## The Scientific Method by Science Made Simple

Understanding and using the scientific method.

The Scientific Method is a process used to design and perform experiments. It's important to minimize experimental errors and bias, and increase confidence in the accuracy of your results.

In the previous sections, we talked about how to pick a good topic and specific question to investigate. Now we will discuss how to carry out your investigation.

Steps of the Scientific Method

- Observation/Research
- Experimentation

Now that you have settled on the question you want to ask, it's time to use the Scientific Method to design an experiment to answer that question.

If your experiment isn't designed well, you may not get the correct answer. You may not even get any definitive answer at all!

The Scientific Method is a logical and rational order of steps by which scientists come to conclusions about the world around them. The Scientific Method helps to organize thoughts and procedures so that scientists can be confident in the answers they find.

OBSERVATION is first step, so that you know how you want to go about your research.

HYPOTHESIS is the answer you think you'll find.

PREDICTION is your specific belief about the scientific idea: If my hypothesis is true, then I predict we will discover this.

EXPERIMENT is the tool that you invent to answer the question, and

CONCLUSION is the answer that the experiment gives.

Don't worry, it isn't that complicated. Let's take a closer look at each one of these steps. Then you can understand the tools scientists use for their science experiments, and use them for your own.

## OBSERVATION

This step could also be called "research." It is the first stage in understanding the problem.

After you decide on topic, and narrow it down to a specific question, you will need to research everything that you can find about it. You can collect information from your own experiences, books, the internet, or even smaller "unofficial" experiments.

Let's continue the example of a science fair idea about tomatoes in the garden. You like to garden, and notice that some tomatoes are bigger than others and wonder why.

Because of this personal experience and an interest in the problem, you decide to learn more about what makes plants grow.

For this stage of the Scientific Method, it's important to use as many sources as you can find. The more information you have on your science fair topic, the better the design of your experiment is going to be, and the better your science fair project is going to be overall.

Also try to get information from your teachers or librarians, or professionals who know something about your science fair project. They can help to guide you to a solid experimental setup.

The next stage of the Scientific Method is known as the "hypothesis." This word basically means "a possible solution to a problem, based on knowledge and research."

The hypothesis is a simple statement that defines what you think the outcome of your experiment will be.

All of the first stage of the Scientific Method -- the observation, or research stage -- is designed to help you express a problem in a single question ("Does the amount of sunlight in a garden affect tomato size?") and propose an answer to the question based on what you know. The experiment that you will design is done to test the hypothesis.

Using the example of the tomato experiment, here is an example of a hypothesis:

TOPIC: "Does the amount of sunlight a tomato plant receives affect the size of the tomatoes?"

HYPOTHESIS: "I believe that the more sunlight a tomato plant receives, the larger the tomatoes will grow.

This hypothesis is based on:

(1) Tomato plants need sunshine to make food through photosynthesis, and logically, more sun means more food, and;

(2) Through informal, exploratory observations of plants in a garden, those with more sunlight appear to grow bigger.

The hypothesis is your general statement of how you think the scientific phenomenon in question works.

Your prediction lets you get specific -- how will you demonstrate that your hypothesis is true? The experiment that you will design is done to test the prediction.

An important thing to remember during this stage of the scientific method is that once you develop a hypothesis and a prediction, you shouldn't change it, even if the results of your experiment show that you were wrong.

An incorrect prediction does NOT mean that you "failed." It just means that the experiment brought some new facts to light that maybe you hadn't thought about before.

Continuing our tomato plant example, a good prediction would be: Increasing the amount of sunlight tomato plants in my experiment receive will cause an increase in their size compared to identical plants that received the same care but less light.

This is the part of the scientific method that tests your hypothesis. An experiment is a tool that you design to find out if your ideas about your topic are right or wrong.

It is absolutely necessary to design a science fair experiment that will accurately test your hypothesis. The experiment is the most important part of the scientific method. It's the logical process that lets scientists learn about the world.

On the next page, we'll discuss the ways that you can go about designing a science fair experiment idea.

The final step in the scientific method is the conclusion. This is a summary of the experiment's results, and how those results match up to your hypothesis.

You have two options for your conclusions: based on your results, either:

(1) YOU CAN REJECT the hypothesis, or

(2) YOU CAN NOT REJECT the hypothesis.

This is an important point!

You can not PROVE the hypothesis with a single experiment, because there is a chance that you made an error somewhere along the way.

What you can say is that your results SUPPORT the original hypothesis.

If your original hypothesis didn't match up with the final results of your experiment, don't change the hypothesis.

Instead, try to explain what might have been wrong with your original hypothesis. What information were you missing when you made your prediction? What are the possible reasons the hypothesis and experimental results didn't match up?

Remember, a science fair experiment isn't a failure simply because does not agree with your hypothesis. No one will take points off if your prediction wasn't accurate. Many important scientific discoveries were made as a result of experiments gone wrong!

A science fair experiment is only a failure if its design is flawed. A flawed experiment is one that (1) doesn't keep its variables under control, and (2) doesn't sufficiently answer the question that you asked of it.

Search This Site:

## Science Fairs

- Introduction
- Project Ideas
- Types of Projects
- Pick a Topic
- Scientific Method
- Design Your Experiment
- Present Your Project
- What Judges Want
- Parent Info

## Recommended *

- Sample Science Projects - botany, ecology, microbiology, nutrition

* This site contains affiliate links to carefully chosen, high quality products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

- Terms of Service

Copyright © 2006 - 2023, Science Made Simple, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The science fair projects & ideas, science articles and all other material on this website are covered by copyright laws and may not be reproduced without permission.

When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.

- PLOS Biology
- PLOS Climate
- PLOS Complex Systems
- PLOS Computational Biology
- PLOS Digital Health
- PLOS Genetics
- PLOS Global Public Health
- PLOS Medicine
- PLOS Mental Health
- PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
- PLOS Pathogens
- PLOS Sustainability and Transformation
- PLOS Collections
- How to Write Discussions and Conclusions

The discussion section contains the results and outcomes of a study. An effective discussion informs readers what can be learned from your experiment and provides context for the results.

## What makes an effective discussion?

When you’re ready to write your discussion, you’ve already introduced the purpose of your study and provided an in-depth description of the methodology. The discussion informs readers about the larger implications of your study based on the results. Highlighting these implications while not overstating the findings can be challenging, especially when you’re submitting to a journal that selects articles based on novelty or potential impact. Regardless of what journal you are submitting to, the discussion section always serves the same purpose: concluding what your study results actually mean.

A successful discussion section puts your findings in context. It should include:

- the results of your research,
- a discussion of related research, and
- a comparison between your results and initial hypothesis.

Tip: Not all journals share the same naming conventions.

You can apply the advice in this article to the conclusion, results or discussion sections of your manuscript.

Our Early Career Researcher community tells us that the conclusion is often considered the most difficult aspect of a manuscript to write. To help, this guide provides questions to ask yourself, a basic structure to model your discussion off of and examples from published manuscripts.

Questions to ask yourself:

- Was my hypothesis correct?
- If my hypothesis is partially correct or entirely different, what can be learned from the results?
- How do the conclusions reshape or add onto the existing knowledge in the field? What does previous research say about the topic?
- Why are the results important or relevant to your audience? Do they add further evidence to a scientific consensus or disprove prior studies?
- How can future research build on these observations? What are the key experiments that must be done?
- What is the “take-home” message you want your reader to leave with?

## How to structure a discussion

Trying to fit a complete discussion into a single paragraph can add unnecessary stress to the writing process. If possible, you’ll want to give yourself two or three paragraphs to give the reader a comprehensive understanding of your study as a whole. Here’s one way to structure an effective discussion:

## Writing Tips

While the above sections can help you brainstorm and structure your discussion, there are many common mistakes that writers revert to when having difficulties with their paper. Writing a discussion can be a delicate balance between summarizing your results, providing proper context for your research and avoiding introducing new information. Remember that your paper should be both confident and honest about the results!

- Read the journal’s guidelines on the discussion and conclusion sections. If possible, learn about the guidelines before writing the discussion to ensure you’re writing to meet their expectations.
- Begin with a clear statement of the principal findings. This will reinforce the main take-away for the reader and set up the rest of the discussion.
- Explain why the outcomes of your study are important to the reader. Discuss the implications of your findings realistically based on previous literature, highlighting both the strengths and limitations of the research.
- State whether the results prove or disprove your hypothesis. If your hypothesis was disproved, what might be the reasons?
- Introduce new or expanded ways to think about the research question. Indicate what next steps can be taken to further pursue any unresolved questions.
- If dealing with a contemporary or ongoing problem, such as climate change, discuss possible consequences if the problem is avoided.
- Be concise. Adding unnecessary detail can distract from the main findings.

## Don’t

- Rewrite your abstract. Statements with “we investigated” or “we studied” generally do not belong in the discussion.
- Include new arguments or evidence not previously discussed. Necessary information and evidence should be introduced in the main body of the paper.
- Apologize. Even if your research contains significant limitations, don’t undermine your authority by including statements that doubt your methodology or execution.
- Shy away from speaking on limitations or negative results. Including limitations and negative results will give readers a complete understanding of the presented research. Potential limitations include sources of potential bias, threats to internal or external validity, barriers to implementing an intervention and other issues inherent to the study design.
- Overstate the importance of your findings. Making grand statements about how a study will fully resolve large questions can lead readers to doubt the success of the research.

Snippets of Effective Discussions:

Consumer-based actions to reduce plastic pollution in rivers: A multi-criteria decision analysis approach

Identifying reliable indicators of fitness in polar bears

- How to Write a Great Title
- How to Write an Abstract
- How to Write Your Methods
- How to Report Statistics
- How to Edit Your Work

The contents of the Peer Review Center are also available as a live, interactive training session, complete with slides, talking points, and activities. …

The contents of the Writing Center are also available as a live, interactive training session, complete with slides, talking points, and activities. …

There’s a lot to consider when deciding where to submit your work. Learn how to choose a journal that will help your study reach its audience, while reflecting your values as a researcher…

Statistics Made Easy

## How to Write Hypothesis Test Conclusions (With Examples)

A hypothesis test is used to test whether or not some hypothesis about a population parameter is true.

