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## How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Steps & Examples

Published on May 6, 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on November 20, 2023.

A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested by scientific research. If you want to test a relationship between two or more variables, you need to write hypotheses before you start your experiment or data collection .

## Example: Hypothesis

Daily apple consumption leads to fewer doctor’s visits.

## Table of contents

What is a hypothesis, developing a hypothesis (with example), hypothesis examples, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing hypotheses.

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

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

## Variables in hypotheses

Hypotheses propose a relationship between two or more types of variables .

- An independent variable is something the researcher changes or controls.
- A dependent variable is something the researcher observes and measures.

If there are any control variables , extraneous variables , or confounding variables , be sure to jot those down as you go to minimize the chances that research bias will affect your results.

In this example, the independent variable is exposure to the sun – the assumed cause . The dependent variable is the level of happiness – the assumed effect .

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## Step 1. Ask a question

Writing a hypothesis begins with a research question that you want to answer. The question should be focused, specific, and researchable within the constraints of your project.

## Step 2. Do some preliminary research

Your initial answer to the question should be based on what is already known about the topic. Look for theories and previous studies to help you form educated assumptions about what your research will find.

At this stage, you might construct a conceptual framework to ensure that you’re embarking on a relevant topic . This can also help you identify which variables you will study and what you think the relationships are between them. Sometimes, you’ll have to operationalize more complex constructs.

## Step 3. Formulate your hypothesis

Now you should have some idea of what you expect to find. Write your initial answer to the question in a clear, concise sentence.

## 4. Refine your hypothesis

You need to make sure your hypothesis is specific and testable. There are various ways of phrasing a hypothesis, but all the terms you use should have clear definitions, and the hypothesis should contain:

- The relevant variables
- The specific group being studied
- The predicted outcome of the experiment or analysis

## 5. Phrase your hypothesis in three ways

To identify the variables, you can write a simple prediction in if…then form. The first part of the sentence states the independent variable and the second part states the dependent variable.

In academic research, hypotheses are more commonly phrased in terms of correlations or effects, where you directly state the predicted relationship between variables.

If you are comparing two groups, the hypothesis can state what difference you expect to find between them.

## 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 .

- H 0 : The number of lectures attended by first-year students has no effect on their final exam scores.
- H 1 : The number of lectures attended by first-year students has a positive effect on their final exam scores.

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

- Sampling methods
- Simple random sampling
- Stratified sampling
- Cluster sampling
- Likert scales
- Reproducibility

Statistics

- Null hypothesis
- Statistical power
- Probability distribution
- Effect size
- Poisson distribution

Research bias

- Optimism bias
- Cognitive bias
- Implicit bias
- Hawthorne effect
- Anchoring bias
- Explicit bias

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

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.

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.

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5.2 - writing hypotheses.

The first step in conducting a hypothesis test is to write the hypothesis statements that are going to be tested. For each test you will have a null hypothesis (\(H_0\)) and an alternative hypothesis (\(H_a\)).

When writing hypotheses there are three things that we need to know: (1) the parameter that we are testing (2) the direction of the test (non-directional, right-tailed or left-tailed), and (3) the value of the hypothesized parameter.

- At this point we can write hypotheses for a single mean (\(\mu\)), paired means(\(\mu_d\)), a single proportion (\(p\)), the difference between two independent means (\(\mu_1-\mu_2\)), the difference between two proportions (\(p_1-p_2\)), a simple linear regression slope (\(\beta\)), and a correlation (\(\rho\)).
- The research question will give us the information necessary to determine if the test is two-tailed (e.g., "different from," "not equal to"), right-tailed (e.g., "greater than," "more than"), or left-tailed (e.g., "less than," "fewer than").
- The research question will also give us the hypothesized parameter value. This is the number that goes in the hypothesis statements (i.e., \(\mu_0\) and \(p_0\)). For the difference between two groups, regression, and correlation, this value is typically 0.

Hypotheses are always written in terms of population parameters (e.g., \(p\) and \(\mu\)). The tables below display all of the possible hypotheses for the parameters that we have learned thus far. Note that the null hypothesis always includes the equality (i.e., =).

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- Knowledge Base
- Methodology
- How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Guide & Examples

## How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Guide & Examples

Published on 6 May 2022 by Shona McCombes .

A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested by scientific research. If you want to test a relationship between two or more variables, you need to write hypotheses before you start your experiment or data collection.

## Table of contents

What is a hypothesis, developing a hypothesis (with example), hypothesis examples, frequently asked questions about writing hypotheses.

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

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

## Variables in hypotheses

Hypotheses propose a relationship between two or more variables . An independent variable is something the researcher changes or controls. A dependent variable is something the researcher observes and measures.

In this example, the independent variable is exposure to the sun – the assumed cause . The dependent variable is the level of happiness – the assumed effect .

