Step-By-Step Guide To Write Strong Hypothesis With Examples

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Did you ever find it challenging to construct a simple hypothesis? Although most think a hypothesis is just an educated guess, it is more than that. So, what is it? In short, it is a tentative answer to a particular untested research question that explains the research’s predictions and reasoning.

One can also assert that it is a statement that demonstrates what you “think” will happen during an experiment. This assumption is based on what you already know, such as facts, existing knowledge, research, and data.

Note: You may be required to write several hypotheses that address different aspects of your research question for some research projects.

A good hypothesis is a basic and essential part of the scientific method that is written carefully. However, even the simplest ones can be difficult to express.

So, how to write a successful hypothesis? If you know the proper structure of a hypothesis, you should not have too much trouble creating one. However, if you’ve never written a hypothesis before, you may find it difficult. Thus, this article will teach you everything you need to know about hypotheses, their different types, and practical writing tips.

What Is A Hypothesis?

A hypothesis is an assumption that is based on prior knowledge. More specifically, it is a statement that converts the initial research question into a logical prediction based on available facts and evidence. 

To solve a specific problem, one must first identify the research problem (research question), conduct preliminary or basic research, and then set out to answer the given question by conducting experiments and observing the results. 

However, before moving on to the experimental part of the research, one must first determine what they expect to see as results. For instance, a scientist makes an educated guess and writes a hypothesis that they will prove or refute during the course (process) of their research work.

One can also regard a hypothesis as a form of knowledge development. It is a well-founded assumption that clarifies the properties and causes of the phenomena under investigation.

It is typically formed based on a number of observations and examples that affirm it. This way, it appears plausible because some available information supports it. The hypothesis is then proven or refuted (for example, by pointing out a counterexample), allowing it to fall into the category of false statements.

Scientific and academic works such as theses, research papers, and dissertations follow a hypothesis-based approach. And one can see that students usually compose a hypothesis statement as part of their academic assignments.

It is worth observing that in some disciplines, a hypothesis statement is referred to as a thesis statement. However, its core and purpose remain unchanged: the statement strives to assume the experiment’s outcomes, which will either be proven or rebutted.

Characteristics And Sources Of Hypothesis

We have seen what a hypothesis is in the above section. So, now have a look at the key characteristics that define it:

  • It must be precise.
  • It should be accurate and clear to appear credible.
  • There should be room for additional research and experiments.
  • Variables and the relationship are two essential elements to include when developing a relational hypothesis.
  • A hypothesis should be explained in simple terms while maintaining its significance/importance.
  • The hypothesis’s explanation must be very simple. However, it must also be understood that the hypothesis’s simplicity is unrelated to its significance.

A hypothesis’s primary sources are:

  • Scientific theories
  • Previous research findings and current observations
  • The similarity of various phenomena
  • General patterns that influence people’s thought processes

Types Of Hypothesis

A hypothesis usually will fall under one or more of the major categories based on the quality and significance of your research and your findings. Whatever it is, keep in mind that these categories are not mutually exclusive, so the same hypothesis may qualify for multiple types.

  • Simple hypothesis

A simple hypothesis proposes only two variables: one independent and one dependent.

  • Complex hypothesis

A complex hypothesis implies the existence of a relationship between more than two variables. For instance, it can be two independents and one dependent, or vice versa.

  • Null hypothesis

A null hypothesis signifies that there is no link between variables. It is usually, abbreviated as H0.

  • Alternative hypothesis

An alternative hypothesis is abbreviated as H1 or HA. It contradicts the null hypothesis by stating that there is an essential relationship or connection between the variables. This hypothesis can be divided into two sub-categories:

Directional — A directional statement explains the anticipated outcome’s direction. This type of hypothesis is, at times, employed to investigate the relationship between variables rather than comparing groups.

Non-directional — As the name implies, non-directional hypotheses do not indicate any specific direction of expected outcomes.

  • Logical hypothesis

A logical hypothesis basically indicates a connection or link between variables without any evidence. On the other hand, claims are based on reasoning or deduction but lack actual data.