To perform a hypothesis test in the real world, researchers obtain a random sample from the population and perform a hypothesis test on the sample data, using a null and alternative hypothesis:

- Null Hypothesis (H 0 ): The sample data occurs purely from chance.
- Alternative Hypothesis (H A ): The sample data is influenced by some non-random cause.

If the p-value of the hypothesis test is less than some significance level (e.g. α = .05), then we reject the null hypothesis .

Otherwise, if the p-value is not less than some significance level then we fail to reject the null hypothesis .

When writing the conclusion of a hypothesis test, we typically include:

- Whether we reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis.
- The significance level.
- A short explanation in the context of the hypothesis test.

For example, we would write:

We reject the null hypothesis at the 5% significance level. There is sufficient evidence to support the claim that…

Or, we would write:

We fail to reject the null hypothesis at the 5% significance level. There is not sufficient evidence to support the claim that…

The following examples show how to write a hypothesis test conclusion in both scenarios.

## Example 1: Reject the Null Hypothesis Conclusion

Suppose a biologist believes that a certain fertilizer will cause plants to grow more during a one-month period than they normally do, which is currently 20 inches. To test this, she applies the fertilizer to each of the plants in her laboratory for one month.

She then performs a hypothesis test at a 5% significance level using the following hypotheses:

- H 0 : μ = 20 inches (the fertilizer will have no effect on the mean plant growth)
- H A : μ > 20 inches (the fertilizer will cause mean plant growth to increase)

Suppose the p-value of the test turns out to be 0.002.

Here is how she would report the results of the hypothesis test:

We reject the null hypothesis at the 5% significance level. There is sufficient evidence to support the claim that this particular fertilizer causes plants to grow more during a one-month period than they normally do.

## Example 2: Fail to Reject the Null Hypothesis Conclusion

Suppose the manager of a manufacturing plant wants to test whether or not some new method changes the number of defective widgets produced per month, which is currently 250. To test this, he measures the mean number of defective widgets produced before and after using the new method for one month.

He performs a hypothesis test at a 10% significance level using the following hypotheses:

- H 0 : μ after = μ before (the mean number of defective widgets is the same before and after using the new method)
- H A : μ after ≠ μ before (the mean number of defective widgets produced is different before and after using the new method)

Suppose the p-value of the test turns out to be 0.27.

Here is how he would report the results of the hypothesis test:

We fail to reject the null hypothesis at the 10% significance level. There is not sufficient evidence to support the claim that the new method leads to a change in the number of defective widgets produced per month.

## Additional Resources

The following tutorials provide additional information about hypothesis testing:

Introduction to Hypothesis Testing 4 Examples of Hypothesis Testing in Real Life How to Write a Null Hypothesis

## Published by Zach

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

- Utility Menu

## 26158766f7f76c0d163cbc4d15ae3f59

- Questions about Expos?
- Writing Support for Instructors
- Conclusions

One of the most common questions we receive at the Writing Center is “what am I supposed to do in my conclusion?” This is a difficult question to answer because there’s no one right answer to what belongs in a conclusion. How you conclude your paper will depend on where you started—and where you traveled. It will also depend on the conventions and expectations of the discipline in which you are writing. For example, while the conclusion to a STEM paper could focus on questions for further study, the conclusion of a literature paper could include a quotation from your central text that can now be understood differently in light of what has been discussed in the paper. You should consult your instructor about expectations for conclusions in a particular discipline.

With that in mind, here are some general guidelines you might find helpful to use as you think about your conclusion.

## Begin with the “what”

In a short paper—even a research paper—you don’t need to provide an exhaustive summary as part of your conclusion. But you do need to make some kind of transition between your final body paragraph and your concluding paragraph. This may come in the form of a few sentences of summary. Or it may come in the form of a sentence that brings your readers back to your thesis or main idea and reminds your readers where you began and how far you have traveled.

So, for example, in a paper about the relationship between ADHD and rejection sensitivity, Vanessa Roser begins by introducing readers to the fact that researchers have studied the relationship between the two conditions and then provides her explanation of that relationship. Here’s her thesis: “While socialization may indeed be an important factor in RS, I argue that individuals with ADHD may also possess a neurological predisposition to RS that is exacerbated by the differing executive and emotional regulation characteristic of ADHD.”

In her final paragraph, Roser reminds us of where she started by echoing her thesis: “This literature demonstrates that, as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”

## Highlight the “so what”

At the beginning of your paper, you explain to your readers what’s at stake—why they should care about the argument you’re making. In your conclusion, you can bring readers back to those stakes by reminding them why your argument is important in the first place. You can also draft a few sentences that put those stakes into a new or broader context.

In the conclusion to her paper about ADHD and RS, Roser echoes the stakes she established in her introduction—that research into connections between ADHD and RS has led to contradictory results, raising questions about the “behavioral mediation hypothesis.”

She writes, “as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”

## Leave your readers with the “now what”

After the “what” and the “so what,” you should leave your reader with some final thoughts. If you have written a strong introduction, your readers will know why you have been arguing what you have been arguing—and why they should care. And if you’ve made a good case for your thesis, then your readers should be in a position to see things in a new way, understand new questions, or be ready for something that they weren’t ready for before they read your paper.

In her conclusion, Roser offers two “now what” statements. First, she explains that it is important to recognize that the flawed behavioral mediation hypothesis “seems to place a degree of fault on the individual. It implies that individuals with ADHD must have elicited such frequent or intense rejection by virtue of their inadequate social skills, erasing the possibility that they may simply possess a natural sensitivity to emotion.” She then highlights the broader implications for treatment of people with ADHD, noting that recognizing the actual connection between rejection sensitivity and ADHD “has profound implications for understanding how individuals with ADHD might best be treated in educational settings, by counselors, family, peers, or even society as a whole.”

To find your own “now what” for your essay’s conclusion, try asking yourself these questions:

- What can my readers now understand, see in a new light, or grapple with that they would not have understood in the same way before reading my paper? Are we a step closer to understanding a larger phenomenon or to understanding why what was at stake is so important?
- What questions can I now raise that would not have made sense at the beginning of my paper? Questions for further research? Other ways that this topic could be approached?
- Are there other applications for my research? Could my questions be asked about different data in a different context? Could I use my methods to answer a different question?
- What action should be taken in light of this argument? What action do I predict will be taken or could lead to a solution?
- What larger context might my argument be a part of?

## What to avoid in your conclusion

- a complete restatement of all that you have said in your paper.
- a substantial counterargument that you do not have space to refute; you should introduce counterarguments before your conclusion.
- an apology for what you have not said. If you need to explain the scope of your paper, you should do this sooner—but don’t apologize for what you have not discussed in your paper.
- fake transitions like “in conclusion” that are followed by sentences that aren’t actually conclusions. (“In conclusion, I have now demonstrated that my thesis is correct.”)
- Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt
- Asking Analytical Questions
- Introductions
- What Do Introductions Across the Disciplines Have in Common?
- Anatomy of a Body Paragraph
- Transitions
- Tips for Organizing Your Essay
- Counterargument
- Strategies for Essay Writing: Downloadable PDFs
- Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines

## Quick Links

- Schedule an Appointment
- English Grammar and Language Tutor
- Drop-in hours
- Harvard Guide to Using Sources
- Departmental Writing Fellows
- Writing Advice: The Harvard Writing Tutor Blog

## Scientific Hypothesis, Model, Theory, and Law

Understanding the Difference Between Basic Scientific Terms

Hero Images / Getty Images

- Chemical Laws
- Periodic Table
- Projects & Experiments
- Scientific Method
- Biochemistry
- Physical Chemistry
- Medical Chemistry
- Chemistry In Everyday Life
- Famous Chemists
- Activities for Kids
- Abbreviations & Acronyms
- Weather & Climate
- Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
- B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College

Words have precise meanings in science. For example, "theory," "law," and "hypothesis" don't all mean the same thing. Outside of science, you might say something is "just a theory," meaning it's a supposition that may or may not be true. In science, however, a theory is an explanation that generally is accepted to be true. Here's a closer look at these important, commonly misused terms.

A hypothesis is an educated guess, based on observation. It's a prediction of cause and effect. Usually, a hypothesis can be supported or refuted through experimentation or more observation. A hypothesis can be disproven but not proven to be true.

Example: If you see no difference in the cleaning ability of various laundry detergents, you might hypothesize that cleaning effectiveness is not affected by which detergent you use. This hypothesis can be disproven if you observe a stain is removed by one detergent and not another. On the other hand, you cannot prove the hypothesis. Even if you never see a difference in the cleanliness of your clothes after trying 1,000 detergents, there might be one more you haven't tried that could be different.

Scientists often construct models to help explain complex concepts. These can be physical models like a model volcano or atom or conceptual models like predictive weather algorithms. A model doesn't contain all the details of the real deal, but it should include observations known to be valid.

Example: The Bohr model shows electrons orbiting the atomic nucleus, much the same way as the way planets revolve around the sun. In reality, the movement of electrons is complicated but the model makes it clear that protons and neutrons form a nucleus and electrons tend to move around outside the nucleus.

A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. Therefore, theories can be disproven. Basically, if evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, then the hypothesis can become accepted as a good explanation of a phenomenon. One definition of a theory is to say that it's an accepted hypothesis.

Example: It is known that on June 30, 1908, in Tunguska, Siberia, there was an explosion equivalent to the detonation of about 15 million tons of TNT. Many hypotheses have been proposed for what caused the explosion. It was theorized that the explosion was caused by a natural extraterrestrial phenomenon , and was not caused by man. Is this theory a fact? No. The event is a recorded fact. Is this theory, generally accepted to be true, based on evidence to-date? Yes. Can this theory be shown to be false and be discarded? Yes.

A scientific law generalizes a body of observations. At the time it's made, no exceptions have been found to a law. Scientific laws explain things but they do not describe them. One way to tell a law and a theory apart is to ask if the description gives you the means to explain "why." The word "law" is used less and less in science, as many laws are only true under limited circumstances.

Example: Consider Newton's Law of Gravity . Newton could use this law to predict the behavior of a dropped object but he couldn't explain why it happened.