## Prevent plagiarism, run a free check.

Step 1: ask a question.

Writing a hypothesis begins with a research question that you want to answer. The question should be focused, specific, and researchable within the constraints of your project.

## Step 2: Do some preliminary research

Your initial answer to the question should be based on what is already known about the topic. Look for theories and previous studies to help you form educated assumptions about what your research will find.

At this stage, you might construct a conceptual framework to identify which variables you will study and what you think the relationships are between them. Sometimes, you’ll have to operationalise more complex constructs.

## Step 3: Formulate your hypothesis

Now you should have some idea of what you expect to find. Write your initial answer to the question in a clear, concise sentence.

## Step 4: Refine your hypothesis

You need to make sure your hypothesis is specific and testable. There are various ways of phrasing a hypothesis, but all the terms you use should have clear definitions, and the hypothesis should contain:

- The relevant variables
- The specific group being studied
- The predicted outcome of the experiment or analysis

## Step 5: Phrase your hypothesis in three ways

To identify the variables, you can write a simple prediction in if … then form. The first part of the sentence states the independent variable and the second part states the dependent variable.

In academic research, hypotheses are more commonly phrased in terms of correlations or effects, where you directly state the predicted relationship between variables.

If you are comparing two groups, the hypothesis can state what difference you expect to find between them.

## Step 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 .

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.

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

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

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McCombes, S. (2022, May 06). How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 15 April 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/research-methods/hypothesis-writing/

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## Learn How To Write A Hypothesis For Your Next Research Project!

Undoubtedly, research plays a crucial role in substantiating or refuting our assumptions. These assumptions act as potential answers to our questions. Such assumptions, also known as hypotheses, are considered key aspects of research. In this blog, we delve into the significance of hypotheses. And provide insights on how to write them effectively. So, let’s dive in and explore the art of writing hypotheses together.

Table of Contents

## What is a Hypothesis?

A hypothesis is a crucial starting point in scientific research. It is an educated guess about the relationship between two or more variables. In other words, a hypothesis acts as a foundation for a researcher to build their study.

Here are some examples of well-crafted hypotheses:

- Increased exposure to natural sunlight improves sleep quality in adults.

A positive relationship between natural sunlight exposure and sleep quality in adult individuals.

- Playing puzzle games on a regular basis enhances problem-solving abilities in children.

Engaging in frequent puzzle gameplay leads to improved problem-solving skills in children.

- Students and improved learning hecks.

S tudents using online paper writing service platforms (as a learning tool for receiving personalized feedback and guidance) will demonstrate improved writing skills. (compared to those who do not utilize such platforms).

- The use of APA format in research papers.

Using the APA format helps students stay organized when writing research papers. Organized students can focus better on their topics and, as a result, produce better quality work.

## The Building Blocks of a Hypothesis

To better understand the concept of a hypothesis, let’s break it down into its basic components:

- Variables . A hypothesis involves at least two variables. An independent variable and a dependent variable. The independent variable is the one being changed or manipulated, while the dependent variable is the one being measured or observed.
- Relationship : A hypothesis proposes a relationship or connection between the variables. This could be a cause-and-effect relationship or a correlation between them.
- Testability : A hypothesis should be testable and falsifiable, meaning it can be proven right or wrong through experimentation or observation.

## Types of Hypotheses

When learning how to write a hypothesis, it’s essential to understand its main types. These include; alternative hypotheses and null hypotheses. In the following section, we explore both types of hypotheses with examples.

## Alternative Hypothesis (H1)

This kind of hypothesis suggests a relationship or effect between the variables. It is the main focus of the study. The researcher wants to either prove or disprove it. Many research divides this hypothesis into two subsections:

- Directional

This type of H1 predicts a specific outcome. Many researchers use this hypothesis to explore the relationship between variables rather than the groups.

- Non-directional

You can take a guess from the name. This type of H1 does not provide a specific prediction for the research outcome.

Here are some examples for your better understanding of how to write a hypothesis.

- Consuming caffeine improves cognitive performance. (This hypothesis predicts that there is a positive relationship between caffeine consumption and cognitive performance.)
- Aerobic exercise leads to reduced blood pressure. (This hypothesis suggests that engaging in aerobic exercise results in lower blood pressure readings.)
- Exposure to nature reduces stress levels among employees. (Here, the hypothesis proposes that employees exposed to natural environments will experience decreased stress levels.)
- Listening to classical music while studying increases memory retention. (This hypothesis speculates that studying with classical music playing in the background boosts students’ ability to retain information.)
- Early literacy intervention improves reading skills in children. (This hypothesis claims that providing early literacy assistance to children results in enhanced reading abilities.)
- Time management in nursing students. ( Students who use a nursing research paper writing service have more time to focus on their studies and can achieve better grades in other subjects. )

## Null Hypothesis (H0)

A null hypothesis assumes no relationship or effect between the variables. If the alternative hypothesis is proven to be false, the null hypothesis is considered to be true. Usually a null hypothesis shows no direct correlation between the defined variables.