  • Empirical hypothesis

An empirical or working hypothesis is a hypothesis that is widely accepted by professionals and is used as a basis for future research to formulate a testing theory. Unlike logical hypotheses, empirical hypotheses are supported by empirical data.

  • Statistical hypothesis

A statistical hypothesis is something that is created when a subset of a certain set is tested against the sum total of the set. For instance, one can test a subset of a population against the entire population and utilize statistical evidence to form conclusions. 

This simply means you test a portion or subset and offer a generalized conclusion based on test results.

Hypothesis vs. Prediction

Generally, hypothesis and prediction are used interchangeably and cause great confusion among many people. Although both hypothesis and prediction can be loosely defined as “guesses,” they are not the same thing. 

The primary distinction between a hypothesis and a prediction is that the former is commonly used in a science setting, whereas the latter is commonly used outside of science. Simply put, a hypothesis is an intelligent guess regarding the nature of an unknown (or less known) phenomenon. 

A hypothesis is formulated on the basis of in-depth studies, existing knowledge, or a multitude of experiments backed by credible facts. Its primary purpose is to create a logical relationship between variables by making use of available evidence (or facts) to deliver a clear scientific explanation.

Furthermore, hypotheses are testable statements that can be experimented with some additional experiments or tests. In short, the hypothesis is speculation you make about the direction and outcomes of your research study.

On the other hand, a prediction is a wild guess that frequently lacks foundation. Even though a prediction can be scientific in theory, it is usually fictitious—a wild guess based on current knowledge and/or facts. 

Predictions are typically associated with foretelling events that may or may not occur in the future. Please note that whoever makes frequent predictions has little or no actual knowledge regarding the subject they make predictions about.

Another significant distinction between these terms is the methodology that is used to prove each of them. A prediction can be proven only once. Only the occurrence or non-occurrence of the forecast event can decide if it is correct or incorrect. 

A hypothesis, on the other hand, allows for additional testing and investigations and can be proven in phases. This essentially means different scientists can prove or disprove a single hypothesis multiple times with the help of various scientific methods and tools.

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Here’s an example that gives a better understanding of these two terms:

Hypothesis:

Eating more vegetables and fruits will help me lose weight faster.

The above example is a hypothesis because it is based on the widely available information (for example, usually, fruits and vegetables contain fewer calories than other foods) and past experiences. That is, people who prefer healthier foods like fresh fruits and vegetables lose weight easily. Although it is still a guess, numerous facts support this statement, and moreover, it can be tested through various experiments or studies.

Prediction:

The world is going to end in 2025.

This is a forecast because it predicts future events. This assumption, however, is fictitious because it lacks actual grounded evidence supported by facts.

According to what has been stated thus far and our examples, we can highlight the following key takeaways:

  • As opposed to prediction, a hypothesis is more of an informed assumption established on facts.
  • Hypotheses illustrate existing variables and scrutinize their relationships.
  • Predictions are frequently fictitious and lack foundation.
  • A prediction is most commonly used to forecast future events.
  • One can A prediction can only be proven once – when the predicted event happens or does not happen.
  • Even if one scientist or researcher has already proven or disproven a hypothesis, it can still be considered a hypothesis. Future scientists may obtain different results using different methods and tools.

Steps To Write Hypothesis

You’re probably wondering how to state a hypothesis now that you know what it is, what types of hypotheses exist, and how it differs from a prediction. We will guide you through the major steps of writing a good hypothesis and provide helpful tips. Moreover, you can follow the hypothesis format, and examples given here to overcome any challenge in crafting a hypothesis:

Question yourself

Curiosity has inspired some of history’s most outstanding scientific achievements, so asking yourself questions about the world around you is an excellent place to start. What is the reason for the current state of affairs? What are the causes of the aspects that you see around you? If possible, choose a research topic that piques your interest. 

Remember that no matter what paper or project you are working on, the process should always begin with asking the appropriate research question. A great research question is one that is specific, clear, focused (not too broad), and manageable. 

Sample questions:

  • How does sleep affect your productivity?
  • How long does it take mangoes to grow?

