What is Hypothesis?

The hypothesis is an assumption that is made on the basis of some evidence. This is the initial point of any investigation that translates the research questions into a prediction. 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.

Table of Content

  1. Characteristics of Hypothesis
  2. Sources of Hypothesis
  3. Types of Hypothesis
  4. Examples of Hypothesis
  5. Functions of Hypothesis

Characteristics of Hypothesis

Following are the characteristics of hypothesis:

  • The hypothesis should be clear and precise so as to consider it to be reliable.
  • If the hypothesis is 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 hypothesis must be very simple and it should also be understood that simplicity of hypothesis is not related to its significance.

Sources of Hypothesis

Following are the sources of hypothesis:

  • 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, reduces the risk of many diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

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 level than children not having a proper meal. This shows the effect and the direction of 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 the statement which is contrary to hypothesis. It’s a negative statement, and there is no relationship between independent and dependent variable. The symbol is denoted by “HO”.

Associative and Causal Hypothesis

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

Examples of Hypothesis

Following are the examples of hypothesis based on their types:

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

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 directions.

How will Hypothesis help in Scientific Method?

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

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

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