Here are some of the examples

- The consumption of herbal tea has no effect on sleep quality. (This hypothesis assumes that herbal tea consumption does not impact the quality of sleep.)
- The number of hours spent playing video games is unrelated to academic performance. (Here, the null hypothesis suggests that no relationship exists between video gameplay duration and academic achievement.)
- Implementing flexible work schedules has no influence on employee job satisfaction. (This hypothesis contends that providing flexible schedules does not affect how satisfied employees are with their jobs.)
- Writing ability of a 7th grader is not affected by reading editorial example. ( There is no relationship between reading an editorial example and improving a 7th grader’s writing abilities.)
- The type of lighting in a room does not affect people’s mood. (In this null hypothesis, there is no connection between the kind of lighting in a room and the mood of those present.)
- The use of social media during break time does not impact productivity at work. (This hypothesis proposes that social media usage during breaks has no effect on work productivity.)

As you learn how to write a hypothesis, remember that aiming for clarity, testability, and relevance to your research question is vital. By mastering this skill, you’re well on your way to conducting impactful scientific research. Good luck!

## Importance of a Hypothesis in Research

A well-structured hypothesis is a vital part of any research project for several reasons:

- It provides clear direction for the study by setting its focus and purpose.
- It outlines expectations of the research, making it easier to measure results.
- It helps identify any potential limitations in the study, allowing researchers to refine their approach.

In conclusion, a hypothesis plays a fundamental role in the research process. By understanding its concept and constructing a well-thought-out hypothesis, researchers lay the groundwork for a successful, scientifically sound investigation.

## How to Write a Hypothesis?

Here are five steps that you can follow to write an effective hypothesis.

## Step 1: Identify Your Research Question

The first step in learning how to compose a hypothesis is to clearly define your research question. This question is the central focus of your study and will help you determine the direction of your hypothesis.

## Step 2: Determine the Variables

When exploring how to write a hypothesis, it’s crucial to identify the variables involved in your study. You’ll need at least two variables:

- Independent variable : The factor you manipulate or change in your experiment.
- Dependent variable : The outcome or result you observe or measure, which is influenced by the independent variable.

## Step 3: Build the Hypothetical Relationship

In understanding how to compose a hypothesis, constructing the relationship between the variables is key. Based on your research question and variables, predict the expected outcome or connection. This prediction should be specific, testable, and, if possible, expressed in the “If…then” format.

## Step 4: Write the Null Hypothesis

When mastering how to write a hypothesis, it’s important to create a null hypothesis as well. The null hypothesis assumes no relationship or effect between the variables, acting as a counterpoint to your primary hypothesis.

## Step 5: Review Your Hypothesis

Finally, when learning how to compose a hypothesis, it’s essential to review your hypothesis for clarity, testability, and relevance to your research question. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure it provides a solid basis for your study.

In conclusion, understanding how to write a hypothesis is crucial for conducting successful scientific research. By focusing on your research question and carefully building relationships between variables, you will lay a strong foundation for advancing research and knowledge in your field.

## Hypothesis vs. Prediction: What’s the Difference?

Understanding the differences between a hypothesis and a prediction is crucial in scientific research. Often, these terms are used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings and functions. This segment aims to clarify these differences and explain how to compose a hypothesis correctly, helping you improve the quality of your research projects.

## Hypothesis: The Foundation of Your Research

A hypothesis is an educated guess about the relationship between two or more variables. It provides the basis for your research question and is a starting point for an experiment or observational study.

The critical elements for a hypothesis include:

- Specificity: A clear and concise statement that describes the relationship between variables.
- Testability: The ability to test the hypothesis through experimentation or observation.

To learn how to write a hypothesis, it’s essential to identify your research question first and then predict the relationship between the variables.

## Prediction: The Expected Outcome

A prediction is a statement about a specific outcome you expect to see in your experiment or observational study. It’s derived from the hypothesis and provides a measurable way to test the relationship between variables.

Here’s an example of how to write a hypothesis and a related prediction:

- Hypothesis: Consuming a high-sugar diet leads to weight gain.
- Prediction: People who consume a high-sugar diet for six weeks will gain more weight than those who maintain a low-sugar diet during the same period.

## Key Differences Between a Hypothesis and a Prediction

While a hypothesis and prediction are both essential components of scientific research, there are some key differences to keep in mind:

- A hypothesis is an educated guess that suggests a relationship between variables, while a prediction is a specific and measurable outcome based on that hypothesis.
- A hypothesis can give rise to multiple experiment or observational study predictions.