As you can see, there is no "proof" or absolute "truth" in science. The closest we get are facts, which are indisputable observations. Note, however, if you define proof as arriving at a logical conclusion, based on the evidence, then there is "proof" in science. Some work under the definition that to prove something implies it can never be wrong, which is different. If you're asked to define the terms hypothesis, theory, and law, keep in mind the definitions of proof and of these words can vary slightly depending on the scientific discipline. What's important is to realize they don't all mean the same thing and cannot be used interchangeably.

- Hypothesis, Model, Theory, and Law
- What Is a Scientific or Natural Law?
- Scientific Hypothesis Examples
- What 'Fail to Reject' Means in a Hypothesis Test
- What Is a Hypothesis? (Science)
- Definition of a Hypothesis
- Processual Archaeology
- Tips on Winning the Debate on Evolution
- Geological Thinking: Method of Multiple Working Hypotheses
- Six Steps of the Scientific Method
- What Are Examples of a Hypothesis?
- Theory Definition in Science
- What Are the Elements of a Good Hypothesis?
- Scientific Method Flow Chart
- Scientific Method Vocabulary Terms
- What Is a Paradigm Shift?

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

- Anatomy & Physiology
- Astrophysics
- Earth Science
- Environmental Science
- Organic Chemistry
- Precalculus
- Trigonometry
- English Grammar
- U.S. History
- World History

## ... and beyond

- Socratic Meta
- Featured Answers

## What is the difference between a hypothesis and a conclusion in the scientific method?

## Explanation:

#"...and a conclusion is whether that proposal was justified."#

From a dictionary of philosophy (that I happened to pick up last week for £2-00 at a second hand bookstore),

an hypothesis is a proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without any assumption of its truth.

I suppose the more rigorous scientific definition of hypothesis would include a proposal made on a limited number of experiments, that includes a basis for further experiments.....the which test whether that hypothesis holds.

And after the experiments have been performed, we can test whether the hypothesis was reasonable. If NO, then we throw the hypothesis out. If YES, then we continue to test the truth and extent of the hypothesis with further experiments....

## Related questions

- How can the scientific method be applied to everyday life?
- What are some common mistakes students make with the scientific method?
- What are hypotheses according to the scientific method?
- What is a theory according to the scientific method?
- Do scientists have to record all data precisely in order to follow the scientific method?
- What is the goal of peer review in the scientific method?
- Why is the scientific method important to follow?
- How did Tycho Brahe and Kepler employ the scientific method?
- Do all scientists use the scientific method?
- Why should scientists provide an abstract for, or summary of their research?

## Impact of this question

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

What to Know A hypothesis is an assumption made before any research has been done. It is formed so that it can be tested to see if it might be true. A theory is a principle formed to explain the things already shown in data. Because of the rigors of experiment and control, it is much more likely that a theory will be true than a hypothesis.

As anyone who has worked in a laboratory or out in the field can tell you, science is about process: that of observing, making inferences about those observations, and then performing tests to see if the truth value of those inferences holds up. The scientific method is designed to be a rigorous procedure for acquiring knowledge about the world around us.

In scientific reasoning, a hypothesis is constructed before any applicable research has been done. A theory, on the other hand, is supported by evidence: it's a principle formed as an attempt to explain things that have already been substantiated by data.

Toward that end, science employs a particular vocabulary for describing how ideas are proposed, tested, and supported or disproven. And that's where we see the difference between a hypothesis and a theory .

A hypothesis is an assumption, something 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.

## What is a Hypothesis?

A hypothesis is usually tentative, an assumption or suggestion made strictly for the objective of being tested.

When a character which has been lost in a breed, reappears after a great number of generations, the most probable hypothesis is, not that the offspring suddenly takes after an ancestor some hundred generations distant, but that in each successive generation there has been a tendency to reproduce the character in question, which at last, under unknown favourable conditions, gains an ascendancy. Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species , 1859 According to one widely reported hypothesis , cell-phone transmissions were disrupting the bees' navigational abilities. (Few experts took the cell-phone conjecture seriously; as one scientist said to me, "If that were the case, Dave Hackenberg's hives would have been dead a long time ago.") Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker , 6 Aug. 2007

## What is a Theory?

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, its likelihood as truth is much higher than that of a hypothesis.

It is evident, on our theory , that coasts merely fringed by reefs cannot have subsided to any perceptible amount; and therefore they must, since the growth of their corals, either have remained stationary or have been upheaved. Now, it is remarkable how generally it can be shown, by the presence of upraised organic remains, that the fringed islands have been elevated: and so far, this is indirect evidence in favour of our theory . Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle , 1839 An example of a fundamental principle in physics, first proposed by Galileo in 1632 and extended by Einstein in 1905, is the following: All observers traveling at constant velocity relative to one another, should witness identical laws of nature. From this principle, Einstein derived his theory of special relativity. Alan Lightman, Harper's , December 2011

## Non-Scientific Use

In non-scientific use, however, hypothesis and theory are often used interchangeably to mean simply an idea, speculation, or hunch (though theory is more common in this regard):

The theory of the teacher with all these immigrant kids was that if you spoke English loudly enough they would eventually understand. E. L. Doctorow, Loon Lake , 1979 Chicago is famous for asking questions for which there can be no boilerplate answers. Example: given the probability that the federal tax code, nondairy creamer, Dennis Rodman and the art of mime all came from outer space, name something else that has extraterrestrial origins and defend your hypothesis . John McCormick, Newsweek , 5 Apr. 1999 In his mind's eye, Miller saw his case suddenly taking form: Richard Bailey had Helen Brach killed because she was threatening to sue him over the horses she had purchased. It was, he realized, only a theory , but it was one he felt certain he could, in time, prove. Full of urgency, a man with a mission now that he had a hypothesis to guide him, he issued new orders to his troops: Find out everything you can about Richard Bailey and his crowd. Howard Blum, Vanity Fair , January 1995

And sometimes one term is used as a genus, or a means for defining the other:

Laplace's popular version of his astronomy, the Système du monde , was famous for introducing what came to be known as the nebular hypothesis , the theory that the solar system was formed by the condensation, through gradual cooling, of the gaseous atmosphere (the nebulae) surrounding the sun. Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club , 2001 Researchers use this information to support the gateway drug theory — the hypothesis that using one intoxicating substance leads to future use of another. Jordy Byrd, The Pacific Northwest Inlander , 6 May 2015 Fox, the business and economics columnist for Time magazine, tells the story of the professors who enabled those abuses under the banner of the financial theory known as the efficient market hypothesis . Paul Krugman, The New York Times Book Review , 9 Aug. 2009

## Incorrect Interpretations of "Theory"

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 use 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."

## More Differences Explained

- Epidemic vs. Pandemic
- Diagnosis vs. Prognosis
- Treatment vs. Cure

## Word of the Day

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

## Games & Quizzes

## Commonly Confused

'canceled' or 'cancelled', is it 'home in' or 'hone in', the difference between 'race' and 'ethnicity', on 'biweekly' and 'bimonthly', 'insure' vs. 'ensure' vs. 'assure', grammar & usage, words commonly mispronounced, more commonly misspelled words, is 'irregardless' a real word, 8 grammar terms you used to know, but forgot, homophones, homographs, and homonyms, great big list of beautiful and useless words, vol. 2, winter vocab and other words for snow, rare and amusing insults, volume 2, 10 words for lesser-known games and sports, the words of the week - dec. 29.

## Research Hypothesis In Psychology: Types, & Examples

Saul Mcleod, PhD

Educator, Researcher

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MRes, PhD, University of Manchester

Saul Mcleod, Ph.D., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years experience of working in further and higher education. He has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Learn about our Editorial Process

Olivia Guy-Evans, MSc

Associate Editor for Simply Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MSc Psychology of Education

Olivia Guy-Evans is a writer and associate editor for Simply Psychology. She has previously worked in healthcare and educational sectors.

On This Page:

A research hypothesis, in its plural form “hypotheses,” is a specific, testable prediction about the anticipated results of a study, established at its outset. It is a key component of the scientific method .

Hypotheses connect theory to data and guide the research process towards expanding scientific understanding

## Some key points about hypotheses:

- A hypothesis expresses an expected pattern or relationship. It connects the variables under investigation.
- It is stated in clear, precise terms before any data collection or analysis occurs. This makes the hypothesis testable.
- A hypothesis must be falsifiable. It should be possible, even if unlikely in practice, to collect data that disconfirms rather than supports the hypothesis.
- Hypotheses guide research. Scientists design studies to explicitly evaluate hypotheses about how nature works.
- For a hypothesis to be valid, it must be testable against empirical evidence. The evidence can then confirm or disprove the testable predictions.
- Hypotheses are informed by background knowledge and observation, but go beyond what is already known to propose an explanation of how or why something occurs.

Predictions typically arise from a thorough knowledge of the research literature, curiosity about real-world problems or implications, and integrating this to advance theory. They build on existing literature while providing new insight.

## Types of Research Hypotheses

Alternative hypothesis.

The research hypothesis is often called the alternative or experimental hypothesis in experimental research.

It typically suggests a potential relationship between two key variables: the independent variable, which the researcher manipulates, and the dependent variable, which is measured based on those changes.

The alternative hypothesis states a relationship exists between the two variables being studied (one variable affects the other).

A hypothesis is a testable statement or prediction about the relationship between two or more variables. It is a key component of the scientific method. Some key points about hypotheses:

- Important hypotheses lead to predictions that can be tested empirically. The evidence can then confirm or disprove the testable predictions.

In summary, a hypothesis is a precise, testable statement of what researchers expect to happen in a study and why. Hypotheses connect theory to data and guide the research process towards expanding scientific understanding.

An experimental hypothesis predicts what change(s) will occur in the dependent variable when the independent variable is manipulated.

It states that the results are not due to chance and are significant in supporting the theory being investigated.

The alternative hypothesis can be directional, indicating a specific direction of the effect, or non-directional, suggesting a difference without specifying its nature. It’s what researchers aim to support or demonstrate through their study.

## Null Hypothesis

The null hypothesis states no relationship exists between the two variables being studied (one variable does not affect the other). There will be no changes in the dependent variable due to manipulating the independent variable.

It states results are due to chance and are not significant in supporting the idea being investigated.

The null hypothesis, positing no effect or relationship, is a foundational contrast to the research hypothesis in scientific inquiry. It establishes a baseline for statistical testing, promoting objectivity by initiating research from a neutral stance.

Many statistical methods are tailored to test the null hypothesis, determining the likelihood of observed results if no true effect exists.

