis were true. He introduced p-values to determine the significance of the observed results.
- Neyman-Pearson Framework (1930s): Jerzy Neyman and Egon Pearson built on Fisher’s work and formalized the process of hypothesis testing even further. In the 1930s, they introduced the concepts of Type I and Type II errors and developed a decision-making framework widely used in hypothesis testing today. Their approach emphasized the balance between these errors and introduced the concepts of the power of a test and the alternative hypothesis.

The dialogue between Fisher's and Neyman-Pearson's approaches shaped the methods and philosophy of statistical hypothesis testing used today. Fisher emphasized the evidential interpretation of the p-value. At the same time, Neyman and Pearson advocated for a decision-theoretical approach in which hypotheses are either accepted or rejected based on pre-determined significance levels and power considerations.

The application and methodology of hypothesis testing have since become a cornerstone of statistical analysis across various scientific disciplines, marking a significant statistical development.

## Limitations of Hypothesis Testing

Hypothesis testing has some limitations that researchers should be aware of:

- It cannot prove or establish the truth: Hypothesis testing provides evidence to support or reject a hypothesis, but it cannot confirm the absolute truth of the research question.
- Results are sample-specific: Hypothesis testing is based on analyzing a sample from a population, and the conclusions drawn are specific to that particular sample.
- Possible errors: During hypothesis testing, there is a chance of committing type I error (rejecting a true null hypothesis) or type II error (failing to reject a false null hypothesis).
- Assumptions and requirements: Different tests have specific assumptions and requirements that must be met to accurately interpret results.

## Learn All The Tricks Of The BI Trade

After reading this tutorial, you would have a much better understanding of hypothesis testing, one of the most important concepts in the field of Data Science . The majority of hypotheses are based on speculation about observed behavior, natural phenomena, or established theories.

If you are interested in statistics of data science and skills needed for such a career, you ought to explore the Post Graduate Program in Data Science.

If you have any questions regarding this ‘Hypothesis Testing In Statistics’ tutorial, do share them in the comment section. Our subject matter expert will respond to your queries. Happy learning!

## 1. What is hypothesis testing in statistics with example?

Hypothesis testing is a statistical method used to determine if there is enough evidence in a sample data to draw conclusions about a population. It involves formulating two competing hypotheses, the null hypothesis (H0) and the alternative hypothesis (Ha), and then collecting data to assess the evidence. An example: testing if a new drug improves patient recovery (Ha) compared to the standard treatment (H0) based on collected patient data.

## 2. What is H0 and H1 in statistics?

In statistics, H0 and H1 represent the null and alternative hypotheses. The null hypothesis, H0, is the default assumption that no effect or difference exists between groups or conditions. The alternative hypothesis, H1, is the competing claim suggesting an effect or a difference. Statistical tests determine whether to reject the null hypothesis in favor of the alternative hypothesis based on the data.

## 3. What is a simple hypothesis with an example?

A simple hypothesis is a specific statement predicting a single relationship between two variables. It posits a direct and uncomplicated outcome. For example, a simple hypothesis might state, "Increased sunlight exposure increases the growth rate of sunflowers." Here, the hypothesis suggests a direct relationship between the amount of sunlight (independent variable) and the growth rate of sunflowers (dependent variable), with no additional variables considered.

## 4. What are the 2 types of hypothesis testing?

- One-tailed (or one-sided) test: Tests for the significance of an effect in only one direction, either positive or negative.
- Two-tailed (or two-sided) test: Tests for the significance of an effect in both directions, allowing for the possibility of a positive or negative effect.

The choice between one-tailed and two-tailed tests depends on the specific research question and the directionality of the expected effect.

## 5. What are the 3 major types of hypothesis?

The three major types of hypotheses are:

- Null Hypothesis (H0): Represents the default assumption, stating that there is no significant effect or relationship in the data.
- Alternative Hypothesis (Ha): Contradicts the null hypothesis and proposes a specific effect or relationship that researchers want to investigate.
- Nondirectional Hypothesis: An alternative hypothesis that doesn't specify the direction of the effect, leaving it open for both positive and negative possibilities.

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- Scientific Methods

## What is Hypothesis?

We have heard of many hypotheses which have led to great inventions in science. Assumptions that are made on the basis of some evidence are known as hypotheses. In this article, let us learn in detail about the hypothesis and the type of hypothesis with examples.

A hypothesis is an assumption that is made based on some evidence. This is the initial point of any investigation that translates the research questions into predictions. It includes components like variables, population and the relation between the variables. A research hypothesis is a hypothesis that is used to test the relationship between two or more variables.

## Characteristics of Hypothesis

Following are the characteristics of the hypothesis:

- The hypothesis should be clear and precise to consider it to be reliable.
- If the hypothesis is a relational hypothesis, then it should be stating the relationship between variables.
- The hypothesis must be specific and should have scope for conducting more tests.
- The way of explanation of the hypothesis must be very simple and it should also be understood that the simplicity of the hypothesis is not related to its significance.

## Sources of Hypothesis

Following are the sources of hypothesis:

- The resemblance between the phenomenon.
- Observations from past studies, present-day experiences and from the competitors.
- Scientific theories.
- General patterns that influence the thinking process of people.

## Types of Hypothesis

There are six forms of hypothesis and they are:

- Simple hypothesis
- Complex hypothesis
- Directional hypothesis
- Non-directional hypothesis
- Null hypothesis
- Associative and casual hypothesis

## Simple Hypothesis

It shows a relationship between one dependent variable and a single independent variable. For example – If you eat more vegetables, you will lose weight faster. Here, eating more vegetables is an independent variable, while losing weight is the dependent variable.

## Complex Hypothesis

It shows the relationship between two or more dependent variables and two or more independent variables. Eating more vegetables and fruits leads to weight loss, glowing skin, and reduces the risk of many diseases such as heart disease.