To conclude, understanding the differences between a hypothesis and a prediction, and learning how to write a hypothesis, are essential steps to form a robust foundation for your research. By creating clear, testable hypotheses along with specific, measurable predictions, you lay the groundwork for scientifically sound investigations.

Here’s a wrap-up for this guide on how to write a hypothesis. We’re confident this article was helpful for many of you. We understand that many students struggle with writing their school research . However, we hope to continue assisting you through our blog tutorial on writing different aspects of academic assignments.

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## How to write a hypothesis

Improve your research report and learn how to develop a precise and thorough hypothesis for your research.

A hypothesis is simply a testable statement to find an answer to a specific question; a formalized hypothesis forces the thought about what results to expect in an experiment.

As a result, a hypothesis can be used for almost anything, such as testing different outcomes in daily tasks, identifying a possible ending in a research, forming the basis of a scientific experiment, and so on.

With this article, you will learn the reasoning behind it, the various types of hypotheses as well as how to write a hypothesis more clearly.

## What is a hypothesis?

A hypothesis is a method of forecasting, an attempt to find an answer to something that has not yet been tested, an idea or a proposal based on limited evidence.

In most cases, this entails proposing relationships between two variables (or more): the independent variable (the change made) and the dependent variable (the measure). For example, suppose you’re used to studying all night before a test, but you’re always too tired to understand the subject clearly, resulting in poor grades.

So, the hypothesis is that if you study during the day, you will understand the subject and, as a result, receive a good grade. In this example, the independent variable is the study time and the dependent variables are the understanding of the subject and the grade.

As you can see, a hypothesis can be used in almost any situation, but it is most commonly found in research papers or scientific experiments.

When writing a hypothesis, it is critical to be cautious and thorough before beginning to write it down. Because any hypothesis must be proven through facts, direct testing, and data evidence, even minor flaws or misunderstandings in hypothesis construction can have a negative impact on the quality of your research and its subsequent results.

## Types of Research Hypothesis and Examples

There are various types of hypotheses available depending on the nature or purpose of your hypothesis, whether it is for research or a scientific experiment.

Before we get into how to write a hypothesis , let’s go over the different types to see which one is best for you.

## Simple Hypothesis

A simple hypothesis will only test and experiment with the relationship between two variables: the independent variable and the dependent one. As we priorly exemplified using study time and grades.

## Complex Hypothesis

A more complex hypothesis involves a relationship between more than two variables, let’s say: two independent variables and one dependent variable or vice versa.

Example: Higher the poverty, higher the illiteracy in society, higher will be the rate of crimes.

## Null Hypothesis

A null hypothesis, abbreviated as H0, is one in which there is no relationship between the variables.

For example, poverty has nothing to do with a society’s crime rate.

## Alternative Hypothesis

In conjunction with a null hypothesis, an alternative hypothesis (H1 or HA) is used. It states the inverse of the null hypothesis, implying that only one must be true.

For example, poverty is the cause of society’s crime rate .

## Composite Hypothesis

A composite hypothesis is one that does not predict the dependent variable’s exact parameters, distribution, or range.

We would frequently predict an exact outcome. “23-year-old men are on average 189cm tall,” for example. We are providing an exact parameter here. As a result, the hypothesis is not composite.

However, we cannot always precisely hypothesize something. In these cases, we might say, “On average, 23-year-old men are not 189cm tall.” We have not established a distribution range or precise parameters for the average height of 23-year-old men. As a result, we’ve introduced a composite hypothesis rather than an exact hypothesis.

An alternative hypothesis (as discussed above) is generally composite because it is defined as anything other than the null hypothesis. Because this ‘anything except’ does not specify parameters or distribution, it is an example of a composite hypothesis.

## Logical Hypothesis

A hypothesis that can be verified logically is known as a logical hypothesis. So, without actual evidence, a logical hypothesis suggests a relationship between variables.

Example: Alligators have green scales, therefore dinosaurs closely related to them most likely had green scales as well. However, because they are all extinct, we must rely on logic rather than empirical data.

## Empirical Hypothesis

An empirical hypothesis is the inverse of a logical hypothesis. It is a hypothesis that is currently being tested through scientific investigation, it relies on concrete data. This is also known as a ‘working hypothesis.’

Example: Cows’ lifespan is reduced by feeding them 1 pound of corn per day.

## Statistical Hypothesis

A statistical hypothesis uses representative statistical models to draw conclusions about larger populations. Instead of testing everything, you test a subset and generalize the rest based on previously collected data.

Example: Natural red hair is found in about 2% of the world’s population.

## Directional Hypothesis

A directional hypothesis predicts whether the effect of an intervention will be positive or negative before the test itself.