This dual-hypothesis approach provides clarity, ensuring that research intentions are explicit, and fosters consistency across scientific studies, enhancing the standardization and interpretability of research outcomes.

## Nondirectional Hypothesis

A non-directional hypothesis, also known as a two-tailed hypothesis, predicts that there is a difference or relationship between two variables but does not specify the direction of this relationship.

It merely indicates that a change or effect will occur without predicting which group will have higher or lower values.

For example, “There is a difference in performance between Group A and Group B” is a non-directional hypothesis.

## Directional Hypothesis

A directional (one-tailed) hypothesis predicts the nature of the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable. It predicts in which direction the change will take place. (i.e., greater, smaller, less, more)

It specifies whether one variable is greater, lesser, or different from another, rather than just indicating that there’s a difference without specifying its nature.

For example, “Exercise increases weight loss” is a directional hypothesis.

## Falsifiability

The Falsification Principle, proposed by Karl Popper , is a way of demarcating science from non-science. It suggests that for a theory or hypothesis to be considered scientific, it must be testable and irrefutable.

Falsifiability emphasizes that scientific claims shouldn’t just be confirmable but should also have the potential to be proven wrong.

It means that there should exist some potential evidence or experiment that could prove the proposition false.

However many confirming instances exist for a theory, it only takes one counter observation to falsify it. For example, the hypothesis that “all swans are white,” can be falsified by observing a black swan.

For Popper, science should attempt to disprove a theory rather than attempt to continually provide evidence to support a research hypothesis.

## Can a Hypothesis be Proven?

Hypotheses make probabilistic predictions. They state the expected outcome if a particular relationship exists. However, a study result supporting a hypothesis does not definitively prove it is true.

All studies have limitations. There may be unknown confounding factors or issues that limit the certainty of conclusions. Additional studies may yield different results.

In science, hypotheses can realistically only be supported with some degree of confidence, not proven. The process of science is to incrementally accumulate evidence for and against hypothesized relationships in an ongoing pursuit of better models and explanations that best fit the empirical data. But hypotheses remain open to revision and rejection if that is where the evidence leads.

- Disproving a hypothesis is definitive. Solid disconfirmatory evidence will falsify a hypothesis and require altering or discarding it based on the evidence.
- However, confirming evidence is always open to revision. Other explanations may account for the same results, and additional or contradictory evidence may emerge over time.

We can never 100% prove the alternative hypothesis. Instead, we see if we can disprove, or reject the null hypothesis.

If we reject the null hypothesis, this doesn’t mean that our alternative hypothesis is correct but does support the alternative/experimental hypothesis.

Upon analysis of the results, an alternative hypothesis can be rejected or supported, but it can never be proven to be correct. We must avoid any reference to results proving a theory as this implies 100% certainty, and there is always a chance that evidence may exist which could refute a theory.

## How to Write a Hypothesis

- Identify variables . The researcher manipulates the independent variable and the dependent variable is the measured outcome.
- Operationalized the variables being investigated . Operationalization of a hypothesis refers to the process of making the variables physically measurable or testable, e.g. if you are about to study aggression, you might count the number of punches given by participants.
- Decide on a direction for your prediction . If there is evidence in the literature to support a specific effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable, write a directional (one-tailed) hypothesis. If there are limited or ambiguous findings in the literature regarding the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable, write a non-directional (two-tailed) hypothesis.
- Make it Testable : Ensure your hypothesis can be tested through experimentation or observation. It should be possible to prove it false (principle of falsifiability).
- Clear & concise language . A strong hypothesis is concise (typically one to two sentences long), and formulated using clear and straightforward language, ensuring it’s easily understood and testable.

Consider a hypothesis many teachers might subscribe to: students work better on Monday morning than on Friday afternoon (IV=Day, DV= Standard of work).

Now, if we decide to study this by giving the same group of students a lesson on a Monday morning and a Friday afternoon and then measuring their immediate recall of the material covered in each session, we would end up with the following:

- The alternative hypothesis states that students will recall significantly more information on a Monday morning than on a Friday afternoon.
- The null hypothesis states that there will be no significant difference in the amount recalled on a Monday morning compared to a Friday afternoon. Any difference will be due to chance or confounding factors.

## More Examples

- Memory : Participants exposed to classical music during study sessions will recall more items from a list than those who studied in silence.
- Social Psychology : Individuals who frequently engage in social media use will report higher levels of perceived social isolation compared to those who use it infrequently.
- Developmental Psychology : Children who engage in regular imaginative play have better problem-solving skills than those who don’t.
- Clinical Psychology : Cognitive-behavioral therapy will be more effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety over a 6-month period compared to traditional talk therapy.
- Cognitive Psychology : Individuals who multitask between various electronic devices will have shorter attention spans on focused tasks than those who single-task.
- Health Psychology : Patients who practice mindfulness meditation will experience lower levels of chronic pain compared to those who don’t meditate.
- Organizational Psychology : Employees in open-plan offices will report higher levels of stress than those in private offices.
- Behavioral Psychology : Rats rewarded with food after pressing a lever will press it more frequently than rats who receive no reward.

## User Preferences

Content preview.

Arcu felis bibendum ut tristique et egestas quis:

- Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris
- Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate
- Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident

## Keyboard Shortcuts

6.6 - confidence intervals & hypothesis testing.

Confidence intervals and hypothesis tests are similar in that they are both inferential methods that rely on an approximated sampling distribution. Confidence intervals use data from a sample to estimate a population parameter. Hypothesis tests use data from a sample to test a specified hypothesis. Hypothesis testing requires that we have a hypothesized parameter.

The simulation methods used to construct bootstrap distributions and randomization distributions are similar. One primary difference is a bootstrap distribution is centered on the observed sample statistic while a randomization distribution is centered on the value in the null hypothesis.

In Lesson 4, we learned confidence intervals contain a range of reasonable estimates of the population parameter. All of the confidence intervals we constructed in this course were two-tailed. These two-tailed confidence intervals go hand-in-hand with the two-tailed hypothesis tests we learned in Lesson 5. The conclusion drawn from a two-tailed confidence interval is usually the same as the conclusion drawn from a two-tailed hypothesis test. In other words, if the the 95% confidence interval contains the hypothesized parameter, then a hypothesis test at the 0.05 \(\alpha\) level will almost always fail to reject the null hypothesis. If the 95% confidence interval does not contain the hypothesize parameter, then a hypothesis test at the 0.05 \(\alpha\) level will almost always reject the null hypothesis.

## Example: Mean Section

This example uses the Body Temperature dataset built in to StatKey for constructing a bootstrap confidence interval and conducting a randomization test .

Let's start by constructing a 95% confidence interval using the percentile method in StatKey:

The 95% confidence interval for the mean body temperature in the population is [98.044, 98.474].

Now, what if we want to know if there is enough evidence that the mean body temperature is different from 98.6 degrees? We can conduct a hypothesis test. Because 98.6 is not contained within the 95% confidence interval, it is not a reasonable estimate of the population mean. We should expect to have a p value less than 0.05 and to reject the null hypothesis.

\(H_0: \mu=98.6\)

\(H_a: \mu \ne 98.6\)

\(p = 2*0.00080=0.00160\)

\(p \leq 0.05\), reject the null hypothesis

There is evidence that the population mean is different from 98.6 degrees.

## Selecting the Appropriate Procedure Section

The decision of whether to use a confidence interval or a hypothesis test depends on the research question. If we want to estimate a population parameter, we use a confidence interval. If we are given a specific population parameter (i.e., hypothesized value), and want to determine the likelihood that a population with that parameter would produce a sample as different as our sample, we use a hypothesis test. Below are a few examples of selecting the appropriate procedure.

## Example: Cheese Consumption Section

Research question: How much cheese (in pounds) does an average American adult consume annually?

What is the appropriate inferential procedure?

Cheese consumption, in pounds, is a quantitative variable. We have one group: American adults. We are not given a specific value to test, so the appropriate procedure here is a confidence interval for a single mean .

## Example: Age Section

Research question: Is the average age in the population of all STAT 200 students greater than 30 years?

There is one group: STAT 200 students. The variable of interest is age in years, which is quantitative. The research question includes a specific population parameter to test: 30 years. The appropriate procedure is a hypothesis test for a single mean .

## Try it! Section

For each research question, identify the variables, the parameter of interest and decide on the the appropriate inferential procedure.

Research question: How strong is the correlation between height (in inches) and weight (in pounds) in American teenagers?

There are two variables of interest: (1) height in inches and (2) weight in pounds. Both are quantitative variables. The parameter of interest is the correlation between these two variables.

We are not given a specific correlation to test. We are being asked to estimate the strength of the correlation. The appropriate procedure here is a confidence interval for a correlation .

Research question: Are the majority of registered voters planning to vote in the next presidential election?

The parameter that is being tested here is a single proportion. We have one group: registered voters. "The majority" would be more than 50%, or p>0.50. This is a specific parameter that we are testing. The appropriate procedure here is a hypothesis test for a single proportion .

Research question: On average, are STAT 200 students younger than STAT 500 students?

We have two independent groups: STAT 200 students and STAT 500 students. We are comparing them in terms of average (i.e., mean) age.

If STAT 200 students are younger than STAT 500 students, that translates to \(\mu_{200}<\mu_{500}\) which is an alternative hypothesis. This could also be written as \(\mu_{200}-\mu_{500}<0\), where 0 is a specific population parameter that we are testing.

The appropriate procedure here is a hypothesis test for the difference in two means .

Research question: On average, how much taller are adult male giraffes compared to adult female giraffes?

There are two groups: males and females. The response variable is height, which is quantitative. We are not given a specific parameter to test, instead we are asked to estimate "how much" taller males are than females. The appropriate procedure is a confidence interval for the difference in two means .

Research question: Are STAT 500 students more likely than STAT 200 students to be employed full-time?

There are two independent groups: STAT 500 students and STAT 200 students. The response variable is full-time employment status which is categorical with two levels: yes/no.

If STAT 500 students are more likely than STAT 200 students to be employed full-time, that translates to \(p_{500}>p_{200}\) which is an alternative hypothesis. This could also be written as \(p_{500}-p_{200}>0\), where 0 is a specific parameter that we are testing. The appropriate procedure is a hypothesis test for the difference in two proportions.

