A hypothesis can be defined as an educated guess about the relationship between two or more variables. The researcher would propose a hypothesis about how these two variables are related, such as "Test anxiety decreases as a result of effective study habits. 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, it is important to think of ways that you could confirm or disprove each hypothesis through experimentation. This is known as falsifiability.
Students sometimes confuse the idea of falsifiability with the idea that it means that something is false, which is not the case. The Role of Operational Definitions In the previous example, study habits and test anxiety are the two variables in this imaginary study. These definitions explain how the variable will be manipulated and measured in the study.
The variable "study habits" might be defined by the amount of studying that actually occurs as measured by time. These precise descriptions of each variable are important because many things can be measured in a number of different ways. One of the basic principles of any type of scientific research is that the results must be replicable.
Some variables are more difficult than others to define. 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. In order to measure this variable, the researcher must devise a measurement that assesses aggressive behavior without harming other people. In this situation, the researcher might utilize a simulated task to measure aggressiveness. You may intentionally write your hypothesis as a null hypothesis or no-difference hypothesis to establish a relationship between the variables.
For example, the hypothesis: The rate of corn plant growth does not depend on the duration of light. This can be tested by exposing corn plants to different length "days" and measuring the rate of plant growth. A statistical test can be applied to measure how well the data support the hypothesis. If the hypothesis is not supported, then you have evidence of a relationship between the variables. It's easier to establish cause and effect by testing whether "no effect" is found. Alternatively, if the null hypothesis is supported, then you have shown the variables are not related.
Either way, your experiment is a success. Examples Need more examples of how to write a hypothesis? Here you go: If you turn out all the lights, you will fall asleep faster. Think: How would you test it? If you drop different objects, they will fall at the same rate.
If you eat only fast food, then you will gain weight. If you use cruise control, then your car will get better gas mileage.
However, some scientists reject the term "educated guess" as incorrect. Experimenters may test and reject several hypotheses before solving the problem. According to Schick and Vaughn,  researchers weighing up alternative hypotheses may take into consideration: Testability compare falsifiability as discussed above Parsimony as in the application of " Occam's razor ", discouraging the postulation of excessive numbers of entities Scope — the apparent application of the hypothesis to multiple cases of phenomena Fruitfulness — the prospect that a hypothesis may explain further phenomena in the future Conservatism — the degree of "fit" with existing recognized knowledge-systems.
Working hypothesis Main article: Working hypothesis A working hypothesis is a hypothesis that is provisionally accepted as a basis for further research  in the hope that a tenable theory will be produced, even if the hypothesis ultimately fails. Working hypotheses are often used as a conceptual framework in qualitative research.
Here they act like a useful guide to address problems that are still in a formative phase. Notably, Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend , Karl Popper's colleague and student, respectively, have produced novel attempts at such a synthesis.
Hypotheses, concepts and measurement Concepts in Hempel's deductive-nomological model play a key role in the development and testing of hypotheses. Most formal hypotheses connect concepts by specifying the expected relationships between propositions.
When a set of hypotheses are grouped together they become a type of conceptual framework. When a conceptual framework is complex and incorporates causality or explanation it is generally referred to as a theory. According to noted philosopher of science Carl Gustav Hempel "An adequate empirical interpretation turns a theoretical system into a testable theory: The hypothesis whose constituent terms have been interpreted become capable of test by reference to observable phenomena.
Frequently the interpreted hypothesis will be derivative hypotheses of the theory; but their confirmation or disconfirmation by empirical data will then immediately strengthen or weaken also the primitive hypotheses from which they were derived. These might be viewed as strings which are not part of the network but link certain points of the latter with specific places in the plane of observation.
By virtue of those interpretative connections, the network can function as a scientific theory.
Notably, Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend , Karl Popper's colleague and student, respectively, have produced novel attempts at such a synthesis. Does your hypothesis include both an independent and dependent variable? It's not wrong or bad if the hypothesis is not supported or is incorrect. Health Shares For a hypothesis to be termed a scientific hypothesis, it has to be something that can be supported or refuted through carefully crafted experimentation or observation. Create a list of possible explanations that you might want to explore.
Was this page helpful? The alternative hypothesis, as the name suggests, is the alternative to the null hypothesis: it states that there is some kind of relation. Evaluate these observations and look for possible causes of the problem. Review your choices and select a hypothesis that accurately describes what you are testing. In due course, a confirmed hypothesis may become part of a theory or occasionally may grow to become a theory itself.
A Type I error is when the null hypothesis is rejected when it is true. Helmenstine holds a Ph.
In many cases, researchers might draw a hypothesis from a specific theory or build on previous research. A hypothesis can be defined as an educated guess about the relationship between two or more variables.