Example: Does rainy weather impact the amount of moderate to high intensity exercise people do per week? Positively, rain reduces the amount of moderate to vigorous exercise people do per week.

## How to write a hypothesis in six steps

1. ask a question.

Writing a hypothesis implies that you have a question to answer. The question should be direct, focused, and specific. To aid in identification, frame this question with the classic six: who, what, where, when, why, or how. But remember that a hypothesis must be a statement and not a question.

## 2. Gather primary research

Collecting background information on the topic may necessitate the reading of several books, academic journals, experiments, and observations, or it may be as simple as an internet search.

Remember to consider your questions from multiple perspectives; conflicting research can be extremely useful when developing a hypothesis; you can use their findings as potential rebuttals and frame your study to address these concerns.

## 3. Define your variables

Once you’ve determined what the question will be, you must identify the independent and dependent variables, as well as the type of hypothesis that applies.

## 4. Put it in the form of an if-then statement

When constructing a hypothesis, using an if-then format can be helpful. For example: “If I exercise more, I will lose more weight.” This format can be tricky when dealing with multiple variables, but in general, it’s a reliable way of expressing the cause-and-effect relationship you’re testing.

## 5. Collect more data to prove your hypothesis

The priority over a hypothesis is answering the question and proving it right or wrong. Once you’ve established your hypothesis and determined your variables, you can begin your experiments. Ideally, you’ll gather data to support your hypothesis.

## 6. Write it down

Finally, once you’ve written your hypothesis, analyze all of the data you’ve gathered and draw your conclusions in a research paper format.

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## Content tags

## How to Write a Hypothesis: A Step-by-Step Guide

## Introduction

An overview of the research hypothesis, different types of hypotheses, variables in a hypothesis, how to formulate an effective research hypothesis, designing a study around your hypothesis.

The scientific method can derive and test predictions as hypotheses. Empirical research can then provide support (or lack thereof) for the hypotheses. Even failure to find support for a hypothesis still represents a valuable contribution to scientific knowledge. Let's look more closely at the idea of the hypothesis and the role it plays in research.

As much as the term exists in everyday language, there is a detailed development that informs the word "hypothesis" when applied to research. A good research hypothesis is informed by prior research and guides research design and data analysis , so it is important to understand how a hypothesis is defined and understood by researchers.

## What is the simple definition of a hypothesis?

A hypothesis is a testable prediction about an outcome between two or more variables . It functions as a navigational tool in the research process, directing what you aim to predict and how.

## What is the hypothesis for in research?

In research, a hypothesis serves as the cornerstone for your empirical study. It not only lays out what you aim to investigate but also provides a structured approach for your data collection and analysis.

Essentially, it bridges the gap between the theoretical and the empirical, guiding your investigation throughout its course.

## What is an example of a hypothesis?

If you are studying the relationship between physical exercise and mental health, a suitable hypothesis could be: "Regular physical exercise leads to improved mental well-being among adults."

This statement constitutes a specific and testable hypothesis that directly relates to the variables you are investigating.

## What makes a good hypothesis?

A good hypothesis possesses several key characteristics. Firstly, it must be testable, allowing you to analyze data through empirical means, such as observation or experimentation, to assess if there is significant support for the hypothesis. Secondly, a hypothesis should be specific and unambiguous, giving a clear understanding of the expected relationship between variables. Lastly, it should be grounded in existing research or theoretical frameworks , ensuring its relevance and applicability.

Understanding the types of hypotheses can greatly enhance how you construct and work with hypotheses. While all hypotheses serve the essential function of guiding your study, there are varying purposes among the types of hypotheses. In addition, all hypotheses stand in contrast to the null hypothesis, or the assumption that there is no significant relationship between the variables .

Here, we explore various kinds of hypotheses to provide you with the tools needed to craft effective hypotheses for your specific research needs. Bear in mind that many of these hypothesis types may overlap with one another, and the specific type that is typically used will likely depend on the area of research and methodology you are following.

## Null hypothesis

The null hypothesis is a statement that there is no effect or relationship between the variables being studied. In statistical terms, it serves as the default assumption that any observed differences are due to random chance.

For example, if you're studying the effect of a drug on blood pressure, the null hypothesis might state that the drug has no effect.

## Alternative hypothesis

Contrary to the null hypothesis, the alternative hypothesis suggests that there is a significant relationship or effect between variables.

Using the drug example, the alternative hypothesis would posit that the drug does indeed affect blood pressure. This is what researchers aim to prove.

## Simple hypothesis

A simple hypothesis makes a prediction about the relationship between two variables, and only two variables.

For example, "Increased study time results in better exam scores." Here, "study time" and "exam scores" are the only variables involved.

## Complex hypothesis

A complex hypothesis, as the name suggests, involves more than two variables. For instance, "Increased study time and access to resources result in better exam scores." Here, "study time," "access to resources," and "exam scores" are all variables.