Research question: Is there is a relationship between outdoor temperature (in Fahrenheit) and coffee sales (in cups per day)?

There are two variables here: (1) temperature in Fahrenheit and (2) cups of coffee sold in a day. Both variables are quantitative. The parameter of interest is the correlation between these two variables.

If there is a relationship between the variables, that means that the correlation is different from zero. This is a specific parameter that we are testing. The appropriate procedure is a hypothesis test for a correlation .

## Discussion Vs. Conclusion: Know the Difference Before Drafting Manuscripts

The discussion section of your manuscript can be one of the hardest to write as it requires you to think about the meaning of the research you have done. An effective discussion section tells the reader what your study means and why it is important. In this article, we will cover some pointers for writing clear/well-organized discussion and conclusion sections and discuss what should NOT be a part of these sections.

## What Should be in the Discussion Section?

Your discussion is, in short, the answer to the question “what do my results mean?” The discussion section of the manuscript should come after the methods and results section and before the conclusion. It should relate back directly to the questions posed in your introduction, and contextualize your results within the literature you have covered in your literature review . In order to make your discussion section engaging, you should include the following information:

- The major findings of your study
- The meaning of those findings
- How these findings relate to what others have done
- Limitations of your findings
- An explanation for any surprising, unexpected, or inconclusive results
- Suggestions for further research

Your discussion should NOT include any of the following information:

- New results or data not presented previously in the paper
- Unwarranted speculation
- Tangential issues
- Conclusions not supported by your data

Related: Avoid outright rejection with a well-structured manuscript. Check out these resources and improve your manuscript now!

## How to Make the Discussion Section Effective?

There are several ways to make the discussion section of your manuscript effective, interesting, and relevant. Hear from one of our experts on how to structure your discussion section and distinguish it from the results section:

Now that we have listened to how to approach writing a discussion section, let’s delve deeper into some essential tips with a few examples:

- Most writing guides recommend listing the findings of your study in decreasing order of their importance. You would not want your reader to lose sight of the key results that you found. Therefore, put the most important finding front and center. Example: Imagine that you conduct a study aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of stent placement in patients with partially blocked arteries. You find that despite this being a common first-line treatment, stents are not effective for patients with partially blocked arteries. The study also discovers that patients treated with a stent tend to develop asthma at slightly higher rates than those who receive no such treatment.

Which sentence would you choose to begin your discussion? Our findings suggest that patients who had partially blocked arteries and were treated with a stent as the first line of intervention had no better outcomes than patients who were not given any surgical treatments. Our findings noted that patients who received stents demonstrated slightly higher rates of asthma than those who did not. In addition, the placement of a stent did not impact their rates of cardiac events in a statistically significant way.

If you chose the first example, you are correct!

- If you are not sure which results are the most important, go back to your research question and start from there. The most important result is the one that answers your research question.
- It is also necessary to contextualize the meaning of your findings for the reader. What does previous literature say, and do your results agree? Do your results elaborate on previous findings, or differ significantly?
- In our stent example, if previous literature found that stents were an effective line of treatment for patients with partially blocked arteries, you should explore why your interpretation seems different in the discussion section. Did your methodology differ? Was your study broader in scope and larger in scale than the previous studies? Were there any limitations to previous studies that your study overcame? Alternatively, is it possible that your own study could be incorrect because of some difficulties you had in carrying it out? The discussion section should narrate a coherent story to the target audience.
- Finally, remember not to introduce new ideas/data, or speculate wildly on the possible future implications of your study in the discussion section. However, considering alternative explanations for your results is encouraged.

## Avoiding Confusion in your Conclusion!

Many writers confuse the information they should include in their discussion with the information they should place in their conclusion. One easy way to avoid this confusion is to think of your conclusion as a summary of everything that you have said thus far. In the conclusion section, you remind the reader of what they have just read. Your conclusion should:

- Restate your hypothesis or research question
- Restate your major findings
- Tell the reader what contribution your study has made to the existing literature
- Highlight any limitations of your study
- State future directions for research/recommendations

Your conclusion should NOT:

- Introduce new arguments
- Introduce new data
- Fail to include your research question
- Fail to state your major results

An appropriate conclusion to our hypothetical stent study might read as follows:

In this study, we examined the effectiveness of stent placement. We compared the patients with partially blocked arteries to those with non-surgical interventions. After examining the five-year medical outcomes of 19,457 patients in the Greater Dallas area, our statistical analysis concluded that the placement of a stent resulted in outcomes that were no better than non-surgical interventions such as diet and exercise. Although previous findings indicated that stent placement improved patient outcomes, our study followed a greater number of patients than those in major studies conducted previously. It is possible that outcomes would vary if measured over a ten or fifteen year period. Future researchers should consider investigating the impact of stent placement in these patients over a longer period (five years or longer). Regardless, our results point to the need for medical practitioners to reconsider the placement of a stent as the first line of treatment as non-surgical interventions may have equally positive outcomes for patients.

Did you find the tips in this article relevant? What is the most challenging portion of a research paper for you to write? Let us know in the comments section below!

This is the most stunning and self-instructional site I have come across. Thank you so much for your updates! I will help me work on my dissertation.

Thank you so much!! It helps a lot!

very helpful, thank you

thanks a lot …

this is one of a kind! awesome, straight to the point and easy to understand! Thanks a lot

Thank you so much for this, I never comment on these types of sites but I just had too here as I’ve never seen an article that has answered everyone of the questions I wanted when I searched on Google. Certainly not to the extent and clear clarity that you have presented. Thanks so much for this it has put my mind to ease a bit with my terrible dissertation haha.

Have a nice day.

Helped massively with writing a good conclusion!

Extremely well explained all details in simple and applicable manner, Thank you very much for outstanding article. It really made life easy. Ravi, India.

Thanks a lot for such a nicely explained difference of discussion and conclusion. now got some basic idea to write what.

Thanks for clearing the great confusion. It gave real clarity to me!

Clarified my confusion. Thank you for this article

This website certainly has all of the information I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

Rate this article Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.

## Enago Academy's Most Popular

- AI in Academia
- Infographic
- Manuscripts & Grants
- Reporting Research
- Trending Now

Can AI Tools Prepare a Research Manuscript From Scratch? — A comprehensive guide

As technology continues to advance, the question of whether artificial intelligence (AI) tools can prepare…

Abstract Vs. Introduction — Do you know the difference?

Ross wants to publish his research. Feeling positive about his research outcomes, he begins to…

- Old Webinars
- Webinar Mobile App

## Demystifying Research Methodology With Field Experts

Choosing research methodology Research design and methodology Evidence-based research approach How RAxter can assist researchers

- Manuscript Preparation
- Publishing Research

## How to Choose Best Research Methodology for Your Study

Successful research conduction requires proper planning and execution. While there are multiple reasons and aspects…

## Top 5 Key Differences Between Methods and Methodology

While burning the midnight oil during literature review, most researchers do not realize that the…

How to Draft the Acknowledgment Section of a Manuscript

Annex Vs. Appendix: Do You Know the Difference?

Sign-up to read more

Subscribe for free to get unrestricted access to all our resources on research writing and academic publishing including:

- 2000+ blog articles
- 50+ Webinars
- 10+ Expert podcasts
- 50+ Infographics
- 10+ Checklists
- Research Guides

We hate spam too. We promise to protect your privacy and never spam you.

I am looking for Editing/ Proofreading services for my manuscript Tentative date of next journal submission:

According to you, how can one ensure ethical compliance in research and academia?

Sage-Answer

Just clear tips and lifehacks for every day

## What is the difference between hypothesis and a conclusion?

Table of Contents

- 1 What is the difference between hypothesis and a conclusion?
- 2 How can you define a conclusion based on any hypothesis?
- 3 What is the difference between a hypothesis and a conclusion?
- 4 Is it correct to accept the null hypothesis?

HYPOTHESIS is the answer you think you’ll find. PREDICTION is your specific belief about the scientific idea: If my hypothesis is true, then I predict we will discover this. CONCLUSION is the answer that the experiment gives.

What is the relationship between the hypothesis and conclusion?

The hypothesis is the first, or “if,” part of a conditional statement. The conclusion is the second, or “then,” part of a conditional statement. The conclusion is the result of a hypothesis.

What is the difference between the hypothesis and experiment?

A hypothesis is tested and then either proven or disproven. The difference between a hypothesis and an experiment is that an experiment is a way to test a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a prediction. You predict that if you change one thing (the independent variable) the other thing (the dependent variable) will change.

## How can you define a conclusion based on any hypothesis?

Key Info. Your conclusions summarize how your results support or contradict your original hypothesis: Summarize your science fair project results in a few sentences and use this summary to support your conclusion. Include key facts from your background research to help explain your results as needed.

How do you find the hypothesis and conclusion of an IF THEN statement?

SOLUTION: The hypothesis of a conditional statement is the phrase immediately following the word if. The conclusion of a conditional statement is the phrase immediately following the word then. Hypothesis: Two angles are adjacent. Conclusion: They have a common side.

How do you write a hypothesis test conclusion?

To get the correct wording, you need to recall which hypothesis was the claim. If the claim was the null, then your conclusion is about whether there was sufficient evidence to reject the claim. Remember, we can never prove the null to be true, but failing to reject it is the next best thing.

## What is the difference between a hypothesis and a conclusion?

When is the negation of the hypothesis switched with the conclusion?

What’s the difference between an observation and a conclusion?

## Is it correct to accept the null hypothesis?

## Privacy Overview

- How to Cite
- Language & Lit
- Rhyme & Rhythm
- The Rewrite
- Search Glass

## What Is the Difference Between Results and Conclusions in a Scientific Experiment?

Five steps make up most scientific experiments, beginning with the research question. The next step is the formulation of a hypothesis, which is a statement of what you expect your project will show. The procedure is your step-by-step plan for the experiment. The final two steps are the results, or what happens, and, finally, the conclusion, or what the results showed.

## The Results

When you record the results of a scientific experiment, you record what happens as you follow your procedure. Results should be raw data that is measurable rather than general observations, and it should relate directly to your research question and hypothesis. For example, if your experiment involves growing plants, the results will be data about one aspect of the plants’ growth, such as how much each plant grows over a particular period of time or which seed sprouts first. The results should also include notations of any variations in the conditions of the experiment, which in this case might be an unexpected overnight freeze or which seed received the most water.