## Directional Hypothesis

It shows how a researcher is intellectual and committed to a particular outcome. The relationship between the variables can also predict its nature. For example- children aged four years eating proper food over a five-year period are having higher IQ levels than children not having a proper meal. This shows the effect and direction of the effect.

## Non-directional Hypothesis

It is used when there is no theory involved. It is a statement that a relationship exists between two variables, without predicting the exact nature (direction) of the relationship.

## Null Hypothesis

It provides a statement which is contrary to the hypothesis. It’s a negative statement, and there is no relationship between independent and dependent variables. The symbol is denoted by “H O ”.

## Associative and Causal Hypothesis

Associative hypothesis occurs when there is a change in one variable resulting in a change in the other variable. Whereas, the causal hypothesis proposes a cause and effect interaction between two or more variables.

## Examples of Hypothesis

Following are the examples of hypotheses based on their types:

- Consumption of sugary drinks every day leads to obesity is an example of a simple hypothesis.
- All lilies have the same number of petals is an example of a null hypothesis.
- If a person gets 7 hours of sleep, then he will feel less fatigue than if he sleeps less. It is an example of a directional hypothesis.

## Functions of Hypothesis

Following are the functions performed by the hypothesis:

- Hypothesis helps in making an observation and experiments possible.
- It becomes the start point for the investigation.
- Hypothesis helps in verifying the observations.
- It helps in directing the inquiries in the right direction.

## How will Hypothesis help in the Scientific Method?

Researchers use hypotheses to put down their thoughts directing how the experiment would take place. Following are the steps that are involved in the scientific method:

- Formation of question
- Doing background research
- Creation of hypothesis
- Designing an experiment
- Collection of data
- Result analysis
- Summarizing the experiment
- Communicating the results

## Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is hypothesis.

A hypothesis is an assumption made based on some evidence.

## Give an example of simple hypothesis?

What are the types of hypothesis.

Types of hypothesis are:

- Associative and Casual hypothesis

## State true or false: Hypothesis is the initial point of any investigation that translates the research questions into a prediction.

Define complex hypothesis..

A complex hypothesis shows the relationship between two or more dependent variables and two or more independent variables.

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## Look up a word, learn it forever.

/haɪˈpɑθəsəs/, /haɪˈpɒθɪsɪs/.

Other forms: hypotheses

In science, a hypothesis is an idea or explanation that you then test through study and experimentation. Outside science, a theory or guess can also be called a hypothesis .

A hypothesis is something more than a wild guess but less than a well-established theory. In science, a hypothesis needs to go through a lot of testing before it gets labeled a theory. In the non-scientific world, the word is used a lot more loosely. A detective might have a hypothesis about a crime, and a mother might have a hypothesis about who spilled juice on the rug. Anyone who uses the word hypothesis is making a guess.

- noun a tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena “a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory” synonyms: possibility , theory see more see less types: show 17 types... hide 17 types... hypothetical a hypothetical possibility, circumstance, statement, proposal, situation, etc. gemmule the physically discrete element that Darwin proposed as responsible for heredity framework , model , theoretical account a hypothetical description of a complex entity or process conjecture , speculation a hypothesis that has been formed by speculating or conjecturing (usually with little hard evidence) assumption , supposal , supposition a hypothesis that is taken for granted historicism a theory that social and cultural events are determined by history computer simulation , simulation (computer science) the technique of representing the real world by a computer program conclusion an intuitive assumption base , basis , cornerstone , foundation , fundament , groundwork the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained mean sun a theoretical sun that moves along the celestial equator at a constant speed and completes its annual course in the same amount of time the real sun takes at variable speeds Copernican system (astronomy) Copernicus' astronomical model in which the Earth rotates around the sun Ptolemaic system (astronomy) Ptolemy's model of the universe with the Earth at the center M-theory (particle physics) a theory that involves an eleven-dimensional universe in which the weak and strong forces and gravity are unified and to which all the string theories belong string theory (particle physics) a theory that postulates that subatomic particles are one-dimensional strings given , precondition , presumption an assumption that is taken for granted basic assumption , constatation , self-evident truth an assumption that is basic to an argument stochastic process a statistical process involving a number of random variables depending on a variable parameter (which is usually time) type of: concept , conception , construct an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances
- noun a proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations see more see less type of: proposal something proposed (such as a plan or assumption)
- noun a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence synonyms: conjecture , guess , speculation , supposition , surmisal , surmise see more see less types: divination successful conjecture by unusual insight or good luck type of: opinion , view a message expressing a belief about something; the expression of a belief that is held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof

## Vocabulary lists containing hypothesis

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Hypothesis testing involves formulating assumptions about population parameters based on sample statistics and rigorously evaluating these assumptions against empirical evidence. This article sheds light on the significance of hypothesis testing and the critical steps involved in the process.

## What is Hypothesis Testing?

A hypothesis is an assumption or idea, specifically a statistical claim about an unknown population parameter. For example, a judge assumes a person is innocent and verifies this by reviewing evidence and hearing testimony before reaching a verdict.

Hypothesis testing is a statistical method that is used to make a statistical decision using experimental data. Hypothesis testing is basically an assumption that we make about a population parameter. It evaluates two mutually exclusive statements about a population to determine which statement is best supported by the sample data.

To test the validity of the claim or assumption about the population parameter:

- A sample is drawn from the population and analyzed.
- The results of the analysis are used to decide whether the claim is true or not.

Example: You say an average height in the class is 30 or a boy is taller than a girl. All of these is an assumption that we are assuming, and we need some statistical way to prove these. We need some mathematical conclusion whatever we are assuming is true.

## Defining Hypotheses

- Null hypothesis (H 0 ): In statistics, the null hypothesis is a general statement or default position that there is no relationship between two measured cases or no relationship among groups. In other words, it is a basic assumption or made based on the problem knowledge. Example : A company’s mean production is 50 units/per da H 0 : [Tex]\mu [/Tex] = 50.
- Alternative hypothesis (H 1 ): The alternative hypothesis is the hypothesis used in hypothesis testing that is contrary to the null hypothesis. Example: A company’s production is not equal to 50 units/per day i.e. H 1 : [Tex]\mu [/Tex] [Tex]\ne [/Tex] 50.