Conduct preliminary research

A hypothesis, as you may know, is an educated guess of an investigation’s expected results and outcomes. Accordingly, it is vital to gather some information before making this assumption.

Thus, gather some background information on your subject by reading books or conducting a simple Google search. You don’t have to prove or disprove the hypothesis at this juncture; instead, collect only what you require to demonstrate or disprove it yourself.

Based on what has already been discovered, you should be able to answer your research question at this point. Look for facts, previous studies, theories, and so on. You must be able to make a logical and intelligent guess based on the information you have gathered.

For example, if you search for “How does sleep affect your productivity?” you may come across studies with contradictory findings of eight hours vs. six hours of sleep. You can use these opposing points to help develop your hypothesis.

Decide on variables

Once you’ve decided on your hypothesis, decide which variables will be independent and dependent. Generally, independent variables are those factors over which you can have complete control. Therefore, consider the limitations of your experiment and then proceed with variables.

Formulate your hypothesis

Once you have an answer to your research question in hand, it’s time to develop your hypothesis. Below are the components that a hypothesis should include:

  • Variables to consider
  • Predicted outcome
  • Who or what is being studied?

Keep in mind that the hypothesis must be a statement, not a question. It is a thought, proposal, or prediction. A research hypothesis, for example, is written as an if or then (if/then) statement as below:

“If a person sleeps for less than seven hours, then they will be less productive at work or school.”

This statement reflects

  • The subject of study – a person
  • Variables – For instance, motivation and sleep
  • Prediction – less productivity due to less sleep

Polish the hypothesis 

Some hypotheses may involve performing a correlation study or comparison between two groups. In such cases, you should state the expected relationship or difference.

A correlation hypothesis could be as follows:

Sleeping less than eight hours every night has a negative impact on productivity at work or school.

A hypothesis demonstrating the difference could be:

Those who get seven or fewer hours of sleep are less productive in completing tasks than those who get eight or more.

Build a null hypothesis

You must perform a statistical analysis of the collected data based on the research type. Whenever a scientific method is employed to build a hypothesis statement, it is imperative to comprehend the differences between a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis. Additionally, knowing how to create a null hypothesis can be rewarding. 

  • H0, also known asa null hypothesis, asserts that there is no noticeable distinction or there is insufficient evidence to support a difference. The null hypothesis example for the above statement on sleep would be that the number of sleeping hours has no effect on motivation.
  • Additionally, an alternative hypothesis, denoted as H1, contends for a statistically significant difference. Or in some cases, it states that there is credible evidence to back such a difference.  So, coming back to the above example, the alternative hypothesis would be that someone who gets six hours of sleep has less motivation than someone who gets eight hours of sleep.

Hypothesis Examples

You should be able to easily create outstanding hypotheses if you follow the step-by-step guide and tips in this article. To help you begin, we have gathered a list of different research questions, each with one hypothesis and one null hypothesis example:

Research questionHypothesis statementNull hypothesis statement
What kind of effect does stress have on the academic performance of undergraduate students?The academic performance of undergraduate students will suffer as their stress levels rise.There is no increase in the stress levels of undergraduate students, and this will not have any effect on academic performance.
How does improved work-life balance affect employee productivity at work?

Employees with better work-life balance will be more productive than those who do not have an excellent work-life balance.There is no connection between work-life balance and workplace productivity.

What is the impact of frequent use of social media on 16-year-olds?
Constant use of social media has a negative impact on the attention span of 16-year-olds.There is no relationship between the amount of time spent on social media and the attention span of 16-year-old users.
What effect does video game play have on the brain?
Video games can be harmful to a person’s brain, vision, and memory.Playing video games does not affect the brain.
Why is it critical to include mental health education in school activities?

Increased mental health awareness in schools will result in a better understanding of mental health issues and potential solutions among students and teachers.Students will be unaffected by the implementation of mental health education in schools.

Conclusion

A good hypothesis can alter people’s perceptions of the world around them. It is an essential component of any scientific investigation and represents what researchers anticipate discovering in a study or experiment. Even if the research does not support the hypothesis, the research is still valuable.

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of the hypothesis and its types. Consider the tips provided here to construct a strong hypothesis for your research.

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