## Data Organization

At the end of your experiment’s procedure, you have data that tells what happened, but at this point it is just a collection of facts or numbers. The data needs to be organized before you can understand it, but how you organize the data depends on the factor tested in your experiment. If you entered the data into a chart as you collected it, you may already see a pattern. Another way to organize the data is with a line graph to show change over time, especially temperature changes. In the example of plant growth, a bar graph can illustrate how much each plant grew between measurements.

## The Conclusion

After all the data is organized in a form that relates it to your hypothesis, you can interpret it and reach a conclusion about the experiment. The conclusion is simply a report about what you learned based on whether the results agree or disagree with your hypothesis. It usually contains a summary of the actual procedure and makes note of anything unexpected that happened during the experiment. Your conclusion should consider all possible explanations of the data, including any errors you might have made, such as forgetting to water the plants one day. It can also give you a point from which to create further hypotheses relating to the experiment.

## No Right or Wrong

The conclusion, which is also sometimes called a discussion or interpretation, is a statement about the experiment’s results. As a report of your data, it can’t be considered wrong even if the results don’t support your hypothesis. You have learned that your hypothesis does not answer your original research question.

- Agriculture Is a Science: Parts of a Science Project
- Vermont EPSCoR Streams Project: Data Analysis Tutorial

Cynthia Gast began writing professionally over 25 years ago in the automotive magazine niche and has also taught preschoolers and elementary grades. She has been a full-time freelance writer since 2008. Gast holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Illinois.

- Essay Writing
- Extended Essays
- IB Internal Assessment
- Theory of Knowledge
- Literature Review
- Dissertations
- Research Writing
- Assignment Help
- Capstone Projects
- College Application
- Online Class
- Order Assignment

## Research Questions vs Hypothesis: Understanding the Difference Between Them

by Antony W

August 20, 2021

You’ll need to come up with a research question or a hypothesis to guide your next research project. But what is a hypothesis in the first place? What is the perfect definition for a research question? And, what’s the difference between the two?

In this guide to research questions vs hypothesis, we’ll look at the definition of each component and the difference between the two.

We’ll also look at when a research question and a hypothesis may be useful and provide you with some tips that you can use to come up with hypothesis and research questions that will suit your research topic .

Let’s get to it.

## What’s a Research Question?

We define a research question as the exact question you want to answer on a given topic or research project. Good research questions should be clear and easy to understand, allow for the collection of necessary data, and be specific and relevant to your field of study.

Research questions are part of heuristic research methods, where researchers use personal experiences and observations to understand a research subject. By using such approaches to explore the question, you should be able to provide an analytical justification of why and how you should respond to the question.

While it’s common for researchers to focus on one question at a time, more complex topics may require two or more questions to cover in-depth.

## When is a Research Question Useful?

A research question may be useful when and if:

- There isn’t enough previous research on the topic
- You want to report a wider range out of outcome when doing your research project
- You want to conduct a more open ended inquiries

Perhaps the biggest drawback with research questions is that they tend to researchers in a position to “fish expectations” or excessively manipulate their findings.

Again, research questions sometimes tend to be less specific, and the reason is that there often no sufficient previous research on the questions.

## What’s a Hypothesis?

A hypothesis is a statement you can approve or disapprove. You develop a hypothesis from a research question by changing the question into a statement.

Primarily applied in deductive research, it involves the use of scientific, mathematical, and sociological findings to agree to or write off an assumption.

Researchers use the null approach for statements they can disapprove. They take a hypothesis and add a “not” to it to make it a working null hypothesis.

A null hypothesis is quite common in scientific methods. In this case, you have to formulate a hypothesis, and then conduct an investigation to disapprove the statement.

If you can disapprove the statement, you develop another hypothesis and then repeat the process until you can’t disapprove the statement.

In other words, if a hypothesis is true, then it must have been repeatedly tested and verified.

The consensus among researchers is that, like research questions, a hypothesis should not only be clear and easy to understand but also have a definite focus, answerable, and relevant to your field of study.

## When is a Hypothesis Useful?

A hypothesis may be useful when or if:

- There’s enough previous research on the topic
- You want to test a specific model or a particular theory
- You anticipate a likely outcome in advance

The drawback to hypothesis as a scientific method is that it can hinder flexibility, or possibly blind a researcher not to see unanticipated results.

## Research Question vs Hypothesis: Which One Should Come First

Researchers use scientific methods to hone on different theories. So if the purpose of the research project were to analyze a concept, a scientific method would be necessary.

Such a case requires coming up with a research question first, followed by a scientific method.

Since a hypothesis is part of a research method, it will come after the research question.

## Research Question vs Hypothesis: What’s the Difference?

The following are the differences between a research question and a hypothesis.

We look at the differences in purpose and structure, writing, as well as conclusion.

## Research Questions vs Hypothesis: Some Useful Advice

As much as there are differences between hypothesis and research questions, you have to state either one in the introduction and then repeat the same in the conclusion of your research paper.

Whichever element you opt to use, you should clearly demonstrate that you understand your topic, have achieved the goal of your research project, and not swayed a bit in your research process.

If it helps, start and conclude every chapter of your research project by providing additional information on how you’ve or will address the hypothesis or research question.

You should also include the aims and objectives of coming up with the research question or formulating the hypothesis. Doing so will go a long way to demonstrate that you have a strong focus on the research issue at hand.

## Research Questions vs Hypothesis: Conclusion

If you need help with coming up with research questions, formulating a hypothesis, and completing your research paper writing , feel free to talk to us.

About the author

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

## Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

- Knowledge Base
- Null and Alternative Hypotheses | Definitions & Examples

## Null & Alternative Hypotheses | Definitions, Templates & Examples

Published on May 6, 2022 by Shaun Turney . Revised on June 22, 2023.

The null and alternative hypotheses are two competing claims that researchers weigh evidence for and against using a statistical test :

- Null hypothesis ( H 0 ): There’s no effect in the population .
- Alternative hypothesis ( H a or H 1 ) : There’s an effect in the population.

## Table of contents

Answering your research question with hypotheses, what is a null hypothesis, what is an alternative hypothesis, similarities and differences between null and alternative hypotheses, how to write null and alternative hypotheses, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions.

The null and alternative hypotheses offer competing answers to your research question . When the research question asks “Does the independent variable affect the dependent variable?”:

- The null hypothesis ( H 0 ) answers “No, there’s no effect in the population.”
- The alternative hypothesis ( H a ) answers “Yes, there is an effect in the population.”

The null and alternative are always claims about the population. That’s because the goal of hypothesis testing is to make inferences about a population based on a sample . Often, we infer whether there’s an effect in the population by looking at differences between groups or relationships between variables in the sample. It’s critical for your research to write strong hypotheses .

You can use a statistical test to decide whether the evidence favors the null or alternative hypothesis. Each type of statistical test comes with a specific way of phrasing the null and alternative hypothesis. However, the hypotheses can also be phrased in a general way that applies to any test.

## Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

- Academic style
- Vague sentences
- Style consistency

See an example

The null hypothesis is the claim that there’s no effect in the population.

If the sample provides enough evidence against the claim that there’s no effect in the population ( p ≤ α), then we can reject the null hypothesis . Otherwise, we fail to reject the null hypothesis.

Although “fail to reject” may sound awkward, it’s the only wording that statisticians accept . Be careful not to say you “prove” or “accept” the null hypothesis.

Null hypotheses often include phrases such as “no effect,” “no difference,” or “no relationship.” When written in mathematical terms, they always include an equality (usually =, but sometimes ≥ or ≤).

You can never know with complete certainty whether there is an effect in the population. Some percentage of the time, your inference about the population will be incorrect. When you incorrectly reject the null hypothesis, it’s called a type I error . When you incorrectly fail to reject it, it’s a type II error.

## Examples of null hypotheses

The table below gives examples of research questions and null hypotheses. There’s always more than one way to answer a research question, but these null hypotheses can help you get started.

*Note that some researchers prefer to always write the null hypothesis in terms of “no effect” and “=”. It would be fine to say that daily meditation has no effect on the incidence of depression and p 1 = p 2 .

The alternative hypothesis ( H a ) is the other answer to your research question . It claims that there’s an effect in the population.

Often, your alternative hypothesis is the same as your research hypothesis. In other words, it’s the claim that you expect or hope will be true.

The alternative hypothesis is the complement to the null hypothesis. Null and alternative hypotheses are exhaustive, meaning that together they cover every possible outcome. They are also mutually exclusive, meaning that only one can be true at a time.

Alternative hypotheses often include phrases such as “an effect,” “a difference,” or “a relationship.” When alternative hypotheses are written in mathematical terms, they always include an inequality (usually ≠, but sometimes < or >). As with null hypotheses, there are many acceptable ways to phrase an alternative hypothesis.

## Examples of alternative hypotheses

The table below gives examples of research questions and alternative hypotheses to help you get started with formulating your own.

Null and alternative hypotheses are similar in some ways:

- They’re both answers to the research question.
- They both make claims about the population.
- They’re both evaluated by statistical tests.

However, there are important differences between the two types of hypotheses, summarized in the following table.

## Here's why students love Scribbr's proofreading services

Discover proofreading & editing

To help you write your hypotheses, you can use the template sentences below. If you know which statistical test you’re going to use, you can use the test-specific template sentences. Otherwise, you can use the general template sentences.

## General template sentences

The only thing you need to know to use these general template sentences are your dependent and independent variables. To write your research question, null hypothesis, and alternative hypothesis, fill in the following sentences with your variables:

Does independent variable affect dependent variable ?

- Null hypothesis ( H 0 ): Independent variable does not affect dependent variable.
- Alternative hypothesis ( H a ): Independent variable affects dependent variable.

## Test-specific template sentences

Once you know the statistical test you’ll be using, you can write your hypotheses in a more precise and mathematical way specific to the test you chose. The table below provides template sentences for common statistical tests.

Note: The template sentences above assume that you’re performing one-tailed tests . One-tailed tests are appropriate for most studies.