## Key Terms of Hypothesis Testing

- Level of significance : It refers to the degree of significance in which we accept or reject the null hypothesis. 100% accuracy is not possible for accepting a hypothesis, so we, therefore, select a level of significance that is usually 5%. This is normally denoted with [Tex]\alpha[/Tex] and generally, it is 0.05 or 5%, which means your output should be 95% confident to give a similar kind of result in each sample.
- P-value: The P value , or calculated probability, is the probability of finding the observed/extreme results when the null hypothesis(H0) of a study-given problem is true. If your P-value is less than the chosen significance level then you reject the null hypothesis i.e. accept that your sample claims to support the alternative hypothesis.
- Test Statistic: The test statistic is a numerical value calculated from sample data during a hypothesis test, used to determine whether to reject the null hypothesis. It is compared to a critical value or p-value to make decisions about the statistical significance of the observed results.
- Critical value : The critical value in statistics is a threshold or cutoff point used to determine whether to reject the null hypothesis in a hypothesis test.
- Degrees of freedom: Degrees of freedom are associated with the variability or freedom one has in estimating a parameter. The degrees of freedom are related to the sample size and determine the shape.

## Why do we use Hypothesis Testing?

Hypothesis testing is an important procedure in statistics. Hypothesis testing evaluates two mutually exclusive population statements to determine which statement is most supported by sample data. When we say that the findings are statistically significant, thanks to hypothesis testing.

## One-Tailed and Two-Tailed Test

One tailed test focuses on one direction, either greater than or less than a specified value. We use a one-tailed test when there is a clear directional expectation based on prior knowledge or theory. The critical region is located on only one side of the distribution curve. If the sample falls into this critical region, the null hypothesis is rejected in favor of the alternative hypothesis.

## One-Tailed Test

There are two types of one-tailed test:

- Left-Tailed (Left-Sided) Test: The alternative hypothesis asserts that the true parameter value is less than the null hypothesis. Example: H 0 : [Tex]\mu \geq 50 [/Tex] and H 1 : [Tex]\mu < 50 [/Tex]
- Right-Tailed (Right-Sided) Test : The alternative hypothesis asserts that the true parameter value is greater than the null hypothesis. Example: H 0 : [Tex]\mu \leq50 [/Tex] and H 1 : [Tex]\mu > 50 [/Tex]

## Two-Tailed Test

A two-tailed test considers both directions, greater than and less than a specified value.We use a two-tailed test when there is no specific directional expectation, and want to detect any significant difference.

Example: H 0 : [Tex]\mu = [/Tex] 50 and H 1 : [Tex]\mu \neq 50 [/Tex]

To delve deeper into differences into both types of test: Refer to link

## What are Type 1 and Type 2 errors in Hypothesis Testing?

In hypothesis testing, Type I and Type II errors are two possible errors that researchers can make when drawing conclusions about a population based on a sample of data. These errors are associated with the decisions made regarding the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.

- Type I error: When we reject the null hypothesis, although that hypothesis was true. Type I error is denoted by alpha( [Tex]\alpha [/Tex] ).
- Type II errors : When we accept the null hypothesis, but it is false. Type II errors are denoted by beta( [Tex]\beta [/Tex] ).

Null Hypothesis is True | Null Hypothesis is False | |
---|---|---|

Null Hypothesis is True (Accept) | Correct Decision | Type II Error (False Negative) |

Alternative Hypothesis is True (Reject) | Type I Error (False Positive) | Correct Decision |

## How does Hypothesis Testing work?

Step 1: define null and alternative hypothesis.

State the null hypothesis ( [Tex]H_0 [/Tex] ), representing no effect, and the alternative hypothesis ( [Tex]H_1 [/Tex] ), suggesting an effect or difference.

We first identify the problem about which we want to make an assumption keeping in mind that our assumption should be contradictory to one another, assuming Normally distributed data.

## Step 2 – Choose significance level

Select a significance level ( [Tex]\alpha [/Tex] ), typically 0.05, to determine the threshold for rejecting the null hypothesis. It provides validity to our hypothesis test, ensuring that we have sufficient data to back up our claims. Usually, we determine our significance level beforehand of the test. The p-value is the criterion used to calculate our significance value.

## Step 3 – Collect and Analyze data.

Gather relevant data through observation or experimentation. Analyze the data using appropriate statistical methods to obtain a test statistic.

## Step 4-Calculate Test Statistic

The data for the tests are evaluated in this step we look for various scores based on the characteristics of data. The choice of the test statistic depends on the type of hypothesis test being conducted.

There are various hypothesis tests, each appropriate for various goal to calculate our test. This could be a Z-test , Chi-square , T-test , and so on.

- Z-test : If population means and standard deviations are known. Z-statistic is commonly used.
- t-test : If population standard deviations are unknown. and sample size is small than t-test statistic is more appropriate.
- Chi-square test : Chi-square test is used for categorical data or for testing independence in contingency tables
- F-test : F-test is often used in analysis of variance (ANOVA) to compare variances or test the equality of means across multiple groups.

We have a smaller dataset, So, T-test is more appropriate to test our hypothesis.

T-statistic is a measure of the difference between the means of two groups relative to the variability within each group. It is calculated as the difference between the sample means divided by the standard error of the difference. It is also known as the t-value or t-score.

## Step 5 – Comparing Test Statistic:

In this stage, we decide where we should accept the null hypothesis or reject the null hypothesis. There are two ways to decide where we should accept or reject the null hypothesis.

## Method A: Using Crtical values

Comparing the test statistic and tabulated critical value we have,

- If Test Statistic>Critical Value: Reject the null hypothesis.
- If Test Statistic≤Critical Value: Fail to reject the null hypothesis.

Note: Critical values are predetermined threshold values that are used to make a decision in hypothesis testing. To determine critical values for hypothesis testing, we typically refer to a statistical distribution table , such as the normal distribution or t-distribution tables based on.