This hypothesis refers to multiple potential mediating variables. Other hypotheses could also include predictions about variables that moderate the relationship between the independent variable and dependent variable .

## Directional hypothesis

A directional hypothesis specifies the direction of the expected relationship between variables. For example, "Eating more fruits and vegetables leads to a decrease in heart disease."

Here, the direction of heart disease is explicitly predicted to decrease, due to effects from eating more fruits and vegetables. All hypotheses typically specify the expected direction of the relationship between the independent and dependent variable, such that researchers can test if this prediction holds in their data analysis .

## Statistical hypothesis

A statistical hypothesis is one that is testable through statistical methods, providing a numerical value that can be analyzed. This is commonly seen in quantitative research .

For example, "There is a statistically significant difference in test scores between students who study for one hour and those who study for two."

## Empirical hypothesis

An empirical hypothesis is derived from observations and is tested through empirical methods, often through experimentation or survey data . Empirical hypotheses may also be assessed with statistical analyses.

For example, "Regular exercise is correlated with a lower incidence of depression," could be tested through surveys that measure exercise frequency and depression levels.

## Causal hypothesis

A causal hypothesis proposes that one variable causes a change in another. This type of hypothesis is often tested through controlled experiments.

For example, "Smoking causes lung cancer," assumes a direct causal relationship.

## Associative hypothesis

Unlike causal hypotheses, associative hypotheses suggest a relationship between variables but do not imply causation.

For instance, "People who smoke are more likely to get lung cancer," notes an association but doesn't claim that smoking causes lung cancer directly.

## Relational hypothesis

A relational hypothesis explores the relationship between two or more variables but doesn't specify the nature of the relationship.

For example, "There is a relationship between diet and heart health," leaves the nature of the relationship (causal, associative, etc.) open to interpretation.

## Logical hypothesis

A logical hypothesis is based on sound reasoning and logical principles. It's often used in theoretical research to explore abstract concepts, rather than being based on empirical data.

For example, "If all men are mortal and Socrates is a man, then Socrates is mortal," employs logical reasoning to make its point.

## Let ATLAS.ti take you from research question to key insights

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In any research hypothesis, variables play a critical role. These are the elements or factors that the researcher manipulates, controls, or measures. Understanding variables is essential for crafting a clear, testable hypothesis and for the stages of research that follow, such as data collection and analysis.

In the realm of hypotheses, there are generally two types of variables to consider: independent and dependent. Independent variables are what you, as the researcher, manipulate or change in your study. It's considered the cause in the relationship you're investigating. For instance, in a study examining the impact of sleep duration on academic performance, the independent variable would be the amount of sleep participants get.

Conversely, the dependent variable is the outcome you measure to gauge the effect of your manipulation. It's the effect in the cause-and-effect relationship. The dependent variable thus refers to the main outcome of interest in your study. In the same sleep study example, the academic performance, perhaps measured by exam scores or GPA, would be the dependent variable.

Beyond these two primary types, you might also encounter control variables. These are variables that could potentially influence the outcome and are therefore kept constant to isolate the relationship between the independent and dependent variables . For example, in the sleep and academic performance study, control variables could include age, diet, or even the subject of study.

By clearly identifying and understanding the roles of these variables in your hypothesis, you set the stage for a methodologically sound research project. It helps you develop focused research questions, design appropriate experiments or observations, and carry out meaningful data analysis . It's a step that lays the groundwork for the success of your entire study.

Crafting a strong, testable hypothesis is crucial for the success of any research project. It sets the stage for everything from your study design to data collection and analysis . Below are some key considerations to keep in mind when formulating your hypothesis:

- Be specific : A vague hypothesis can lead to ambiguous results and interpretations . Clearly define your variables and the expected relationship between them.
- Ensure testability : A good hypothesis should be testable through empirical means, whether by observation , experimentation, or other forms of data analysis.
- Ground in literature : Before creating your hypothesis, consult existing research and theories. This not only helps you identify gaps in current knowledge but also gives you valuable context and credibility for crafting your hypothesis.
- Use simple language : While your hypothesis should be conceptually sound, it doesn't have to be complicated. Aim for clarity and simplicity in your wording.
- State direction, if applicable : If your hypothesis involves a directional outcome (e.g., "increase" or "decrease"), make sure to specify this. You also need to think about how you will measure whether or not the outcome moved in the direction you predicted.
- Keep it focused : One of the common pitfalls in hypothesis formulation is trying to answer too many questions at once. Keep your hypothesis focused on a specific issue or relationship.
- Account for control variables : Identify any variables that could potentially impact the outcome and consider how you will control for them in your study.
- Be ethical : Make sure your hypothesis and the methods for testing it comply with ethical standards , particularly if your research involves human or animal subjects.