If you want to know more about statistics , methodology , or research bias , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

- Normal distribution
- Descriptive statistics
- Measures of central tendency
- Correlation coefficient

Methodology

- Cluster sampling
- Stratified sampling
- Types of interviews
- Cohort study
- Thematic analysis

Research bias

- Implicit bias
- Cognitive bias
- Survivorship bias
- Availability heuristic
- Nonresponse bias
- Regression to the mean

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.

Null and alternative hypotheses are used in statistical hypothesis testing . The null hypothesis of a test always predicts no effect or no relationship between variables, while the alternative hypothesis states your research prediction of an effect or relationship.

The null hypothesis is often abbreviated as H 0 . When the null hypothesis is written using mathematical symbols, it always includes an equality symbol (usually =, but sometimes ≥ or ≤).

The alternative hypothesis is often abbreviated as H a or H 1 . When the alternative hypothesis is written using mathematical symbols, it always includes an inequality symbol (usually ≠, but sometimes < or >).

A research hypothesis is your proposed answer to your research question. The research hypothesis usually includes an explanation (“ x affects y because …”).

A statistical hypothesis, on the other hand, is a mathematical statement about a population parameter. Statistical hypotheses always come in pairs: the null and alternative hypotheses . In a well-designed study , the statistical hypotheses correspond logically to the research hypothesis.

## Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Turney, S. (2023, June 22). Null & Alternative Hypotheses | Definitions, Templates & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved January 2, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/statistics/null-and-alternative-hypotheses/

## Is this article helpful?

## Shaun Turney

Other students also liked, inferential statistics | an easy introduction & examples, hypothesis testing | a step-by-step guide with easy examples, type i & type ii errors | differences, examples, visualizations, what is your plagiarism score.

- 9.1 Null and Alternative Hypotheses
- Introduction
- 1.1 Definitions of Statistics, Probability, and Key Terms
- 1.2 Data, Sampling, and Variation in Data and Sampling
- 1.3 Frequency, Frequency Tables, and Levels of Measurement
- 1.4 Experimental Design and Ethics
- 1.5 Data Collection Experiment
- 1.6 Sampling Experiment
- Chapter Review
- Bringing It Together: Homework
- 2.1 Stem-and-Leaf Graphs (Stemplots), Line Graphs, and Bar Graphs
- 2.2 Histograms, Frequency Polygons, and Time Series Graphs
- 2.3 Measures of the Location of the Data
- 2.4 Box Plots
- 2.5 Measures of the Center of the Data
- 2.6 Skewness and the Mean, Median, and Mode
- 2.7 Measures of the Spread of the Data
- 2.8 Descriptive Statistics
- Formula Review
- 3.1 Terminology
- 3.2 Independent and Mutually Exclusive Events
- 3.3 Two Basic Rules of Probability
- 3.4 Contingency Tables
- 3.5 Tree and Venn Diagrams
- 3.6 Probability Topics
- Bringing It Together: Practice
- 4.1 Probability Distribution Function (PDF) for a Discrete Random Variable
- 4.2 Mean or Expected Value and Standard Deviation
- 4.3 Binomial Distribution (Optional)
- 4.4 Geometric Distribution (Optional)
- 4.5 Hypergeometric Distribution (Optional)
- 4.6 Poisson Distribution (Optional)
- 4.7 Discrete Distribution (Playing Card Experiment)
- 4.8 Discrete Distribution (Lucky Dice Experiment)
- 5.1 Continuous Probability Functions
- 5.2 The Uniform Distribution
- 5.3 The Exponential Distribution (Optional)
- 5.4 Continuous Distribution
- 6.1 The Standard Normal Distribution
- 6.2 Using the Normal Distribution
- 6.3 Normal Distribution—Lap Times
- 6.4 Normal Distribution—Pinkie Length
- 7.1 The Central Limit Theorem for Sample Means (Averages)
- 7.2 The Central Limit Theorem for Sums (Optional)
- 7.3 Using the Central Limit Theorem
- 7.4 Central Limit Theorem (Pocket Change)
- 7.5 Central Limit Theorem (Cookie Recipes)
- 8.1 A Single Population Mean Using the Normal Distribution
- 8.2 A Single Population Mean Using the Student's t-Distribution
- 8.3 A Population Proportion
- 8.4 Confidence Interval (Home Costs)
- 8.5 Confidence Interval (Place of Birth)
- 8.6 Confidence Interval (Women's Heights)
- 9.2 Outcomes and the Type I and Type II Errors
- 9.3 Distribution Needed for Hypothesis Testing
- 9.4 Rare Events, the Sample, and the Decision and Conclusion
- 9.5 Additional Information and Full Hypothesis Test Examples
- 9.6 Hypothesis Testing of a Single Mean and Single Proportion
- 10.1 Two Population Means with Unknown Standard Deviations
- 10.2 Two Population Means with Known Standard Deviations
- 10.3 Comparing Two Independent Population Proportions
- 10.4 Matched or Paired Samples (Optional)
- 10.5 Hypothesis Testing for Two Means and Two Proportions
- 11.1 Facts About the Chi-Square Distribution
- 11.2 Goodness-of-Fit Test
- 11.3 Test of Independence
- 11.4 Test for Homogeneity
- 11.5 Comparison of the Chi-Square Tests
- 11.6 Test of a Single Variance
- 11.7 Lab 1: Chi-Square Goodness-of-Fit
- 11.8 Lab 2: Chi-Square Test of Independence
- 12.1 Linear Equations
- 12.2 The Regression Equation
- 12.3 Testing the Significance of the Correlation Coefficient (Optional)
- 12.4 Prediction (Optional)
- 12.5 Outliers
- 12.6 Regression (Distance from School) (Optional)
- 12.7 Regression (Textbook Cost) (Optional)
- 12.8 Regression (Fuel Efficiency) (Optional)
- 13.1 One-Way ANOVA
- 13.2 The F Distribution and the F Ratio
- 13.3 Facts About the F Distribution
- 13.4 Test of Two Variances
- 13.5 Lab: One-Way ANOVA
- A | Appendix A Review Exercises (Ch 3–13)
- B | Appendix B Practice Tests (1–4) and Final Exams
- C | Data Sets
- D | Group and Partner Projects
- E | Solution Sheets
- F | Mathematical Phrases, Symbols, and Formulas
- G | Notes for the TI-83, 83+, 84, 84+ Calculators

The actual test begins by considering two hypotheses . They are called the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis . These hypotheses contain opposing viewpoints.

H 0 , the — null hypothesis: a statement of no difference between sample means or proportions or no difference between a sample mean or proportion and a population mean or proportion. In other words, the difference equals 0.

H a —, the alternative hypothesis: a claim about the population that is contradictory to H 0 and what we conclude when we reject H 0 .

Since the null and alternative hypotheses are contradictory, you must examine evidence to decide if you have enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis or not. The evidence is in the form of sample data.

After you have determined which hypothesis the sample supports, you make a decision. There are two options for a decision. They are reject H 0 if the sample information favors the alternative hypothesis or do not reject H 0 or decline to reject H 0 if the sample information is insufficient to reject the null hypothesis.

Mathematical Symbols Used in H 0 and H a :

H 0 always has a symbol with an equal in it. H a never has a symbol with an equal in it. The choice of symbol depends on the wording of the hypothesis test. However, be aware that many researchers use = in the null hypothesis, even with > or < as the symbol in the alternative hypothesis. This practice is acceptable because we only make the decision to reject or not reject the null hypothesis.

## Example 9.1

H 0 : No more than 30 percent of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. p ≤ 30 H a : More than 30 percent of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. p > 30

A medical trial is conducted to test whether or not a new medicine reduces cholesterol by 25 percent. State the null and alternative hypotheses.

## Example 9.2

We want to test whether the mean GPA of students in American colleges is different from 2.0 (out of 4.0). The null and alternative hypotheses are the following: H 0 : μ = 2.0 H a : μ ≠ 2.0

We want to test whether the mean height of eighth graders is 66 inches. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Fill in the correct symbol (=, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- H 0 : μ __ 66
- H a : μ __ 66

## Example 9.3

We want to test if college students take fewer than five years to graduate from college, on the average. The null and alternative hypotheses are the following: H 0 : μ ≥ 5 H a : μ < 5

We want to test if it takes fewer than 45 minutes to teach a lesson plan. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Fill in the correct symbol ( =, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- H 0 : μ __ 45
- H a : μ __ 45

## Example 9.4

An article on school standards stated that about half of all students in France, Germany, and Israel take advanced placement exams and a third of the students pass. The same article stated that 6.6 percent of U.S. students take advanced placement exams and 4.4 percent pass. Test if the percentage of U.S. students who take advanced placement exams is more than 6.6 percent. State the null and alternative hypotheses. H 0 : p ≤ 0.066 H a : p > 0.066

On a state driver’s test, about 40 percent pass the test on the first try. We want to test if more than 40 percent pass on the first try. Fill in the correct symbol (=, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- H 0 : p __ 0.40
- H a : p __ 0.40

## Collaborative Exercise

Bring to class a newspaper, some news magazines, and some internet articles. In groups, find articles from which your group can write null and alternative hypotheses. Discuss your hypotheses with the rest of the class.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute Texas Education Agency (TEA). The original material is available at: https://www.texasgateway.org/book/tea-statistics . Changes were made to the original material, including updates to art, structure, and other content updates.

Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/statistics/pages/1-introduction

- Authors: Barbara Illowsky, Susan Dean
- Publisher/website: OpenStax
- Book title: Statistics
- Publication date: Mar 27, 2020
- Location: Houston, Texas
- Book URL: https://openstax.org/books/statistics/pages/1-introduction
- Section URL: https://openstax.org/books/statistics/pages/9-1-null-and-alternative-hypotheses

© Apr 5, 2023 Texas Education Agency (TEA). The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.

## The Real Differences Between Thesis and Hypothesis (With table)

A thesis and a hypothesis are two very different things, but they are often confused with one another. In this blog post, we will explain the differences between these two terms, and help you understand when to use which one in a research project.

As a whole, the main difference between a thesis and a hypothesis is that a thesis is an assertion that can be proven or disproven, while a hypothesis is a statement that can be tested by scientific research.

We probably need to expand a bit on this topic to make things clearer for you, let’s start with definitions and examples.

## Definitions

As always, let’s start with the definition of each term before going further.

A thesis is a statement or theory that is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved. A thesis statement is usually one sentence, and it states your position on the topic at hand.