## Method B: Using P-values

We can also come to an conclusion using the p-value,

- If the p-value is less than or equal to the significance level i.e. ( [Tex]p\leq\alpha [/Tex] ), you reject the null hypothesis. This indicates that the observed results are unlikely to have occurred by chance alone, providing evidence in favor of the alternative hypothesis.
- If the p-value is greater than the significance level i.e. ( [Tex]p\geq \alpha[/Tex] ), you fail to reject the null hypothesis. This suggests that the observed results are consistent with what would be expected under the null hypothesis.

Note : The p-value is the probability of obtaining a test statistic as extreme as, or more extreme than, the one observed in the sample, assuming the null hypothesis is true. To determine p-value for hypothesis testing, we typically refer to a statistical distribution table , such as the normal distribution or t-distribution tables based on.

## Step 7- Interpret the Results

At last, we can conclude our experiment using method A or B.

## Calculating test statistic

To validate our hypothesis about a population parameter we use statistical functions . We use the z-score, p-value, and level of significance(alpha) to make evidence for our hypothesis for normally distributed data .

## 1. Z-statistics:

When population means and standard deviations are known.

[Tex]z = \frac{\bar{x} – \mu}{\frac{\sigma}{\sqrt{n}}}[/Tex]

- [Tex]\bar{x} [/Tex] is the sample mean,
- μ represents the population mean,
- σ is the standard deviation
- and n is the size of the sample.

## 2. T-Statistics

T test is used when n<30,

t-statistic calculation is given by:

[Tex]t=\frac{x̄-μ}{s/\sqrt{n}} [/Tex]

- t = t-score,
- x̄ = sample mean
- μ = population mean,
- s = standard deviation of the sample,
- n = sample size

## 3. Chi-Square Test

Chi-Square Test for Independence categorical Data (Non-normally distributed) using:

[Tex]\chi^2 = \sum \frac{(O_{ij} – E_{ij})^2}{E_{ij}}[/Tex]

- [Tex]O_{ij}[/Tex] is the observed frequency in cell [Tex]{ij} [/Tex]
- i,j are the rows and columns index respectively.
- [Tex]E_{ij}[/Tex] is the expected frequency in cell [Tex]{ij}[/Tex] , calculated as : [Tex]\frac{{\text{{Row total}} \times \text{{Column total}}}}{{\text{{Total observations}}}}[/Tex]

## Real life Examples of Hypothesis Testing

Let’s examine hypothesis testing using two real life situations,

## Case A: D oes a New Drug Affect Blood Pressure?

Imagine a pharmaceutical company has developed a new drug that they believe can effectively lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension. Before bringing the drug to market, they need to conduct a study to assess its impact on blood pressure.

- Before Treatment: 120, 122, 118, 130, 125, 128, 115, 121, 123, 119
- After Treatment: 115, 120, 112, 128, 122, 125, 110, 117, 119, 114

## Step 1 : Define the Hypothesis

- Null Hypothesis : (H 0 )The new drug has no effect on blood pressure.
- Alternate Hypothesis : (H 1 )The new drug has an effect on blood pressure.

## Step 2: Define the Significance level

Let’s consider the Significance level at 0.05, indicating rejection of the null hypothesis.

If the evidence suggests less than a 5% chance of observing the results due to random variation.

## Step 3 : Compute the test statistic

Using paired T-test analyze the data to obtain a test statistic and a p-value.

The test statistic (e.g., T-statistic) is calculated based on the differences between blood pressure measurements before and after treatment.

t = m/(s/√n)

- m = mean of the difference i.e X after, X before
- s = standard deviation of the difference (d) i.e d i = X after, i − X before,
- n = sample size,

then, m= -3.9, s= 1.8 and n= 10

we, calculate the , T-statistic = -9 based on the formula for paired t test

## Step 4: Find the p-value

The calculated t-statistic is -9 and degrees of freedom df = 9, you can find the p-value using statistical software or a t-distribution table.

thus, p-value = 8.538051223166285e-06

Step 5: Result

- If the p-value is less than or equal to 0.05, the researchers reject the null hypothesis.
- If the p-value is greater than 0.05, they fail to reject the null hypothesis.

Conclusion: Since the p-value (8.538051223166285e-06) is less than the significance level (0.05), the researchers reject the null hypothesis. There is statistically significant evidence that the average blood pressure before and after treatment with the new drug is different.

## Python Implementation of Case A

Let’s create hypothesis testing with python, where we are testing whether a new drug affects blood pressure. For this example, we will use a paired T-test. We’ll use the scipy.stats library for the T-test.

Scipy is a mathematical library in Python that is mostly used for mathematical equations and computations.

We will implement our first real life problem via python,

import numpy as np from scipy import stats # Data before_treatment = np . array ([ 120 , 122 , 118 , 130 , 125 , 128 , 115 , 121 , 123 , 119 ]) after_treatment = np . array ([ 115 , 120 , 112 , 128 , 122 , 125 , 110 , 117 , 119 , 114 ]) # Step 1: Null and Alternate Hypotheses # Null Hypothesis: The new drug has no effect on blood pressure. # Alternate Hypothesis: The new drug has an effect on blood pressure. null_hypothesis = "The new drug has no effect on blood pressure." alternate_hypothesis = "The new drug has an effect on blood pressure." # Step 2: Significance Level alpha = 0.05 # Step 3: Paired T-test t_statistic , p_value = stats . ttest_rel ( after_treatment , before_treatment ) # Step 4: Calculate T-statistic manually m = np . mean ( after_treatment - before_treatment ) s = np . std ( after_treatment - before_treatment , ddof = 1 ) # using ddof=1 for sample standard deviation n = len ( before_treatment ) t_statistic_manual = m / ( s / np . sqrt ( n )) # Step 5: Decision if p_value <= alpha : decision = "Reject" else : decision = "Fail to reject" # Conclusion if decision == "Reject" : conclusion = "There is statistically significant evidence that the average blood pressure before and after treatment with the new drug is different." else : conclusion = "There is insufficient evidence to claim a significant difference in average blood pressure before and after treatment with the new drug." # Display results print ( "T-statistic (from scipy):" , t_statistic ) print ( "P-value (from scipy):" , p_value ) print ( "T-statistic (calculated manually):" , t_statistic_manual ) print ( f "Decision: { decision } the null hypothesis at alpha= { alpha } ." ) print ( "Conclusion:" , conclusion )

T-statistic (from scipy): -9.0 P-value (from scipy): 8.538051223166285e-06 T-statistic (calculated manually): -9.0 Decision: Reject the null hypothesis at alpha=0.05. Conclusion: There is statistically significant evidence that the average blood pressure before and after treatment with the new drug is different.