Designing your study involves multiple key phases that help ensure the rigor and validity of your research. Here we discuss these crucial components in more detail.

## Literature review

Starting with a comprehensive literature review is essential. This step allows you to understand the existing body of knowledge related to your hypothesis and helps you identify gaps that your research could fill. Your research should aim to contribute some novel understanding to existing literature, and your hypotheses can reflect this. A literature review also provides valuable insights into how similar research projects were executed, thereby helping you fine-tune your own approach.

## Research methods

Choosing the right research methods is critical. Whether it's a survey, an experiment, or observational study, the methodology should be the most appropriate for testing your hypothesis. Your choice of methods will also depend on whether your research is quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods. Make sure the chosen methods align well with the variables you are studying and the type of data you need.

## Preliminary research

Before diving into a full-scale study, it’s often beneficial to conduct preliminary research or a pilot study . This allows you to test your research methods on a smaller scale, refine your tools, and identify any potential issues. For instance, a pilot survey can help you determine if your questions are clear and if the survey effectively captures the data you need. This step can save you both time and resources in the long run.

## Data analysis

Finally, planning your data analysis in advance is crucial for a successful study. Decide which statistical or analytical tools are most suited for your data type and research questions . For quantitative research, you might opt for t-tests, ANOVA, or regression analyses. For qualitative research , thematic analysis or grounded theory may be more appropriate. This phase is integral for interpreting your results and drawing meaningful conclusions in relation to your research question.

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## How to Write a Great Hypothesis

Hypothesis Definition, Format, Examples, and Tips

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

Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk, "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.

Verywell / Alex Dos Diaz

- The Scientific Method

## Hypothesis Format

Falsifiability of a hypothesis.

- Operationalization

## Hypothesis Types

Hypotheses examples.

- Collecting Data

## Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

## At a Glance

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

## The Hypothesis in the Scientific Method

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

## Elements of a Good Hypothesis

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

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

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

## How to Formulate a Good Hypothesis

To form a hypothesis, you should take these steps:

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

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

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

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

## The Importance of Operational Definitions

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

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

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

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

## Replicability

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

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

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

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

## Hypothesis Checklist

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

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

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

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

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

## A few examples of simple hypotheses:

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

## Examples of a complex hypothesis include:

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

## Examples of a null hypothesis include:

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

## Examples of an alternative hypothesis:

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

## Collecting Data on Your Hypothesis

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

## Descriptive Research Methods

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

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

## Experimental Research Methods

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

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

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

Some examples of how to write a hypothesis include:

- "Staying up late will lead to worse test performance the next day."
- "People who consume one apple each day will visit the doctor fewer times each year."
- "Breaking study sessions up into three 20-minute sessions will lead to better test results than a single 60-minute study session."

The four parts of a hypothesis are:

(1) The research question

(2) The independent variable (IV)

(3) The dependent variable (DV)

(4) The proposed relationship between the IV and DV

No, a hypothesis and a theory are not the same thing. A hypothesis is a testable prediction about a specific research question. A theory, on the other hand, is an explanation supported by an existing body of scientific research.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

## How to write a research hypothesis

Last updated

19 January 2023

Reviewed by

Miroslav Damyanov

Start with a broad subject matter that excites you, so your curiosity will motivate your work. Conduct a literature search to determine the range of questions already addressed and spot any holes in the existing research.

Narrow the topics that interest you and determine your research question. Rather than focusing on a hole in the research, you might choose to challenge an existing assumption, a process called problematization. You may also find yourself with a short list of questions or related topics.

Use the FINER method to determine the single problem you'll address with your research. FINER stands for:

I nteresting

You need a feasible research question, meaning that there is a way to address the question. You should find it interesting, but so should a larger audience. Rather than repeating research that others have already conducted, your research hypothesis should test something novel or unique.

The research must fall into accepted ethical parameters as defined by the government of your country and your university or college if you're an academic. You'll also need to come up with a relevant question since your research should provide a contribution to the existing research area.

This process typically narrows your shortlist down to a single problem you'd like to study and the variable you want to test. You're ready to write your hypothesis statements.

## Make research less tedious

Dovetail streamlines research to help you uncover and share actionable insights

- Types of research hypotheses

It is important to narrow your topic down to one idea before trying to write your research hypothesis. You'll only test one problem at a time. To do this, you'll write two hypotheses – a null hypothesis (H0) and an alternative hypothesis (Ha).

You'll come across many terms related to developing a research hypothesis or referring to a specific type of hypothesis. Let's take a quick look at these terms.

## Null hypothesis

The term null hypothesis refers to a research hypothesis type that assumes no statistically significant relationship exists within a set of observations or data. It represents a claim that assumes that any observed relationship is due to chance. Represented as H0, the null represents the conjecture of the research.