A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested by scientific research. A hypothesis is usually based on observations, and it seeks to explain how these observations fit together.

## You may also like:

- Differences between Hardcover and Paperback
- Differences between Average and Median
- Differences between Embassy and Consulate

The best way to understand the slight difference between those terms, is to give you an example for each of them.

If you are writing a paper about the effects of climate change on the environment, your thesis might be “Climate change is causing irreparable damage to our planet, and we must take action to prevent further damage”.

If you observe that the leaves on a tree are turning yellow, your hypothesis might be “The tree is sick”. It’s the starting point of experimental research: what can you do then to prove if your hypothesis is right or wrong?

If your hypothesis is correct, then further research should be able to confirm it. However, if your hypothesis is incorrect, research will disprove it. Either way, a hypothesis is an important part of the scientific process.

Taking a look at the etymology of words can help you to remember which one to use is each case.

The word “thesis” comes from the Greek θέσις, meaning “something put forth”, and refers to an intellectual proposition.

The word “hypothesis” comes from the Greek words “hupo,” meaning “under”, and “thesis” that we just explained.

This reflects the fact that a hypothesis is an educated guess, based on observations.

## Argumentation vs idea

Hypothesis are generally base on simple observation, while thesis imply that more work has been done on the topic.

A thesis is usually the result of extensive research and contemplation, and seeks to prove a point or theory.

A hypothesis is only a statement that need to be tested by observation or experimentation.

## 5 mains differences between thesis and hypothesis

Thesis and hypothesis are different in several ways, here are the 5 keys differences between those terms:

- A thesis is a statement that can be argued, while a hypothesis cannot be argued.
- A thesis is usually longer than a hypothesis.
- A thesis is more detailed than a hypothesis.
- A thesis is based on research, while a hypothesis may or may not be based on research.
- A thesis must be proven, while a hypothesis need not be proven.

So, in short, a thesis is an argument, while a hypothesis is a prediction. A thesis is more detailed and longer than a hypothesis, and it is based on research. Finally, a thesis must be proven, while a hypothesis does not need to be proven.

## Is there a difference between a thesis and a claim?

Yes, there is a difference between a thesis and a claim. A thesis statement is usually one sentence that states your main argument, while a claim is a more general statement that can be supported by evidence.

## Is a hypothesis a prediction?

No, a hypothesis is not a prediction. A prediction is a statement about what you think will happen in the future, whereas a hypothesis is a statement about what you think is causing a particular phenomenon.

## What’s the difference between thesis and dissertation?

A thesis is usually shorter and more focused than a dissertation, and it is typically achieved in order to earn a bachelor’s degree. A dissertation is usually longer and more comprehensive, and it is typically completed in order to earn a master’s or doctorate degree.

## What is a good thesis statement?

A good thesis statement is specific, debatable, and supports the main point of the paper. It should be clear what the researcher position is, and what evidence they will use to support it.

Thanks for reading! I hope this post helped clear up the differences between thesis and hypothesis. Like that kind of comparison? These other articles might be interesting for you:

- What is the Difference between Mandate and Law?
- The 6 Differences Between Space And Universe
- What’s the Difference Between Cosmology and Astrology?

I am very curious and I love to learn about all types of subjects. Thanks to my experience on the web, I share my discoveries with you on this site :)

## Similar Posts

## What is the Difference Between a Missile and a Rocket?

Rockets and missiles are two words that are frequently used interchangeably. Personally, I tend to use “missile” in a military context and “rocket” for space exploration. But what’s the real difference? As a whole, rocket are short-range weapons because they can’t be guided after launch. On the other hand, missiles include a navigation system and…

## Crash vs. Accident: What You Need to Know

What’s the difference between a crash and an accident? Many people use the two words interchangeably, but there is a big difference between the two. This post will explain the main difference, but also a few nuances you need to know. A crash is when two or more vehicles collide with each other, while an…

## What’s the Difference Between Embassy and Consulate?

Are you looking for a visa to visit a foreign country? Do you know where to get such services between an embassy and a consulate? Have you had issues directing a fellow citizen on where to report a crisis in a foreign country between a consulate and an embassy? Like in any other field, these…

## The 6 Differences Between Space And Universe (With table)

The world above us is gigantic, and we tend to use words like space, universe or galaxy as if they had the same meaning. Well, it’s not the case, and I will explain the differences between space and universe in this article. As a whole, the main difference between space and universe is that space…

## 8 Main Differences Between North Korea And South Korea

You most likely already know that even though North and South Korea are neighbors, the life in these two countries is quite different. But how different exactly, and where does this come from? I’ll answer all these questions in this article. The main difference between North and South Korea is that North Korea is a…

## What’s the Differences between Fascism and Dictatorship?

The borders are often thin between the different political forms and ideology. As it’s already difficult to tell the real differences for common ones, it’s even harder for movements that almost don’t exist anymore. In this article, we’ll take a look specifically at fascism and dictatorship. The main difference between fascism and dictatorship is that…

## IMAGES

## VIDEO

## COMMENTS

An hypothesis can be as yet untested; can have already been tested; may have been falsified; may have not yet been falsified, although tested; or may have been tested in a myriad of ways countless times without being falsified; and it may come to be universally accepted by the scientific community.

Observation/Research Hypothesis Prediction Experimentation Conclusion Now that you have settled on the question you want to ask, it's time to use the Scientific Method to design an experiment to answer that question. If your experiment isn't designed well, you may not get the correct answer. You may not even get any definitive answer at all!

Answer link Well, an hypothesis is something that is proposed.... And the mark of a good "hypothesis" is its "testability". That is there exist a few simple experiments whose results would confirm or deny the original hypothesis.

6. Write a null hypothesis. If your research involves statistical hypothesis testing, you will also have to write a null hypothesis. The null hypothesis is the default position that there is no association between the variables. The null hypothesis is written as H 0, while the alternative hypothesis is H 1 or H a.

Begin with a clear statement of the principal findings. This will reinforce the main take-away for the reader and set up the rest of the discussion. Explain why the outcomes of your study are important to the reader. Discuss the implications of your findings realistically based on previous literature, highlighting both the strengths and ...

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 ...

The conclusion supports the hypothesis because it shows that particles close particle A particle is a single piece of matter from an element or a compound, which is too small to be seen. Particles ...

A hypothesis test is used to test whether or not some hypothesis about a population parameter is true.. To perform a hypothesis test in the real world, researchers obtain a random sample from the population and perform a hypothesis test on the sample data, using a null and alternative hypothesis:. Null Hypothesis (H 0): The sample data occurs purely from chance.

a complete restatement of all that you have said in your paper. a substantial counterargument that you do not have space to refute; you should introduce counterarguments before your conclusion. an apology for what you have not said. If you need to explain the scope of your paper, you should do this sooner—but don't apologize for what you ...

Theory A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. Therefore, theories can be disproven.

...and a conclusion is whether that proposal was justified. From a dictionary of philosophy (that I happened to pick up last week for £2-00 at a second hand bookstore), an hypothesis is a proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without any assumption of its truth.

Theory vs. Hypothesis: Basics of the Scientific Method Written by MasterClass Last updated: Jun 7, 2021 • 2 min read Though you may hear the terms "theory" and "hypothesis" used interchangeably, these two scientific terms have drastically different meanings in the world of science. Learn From the Best Community & Government Wellness Food

In scientific reasoning, they're two completely different things What to Know A hypothesis is an assumption made before any research has been done. It is formed so that it can be tested to see if it might be true. A theory is a principle formed to explain the things already shown in data.

Examples. A research hypothesis, in its plural form "hypotheses," is a specific, testable prediction about the anticipated results of a study, established at its outset. It is a key component of the scientific method. Hypotheses connect theory to data and guide the research process towards expanding scientific understanding.

Confidence intervals use data from a sample to estimate a population parameter. Hypothesis tests use data from a sample to test a specified hypothesis. Hypothesis testing requires that we have a hypothesized parameter. The simulation methods used to construct bootstrap distributions and randomization distributions are similar.

Derived terms * hypothesize * hypothetic * hypothetical * hypothetically Related terms * alternative hypothesis * ergodic hypothesis * Avogadro's hypothesis * Fisher hypothesis * Griesbach hypothesis * null hypothesis * Riemann hypothesis conclusions English Noun ( head ) ----

Discussion Vs. Conclusion: Know the Difference Before Drafting Manuscripts By Enago Academy Jul 28, 2023 4 mins read 🔊 Listen (average: 5 out of 5. Total: 2) The discussion section of your manuscript can be one of the hardest to write as it requires you to think about the meaning of the research you have done.

Admin Table of Contents [ hide] 1 What is the difference between hypothesis and a conclusion? 2 How can you define a conclusion based on any hypothesis? 3 What is the difference between a hypothesis and a conclusion? 4 Is it correct to accept the null hypothesis? What is the difference between hypothesis and a conclusion?

No Right or Wrong The conclusion, which is also sometimes called a discussion or interpretation, is a statement about the experiment's results. As a report of your data, it can't be considered wrong even if the results don't support your hypothesis. You have learned that your hypothesis does not answer your original research question. Writer Bio

A hypothesis is a statement you can approve or disapprove. You develop a hypothesis from a research question by changing the question into a statement. Primarily applied in deductive research, it involves the use of scientific, mathematical, and sociological findings to agree to or write off an assumption. Researchers use the null approach for ...

Revised on June 22, 2023. The null and alternative hypotheses are two competing claims that researchers weigh evidence for and against using a statistical test: Null hypothesis (H0): There's no effect in the population. Alternative hypothesis (Ha or H1): There's an effect in the population.

The actual test begins by considering two hypotheses.They are called the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.These hypotheses contain opposing viewpoints. H 0, the —null hypothesis: a statement of no difference between sample means or proportions or no difference between a sample mean or proportion and a population mean or proportion. In other words, the difference equals 0.

How To Use "Hypotheses" In A Sentence "Hypotheses" is the plural form of "hypothesis," which means a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. Here are some examples of how to use "hypotheses" in a sentence: Scientists developed several hypotheses to explain the unusual behavior of the species.

Thesis A thesis is a statement or theory that is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved. A thesis statement is usually one sentence, and it states your position on the topic at hand. Hypothesis A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested by scientific research.