In the above example, given the T-statistic of approximately -9 and an extremely small p-value, the results indicate a strong case to reject the null hypothesis at a significance level of 0.05.

- The results suggest that the new drug, treatment, or intervention has a significant effect on lowering blood pressure.
- The negative T-statistic indicates that the mean blood pressure after treatment is significantly lower than the assumed population mean before treatment.

## Case B : Cholesterol level in a population

Data: A sample of 25 individuals is taken, and their cholesterol levels are measured.

Cholesterol Levels (mg/dL): 205, 198, 210, 190, 215, 205, 200, 192, 198, 205, 198, 202, 208, 200, 205, 198, 205, 210, 192, 205, 198, 205, 210, 192, 205.

Populations Mean = 200

Population Standard Deviation (σ): 5 mg/dL(given for this problem)

## Step 1: Define the Hypothesis

- Null Hypothesis (H 0 ): The average cholesterol level in a population is 200 mg/dL.
- Alternate Hypothesis (H 1 ): The average cholesterol level in a population is different from 200 mg/dL.

As the direction of deviation is not given , we assume a two-tailed test, and based on a normal distribution table, the critical values for a significance level of 0.05 (two-tailed) can be calculated through the z-table and are approximately -1.96 and 1.96.

The test statistic is calculated by using the z formula Z = [Tex](203.8 – 200) / (5 \div \sqrt{25}) [/Tex] and we get accordingly , Z =2.039999999999992.

Step 4: Result

Since the absolute value of the test statistic (2.04) is greater than the critical value (1.96), we reject the null hypothesis. And conclude that, there is statistically significant evidence that the average cholesterol level in the population is different from 200 mg/dL

## Python Implementation of Case B

import scipy.stats as stats import math import numpy as np # Given data sample_data = np . array ( [ 205 , 198 , 210 , 190 , 215 , 205 , 200 , 192 , 198 , 205 , 198 , 202 , 208 , 200 , 205 , 198 , 205 , 210 , 192 , 205 , 198 , 205 , 210 , 192 , 205 ]) population_std_dev = 5 population_mean = 200 sample_size = len ( sample_data ) # Step 1: Define the Hypotheses # Null Hypothesis (H0): The average cholesterol level in a population is 200 mg/dL. # Alternate Hypothesis (H1): The average cholesterol level in a population is different from 200 mg/dL. # Step 2: Define the Significance Level alpha = 0.05 # Two-tailed test # Critical values for a significance level of 0.05 (two-tailed) critical_value_left = stats . norm . ppf ( alpha / 2 ) critical_value_right = - critical_value_left # Step 3: Compute the test statistic sample_mean = sample_data . mean () z_score = ( sample_mean - population_mean ) / \ ( population_std_dev / math . sqrt ( sample_size )) # Step 4: Result # Check if the absolute value of the test statistic is greater than the critical values if abs ( z_score ) > max ( abs ( critical_value_left ), abs ( critical_value_right )): print ( "Reject the null hypothesis." ) print ( "There is statistically significant evidence that the average cholesterol level in the population is different from 200 mg/dL." ) else : print ( "Fail to reject the null hypothesis." ) print ( "There is not enough evidence to conclude that the average cholesterol level in the population is different from 200 mg/dL." )

Reject the null hypothesis. There is statistically significant evidence that the average cholesterol level in the population is different from 200 mg/dL.

## Limitations of Hypothesis Testing

- Although a useful technique, hypothesis testing does not offer a comprehensive grasp of the topic being studied. Without fully reflecting the intricacy or whole context of the phenomena, it concentrates on certain hypotheses and statistical significance.
- The accuracy of hypothesis testing results is contingent on the quality of available data and the appropriateness of statistical methods used. Inaccurate data or poorly formulated hypotheses can lead to incorrect conclusions.
- Relying solely on hypothesis testing may cause analysts to overlook significant patterns or relationships in the data that are not captured by the specific hypotheses being tested. This limitation underscores the importance of complimenting hypothesis testing with other analytical approaches.

Hypothesis testing stands as a cornerstone in statistical analysis, enabling data scientists to navigate uncertainties and draw credible inferences from sample data. By systematically defining null and alternative hypotheses, choosing significance levels, and leveraging statistical tests, researchers can assess the validity of their assumptions. The article also elucidates the critical distinction between Type I and Type II errors, providing a comprehensive understanding of the nuanced decision-making process inherent in hypothesis testing. The real-life example of testing a new drug’s effect on blood pressure using a paired T-test showcases the practical application of these principles, underscoring the importance of statistical rigor in data-driven decision-making.

## Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. what are the 3 types of hypothesis test.

There are three types of hypothesis tests: right-tailed, left-tailed, and two-tailed. Right-tailed tests assess if a parameter is greater, left-tailed if lesser. Two-tailed tests check for non-directional differences, greater or lesser.

## 2.What are the 4 components of hypothesis testing?

Null Hypothesis ( [Tex]H_o [/Tex] ): No effect or difference exists. Alternative Hypothesis ( [Tex]H_1 [/Tex] ): An effect or difference exists. Significance Level ( [Tex]\alpha [/Tex] ): Risk of rejecting null hypothesis when it’s true (Type I error). Test Statistic: Numerical value representing observed evidence against null hypothesis.

## 3.What is hypothesis testing in ML?

Statistical method to evaluate the performance and validity of machine learning models. Tests specific hypotheses about model behavior, like whether features influence predictions or if a model generalizes well to unseen data.

## 4.What is the difference between Pytest and hypothesis in Python?

Pytest purposes general testing framework for Python code while Hypothesis is a Property-based testing framework for Python, focusing on generating test cases based on specified properties of the code.

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## What Is Hypothesis Testing?

- How It Works

## 4 Step Process

The bottom line.

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## Hypothesis Testing: 4 Steps and Example

Hypothesis testing, sometimes called significance testing, is an act in statistics whereby an analyst tests an assumption regarding a population parameter. The methodology employed by the analyst depends on the nature of the data used and the reason for the analysis.

Hypothesis testing is used to assess the plausibility of a hypothesis by using sample data. Such data may come from a larger population or a data-generating process. The word "population" will be used for both of these cases in the following descriptions.

## Key Takeaways

- Hypothesis testing is used to assess the plausibility of a hypothesis by using sample data.
- The test provides evidence concerning the plausibility of the hypothesis, given the data.
- Statistical analysts test a hypothesis by measuring and examining a random sample of the population being analyzed.
- The four steps of hypothesis testing include stating the hypotheses, formulating an analysis plan, analyzing the sample data, and analyzing the result.

## How Hypothesis Testing Works

In hypothesis testing, an analyst tests a statistical sample, intending to provide evidence on the plausibility of the null hypothesis. Statistical analysts measure and examine a random sample of the population being analyzed. All analysts use a random population sample to test two different hypotheses: the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.

The null hypothesis is usually a hypothesis of equality between population parameters; e.g., a null hypothesis may state that the population mean return is equal to zero. The alternative hypothesis is effectively the opposite of a null hypothesis. Thus, they are mutually exclusive , and only one can be true. However, one of the two hypotheses will always be true.

The null hypothesis is a statement about a population parameter, such as the population mean, that is assumed to be true.

- State the hypotheses.
- Formulate an analysis plan, which outlines how the data will be evaluated.
- Carry out the plan and analyze the sample data.
- Analyze the results and either reject the null hypothesis, or state that the null hypothesis is plausible, given the data.

## Example of Hypothesis Testing

If an individual wants to test that a penny has exactly a 50% chance of landing on heads, the null hypothesis would be that 50% is correct, and the alternative hypothesis would be that 50% is not correct. Mathematically, the null hypothesis is represented as Ho: P = 0.5. The alternative hypothesis is shown as "Ha" and is identical to the null hypothesis, except with the equal sign struck-through, meaning that it does not equal 50%.

A random sample of 100 coin flips is taken, and the null hypothesis is tested. If it is found that the 100 coin flips were distributed as 40 heads and 60 tails, the analyst would assume that a penny does not have a 50% chance of landing on heads and would reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis.

If there were 48 heads and 52 tails, then it is plausible that the coin could be fair and still produce such a result. In cases such as this where the null hypothesis is "accepted," the analyst states that the difference between the expected results (50 heads and 50 tails) and the observed results (48 heads and 52 tails) is "explainable by chance alone."

## When Did Hypothesis Testing Begin?

Some statisticians attribute the first hypothesis tests to satirical writer John Arbuthnot in 1710, who studied male and female births in England after observing that in nearly every year, male births exceeded female births by a slight proportion. Arbuthnot calculated that the probability of this happening by chance was small, and therefore it was due to “divine providence.”

## What are the Benefits of Hypothesis Testing?

Hypothesis testing helps assess the accuracy of new ideas or theories by testing them against data. This allows researchers to determine whether the evidence supports their hypothesis, helping to avoid false claims and conclusions. Hypothesis testing also provides a framework for decision-making based on data rather than personal opinions or biases. By relying on statistical analysis, hypothesis testing helps to reduce the effects of chance and confounding variables, providing a robust framework for making informed conclusions.

## What are the Limitations of Hypothesis Testing?

Hypothesis testing relies exclusively on data and doesn’t provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject being studied. Additionally, the accuracy of the results depends on the quality of the available data and the statistical methods used. Inaccurate data or inappropriate hypothesis formulation may lead to incorrect conclusions or failed tests. Hypothesis testing can also lead to errors, such as analysts either accepting or rejecting a null hypothesis when they shouldn’t have. These errors may result in false conclusions or missed opportunities to identify significant patterns or relationships in the data.

Hypothesis testing refers to a statistical process that helps researchers determine the reliability of a study. By using a well-formulated hypothesis and set of statistical tests, individuals or businesses can make inferences about the population that they are studying and draw conclusions based on the data presented. All hypothesis testing methods have the same four-step process, which includes stating the hypotheses, formulating an analysis plan, analyzing the sample data, and analyzing the result.

Sage. " Introduction to Hypothesis Testing ," Page 4.

Elder Research. " Who Invented the Null Hypothesis? "

Formplus. " Hypothesis Testing: Definition, Uses, Limitations and Examples ."

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## What is Project 2025?

It’s a blueprint for what a second Trump administration could look like, dreamed up by his allies and former aides.

If Donald Trump struggled somewhat in his first administration to move the country dramatically to the right, he’ll be ready to go in a second term.

That’s the aim behind Project 2025, a comprehensive plan by former and likely future leaders of a Trump administration to remake America in a conservative mold while dramatically expanding presidential power and allowing Trump to use it to go after his critics.

The plan is gaining attention just as Trump is trying to moderate his stated positions to win the election, so he’s criticized some of what’s in it as “absolutely ridiculous and abysmal” and insisted that neither he nor his campaign had anything to do with Project 2025.

Still, what’s in this document is a pretty good indicator of what a second Trump presidency could look like. Here’s what Project 2025 is and how it could reshape America.

## It’s a blueprint for a second Trump administration

The centerpiece is a 900-page plan that calls for extreme policies on nearly every aspect of Americans’ lives, from mass deportations, to politicizing the federal government in a way that would give Trump control over the Justice Department, to cutting entire federal agencies, to infusing Christian nationalism into every facet of government policy by calling for a ban on pornography and promoting policies that encourage “marriage, work, motherhood, fatherhood, and nuclear families.”

This isn’t coming directly from the Trump campaign. But it should be taken seriously because of the people who wrote it, analysts say. The main organization behind the plan, the Heritage Foundation, is a revolving door for Trump officials (and Heritage is a sponsor of the Republican National Convention, which will hand him the nomination next week).

“This is meant as an organized statement of the Trumpist, conservative movement, both on policy and personnel, and politics,” said William Galston, head of governance studies at the Brookings Institution.

## 2024 presidential election

## Project 2025 calls for abortion limits, slashing climate change and LGBTQ health care funding, and much more

A few of the highlights:

Remake the federal workforce to be political : Instead of nonpartisan civil servants implementing policies on everything from health to education and climate, the executive branch would be filled with Trump loyalists. “It is necessary to ensure that departments and agencies have robust cadres of political staff,” the plan says. That means nearly every decision federal agencies make could advance a political agenda — as in whether to spend money on constituencies that lean Democratic. The project calls for cutting LGBTQ health programs, for example.

Cut the Education Department: Project 2025 would make extensive changes to public schooling, cutting longtime low-income and early education federal programs like Head Start, for example, and even the entire Education Department. “Federal education policy should be limited and, ultimately, the federal Department of Education should be eliminated,” the plan reads.

Give Trump power to investigate his opponents : Project 2025 would move the Justice Department, and all of its law enforcement arms like the FBI, directly under presidential control. It calls for a “top-to-bottom overhaul” of the FBI and for the administration to go over its investigations with a fine-toothed comb to nix any the president doesn’t like. This would dramatically weaken the independence of federal law enforcement agencies. “There’s going to be an all-out assault on the Department of Justice and the FBI,” said Galston, of Brookings. “It will mean tight White House control of the DOJ and FBI.”

Make reproductive care, particularly abortion pills, harder to get : It doesn’t specifically call for a national abortion ban, but abortion is one of the most-discussed topics in the plan, with proposals throughout encouraging the next president “to lead the nation in restoring a culture of life in America again.” It would do this by prosecuting anyone mailing abortion pills (“Abortion pills pose the single greatest threat to unborn children in a post-Roe world,” the plan says). It would raise the threat of criminalizing those who provide abortion care by using the government to track miscarriage, stillbirths and abortions, and make it harder to get emergency contraceptive care covered by insurance. It would also end federal government protections for members of the military and their families to get abortion care.

Crack down on even legal immigration : It would create a new “border patrol and immigration agency” to resurrect Trump’s border wall, build camps to detain children and families at the border, and send out the military to deport millions of people who are already in the country illegally ( including dreamers ) — a deportation effort so big that it could put a major dent in the U.S. economy. “Illegal immigration should be ended, not mitigated; the border sealed, not reprioritized,” the plan says.

Slash climate change protections : Project 2025 calls for getting rid of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which forecasts weather and tracks climate change, describing it as “one of the main drivers of the climate change alarm industry.” It would increase Arctic drilling and shutter the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate change departments, all while making it easier to up fossil fuel production.

Ban transgender people from the military and consider reinstating the draft : “Gender dysphoria is incompatible with the demands of military service,” it reads. The author of this part of the plan led the Defense Department at the end of Trump’s presidency, and he told The Washington Post that the government should seriously consider mandatory military service.

## How all of this would be implemented

A huge part of this project is to recruit and train people on how to pull the levers of government or read the law in novel ways to carry out these dramatic changes to federal policy. There’s even a place on the plan’s website where you can submit your résumé.

But there are some major hurdles to getting the big stuff done, even if Trump and Republicans win control of Washington next year. For one, Trump doesn’t appear to agree with everything in it. His campaign platform barely mentions abortion, while Project 2025 zeroes in on it repeatedly.

Also, some of these ideas are impractical or possibly illegal. Analysts are divided about whether Trump can politicize the civil workforce to fire them at will, for example. And the plan calls for using the military to carry out mass deportations on a historic scale , which could be constitutionally iffy.

Ominously, one of the project’s leaders opened the door to political violence to will all of this into being: “We are in the process of the second American revolution,” Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts warned recently, “which will remain bloodless, if the left allows it to be.”

## Why Project 2025 is getting so much attention right now

It’s not unusual for wannabe administration officials to plan for how they’d govern once they get back in power. But what is unusual is how dramatic and unapologetically extreme many of these proposals are.

And the Biden campaign — which is obviously struggling right now with existential questions about its nominee — sees this as an easy target to campaign on.

Democrats are circulating a survey from a liberal organization that suggests talking about Project 2025 as a “takeover” of American government by Trumpists resonates with voters.

“It’s like reading a horror novel,” said Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson. “Each page makes you want to read the next one, but when you finish reading it, you’re scared and disgusted.”

That’s much to the frustration of the Trump campaign, which doesn’t want such specific (and politically unpopular) ideas out there pegged to his campaign, as he’s trying to moderate some of his positions to win the election.

“It makes no sense to put all the crazy things you’ll be attacked for down on paper while you’re running,” a Trump adviser told The Washington Post recently .

But it’s fair to think of Project 2025 as a pretty good indicator of what a second Trump presidency would look like, analysts say.

“It’s not like Trump is going to hand out this booklet to his Cabinet on Day One and say, ‘Here you go,’” said Michael Strain, the director of economic policy studies at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute. “But it reflects real goals of important people in Trump’s community.”

A previous version of this article misspelled the name of the American Enterprise Institute's Michael Strain as Michel. The article has been corrected.

## Election 2024

Follow live updates on the 2024 election from our reporters on the campaign trail and in Washington.

Kamala Harris: A majority of Democratic delegates have pledged to support Harris , signaling she is likely to secure the presidential nomination next month. We broke down seven options for her vice-presidential pick .

Biden drops out: President Biden addressed the nation , seeking to define his legacy and explain his decision to exit the presidential race. Here’s what happened in the hours before Biden posted a letter announcing his decision to end his campaign .

Trump VP pick: Donald Trump has chosen Sen. J.D. Vance (Ohio) as his running mate , selecting a rising star in the Republican Party and a previously outspoken Trump critic who in recent years has closely aligned himself with the former president.

Presidential election polls: Here’s what voters think about Harris replacing Biden and how Harris performs against Trump in recent polls .

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Developing a hypothesis (with example) Step 1. Ask a question. Writing a hypothesis begins with a research question that you want to answer. The question should be focused, specific, and researchable within the constraints of your project. Example: Research question.

A hypothesis is a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables. It is a specific, testable prediction about what you expect to happen in a study. It is a preliminary answer to your question that helps guide the research process. Consider a study designed to examine the relationship between sleep deprivation and test ...

Definition: Hypothesis is an educated guess or proposed explanation for a phenomenon, based on some initial observations or data. It is a tentative statement that can be tested and potentially proven or disproven through further investigation and experimentation. Hypothesis is often used in scientific research to guide the design of experiments ...

3 Define your variables. Once you have an idea of what your hypothesis will be, select which variables are independent and which are dependent. Remember that independent variables can only be factors that you have absolute control over, so consider the limits of your experiment before finalizing your hypothesis.

There are 5 main steps in hypothesis testing: State your research hypothesis as a null hypothesis and alternate hypothesis (H o) and (H a or H 1 ). Collect data in a way designed to test the hypothesis. Perform an appropriate statistical test. Decide whether to reject or fail to reject your null hypothesis. Present the findings in your results ...

It seeks to explore and understand a particular aspect of the research subject. In contrast, a research hypothesis is a specific statement or prediction that suggests an expected relationship between variables. It is formulated based on existing knowledge or theories and guides the research design and data analysis. 7.

Simple hypothesis. A simple hypothesis is a statement made to reflect the relation between exactly two variables. One independent and one dependent. Consider the example, "Smoking is a prominent cause of lung cancer." The dependent variable, lung cancer, is dependent on the independent variable, smoking. 4.

hypothesis: [noun] an assumption or concession made for the sake of argument. an interpretation of a practical situation or condition taken as the ground for action.

A research hypothesis (also called a scientific hypothesis) is a statement about the expected outcome of a study (for example, a dissertation or thesis). To constitute a quality hypothesis, the statement needs to have three attributes - specificity, clarity and testability. Let's take a look at these more closely.

A hypothesis (pl.: hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories.

A hypothesis states your predictions about what your research will find. It is a tentative answer to your research question that has not yet been tested. For some research projects, you might have to write several hypotheses that address different aspects of your research question. A hypothesis is not just a guess — it should be based on ...

In hypothesis testing, the goal is to see if there is sufficient statistical evidence to reject a presumed null hypothesis in favor of a conjectured alternative hypothesis.The null hypothesis is usually denoted \(H_0\) while the alternative hypothesis is usually denoted \(H_1\). An hypothesis test is a statistical decision; the conclusion will either be to reject the null hypothesis in favor ...

hypothesis, something supposed or taken for granted, with the object of following out its consequences (Greek hypothesis, "a putting under," the Latin equivalent being suppositio ). Discussion with Kara Rogers of how the scientific model is used to test a hypothesis or represent a theory. Kara Rogers, senior biomedical sciences editor of ...

To form a solid theory, the vital first step is creating a hypothesis. See the various types of hypotheses and how they can lead you on the path to discovery. Dictionary ... Define the independent and dependent variables very specifically, and don't take on more than you can handle. Keep yourself laser-focused on one specific cause-and-effect ...

The scientific method. At the core of biology and other sciences lies a problem-solving approach called the scientific method. The scientific method has five basic steps, plus one feedback step: Make an observation. Ask a question. Form a hypothesis, or testable explanation. Make a prediction based on the hypothesis.

Hypothesis testing is a statistical method used to determine if there is enough evidence in a sample data to draw conclusions about a population. It involves formulating two competing hypotheses, the null hypothesis (H0) and the alternative hypothesis (Ha), and then collecting data to assess the evidence.

A hypothesis is often called an "educated guess," but this is an oversimplification. An example of a hypothesis would be: "If snake species A and B compete for the same resources, and if we ...

Hypothesis is a testable statement that explains what is happening or observed. It proposes the relation between the various participating variables. Hypothesis is also called Theory, Thesis, Guess, Assumption, or Suggestion. Hypothesis creates a structure that guides the search for knowledge. In this article, we will learn what is hypothesis ...

Functions of Hypothesis. Following are the functions performed by the hypothesis: Hypothesis helps in making an observation and experiments possible. It becomes the start point for the investigation. Hypothesis helps in verifying the observations. It helps in directing the inquiries in the right direction.

hypothesis: 1 n a tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena "a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory" Synonyms: possibility , theory Types: show 17 types... hide 17 types... hypothetical a hypothetical ...

Defining Hypotheses. Null hypothesis (H 0): In statistics, the null hypothesis is a general statement or default position that there is no relationship between two measured cases or no relationship among groups. In other words, it is a basic assumption or made based on the problem knowledge. Example: A company's mean production is 50 units/per da H 0: [Tex]\mu [/Tex] = 50.

Hypothesis testing is an act in statistics whereby an analyst tests an assumption regarding a population parameter. The methodology employed by the analyst depends on the nature of the data used ...

By definition, a business hypothesis is a supposition or proposed explanation for "something" and - at least at this point - it's based on limited evidence. It's not a "cold, hard ...

Give Trump power to investigate his opponents: Project 2025 would move the Justice Department, and all of its law enforcement arms like the FBI, directly under presidential control.It calls for a ...