## Alternative hypothesis

The alternative hypothesis accompanies the null hypothesis. It states that the situation presented in the null hypothesis is false or untrue, and claims an observed effect in your test. This is typically denoted by Ha or H(n), where “n” stands for the number of alternative hypotheses. You can have more than one alternative hypothesis.

## Simple hypothesis

The term simple hypothesis refers to a hypothesis or theory that predicts the relationship between two variables - the independent (predictor) and the dependent (predicted).

## Complex hypothesis

The term complex hypothesis refers to a model – either quantitative (mathematical) or qualitative . A complex hypothesis states the surmised relationship between two or more potentially related variables.

## Directional hypothesis

When creating a statistical hypothesis, the directional hypothesis (the null hypothesis) states an assumption regarding one parameter of a population. Some academics call this the “one-sided” hypothesis. The alternative hypothesis indicates whether the researcher tests for a positive or negative effect by including either the greater than (">") or less than ("<") sign.

## Non-directional hypothesis

We refer to the alternative hypothesis in a statistical research question as a non-directional hypothesis. It includes the not equal ("≠") sign to show that the research tests whether or not an effect exists without specifying the effect's direction (positive or negative).

## Associative hypothesis

The term associative hypothesis assumes a link between two variables but stops short of stating that one variable impacts the other. Academic statistical literature asserts in this sense that correlation does not imply causation. So, although the hypothesis notes the correlation between two variables – the independent and dependent - it does not predict how the two interact.

## Logical hypothesis

Typically used in philosophy rather than science, researchers can't test a logical hypothesis because the technology or data set doesn't yet exist. A logical hypothesis uses logic as the basis of its assumptions.

In some cases, a logical hypothesis can become an empirical hypothesis once technology provides an opportunity for testing. Until that time, the question remains too expensive or complex to address. Note that a logical hypothesis is not a statistical hypothesis.

## Empirical hypothesis

When we consider the opposite of a logical hypothesis, we call this an empirical or working hypothesis. This type of hypothesis considers a scientifically measurable question. A researcher can consider and test an empirical hypothesis through replicable tests, observations, and measurements.

## Statistical hypothesis

The term statistical hypothesis refers to a test of a theory that uses representative statistical models to test relationships between variables to draw conclusions regarding a large population. This requires an existing large data set, commonly referred to as big data, or implementing a survey to obtain original statistical information to form a data set for the study.

Testing this type of hypothesis requires the use of random samples. Note that the null and alternative hypotheses are used in statistical hypothesis testing.

## Causal hypothesis

The term causal hypothesis refers to a research hypothesis that tests a cause-and-effect relationship. A causal hypothesis is utilized when conducting experimental or quasi-experimental research.

## Descriptive hypothesis

The term descriptive hypothesis refers to a research hypothesis used in non-experimental research, specifying an influence in the relationship between two variables.

- What makes an effective research hypothesis?

An effective research hypothesis offers a clearly defined, specific statement, using simple wording that contains no assumptions or generalizations, and that you can test. A well-written hypothesis should predict the tested relationship and its outcome. It contains zero ambiguity and offers results you can observe and test.

The research hypothesis should address a question relevant to a research area. Overall, your research hypothesis needs the following essentials:

Hypothesis Essential #1: Specificity & Clarity

Hypothesis Essential #2: Testability (Provability)

- How to develop a good research hypothesis

In developing your hypothesis statements, you must pre-plan some of your statistical analysis. Once you decide on your problem to examine, determine three aspects:

the parameter you'll test

the test's direction (left-tailed, right-tailed, or non-directional)

the hypothesized parameter value

Any quantitative research includes a hypothesized parameter value of a mean, a proportion, or the difference between two proportions. Here's how to note each parameter:

Single mean (μ)

Paired means (μd)

Single proportion (p)

Difference between two independent means (μ1−μ2)

Difference between two proportions (p1−p2)

Simple linear regression slope (β)

Correlation (ρ)

Defining these parameters and determining whether you want to test the mean, proportion, or differences helps you determine the statistical tests you'll conduct to analyze your data. When writing your hypothesis, you only need to decide which parameter to test and in what overarching way.

The null research hypothesis must include everyday language, in a single sentence, stating the problem you want to solve. Write it as an if-then statement with defined variables. Write an alternative research hypothesis that states the opposite.

- What is the correct format for writing a hypothesis?

The following example shows the proper format and textual content of a hypothesis. It follows commonly accepted academic standards.

Null hypothesis (H0): High school students who participate in varsity sports as opposed to those who do not, fail to score higher on leadership tests than students who do not participate.

Alternative hypothesis (H1): High school students who play a varsity sport as opposed to those who do not participate in team athletics will score higher on leadership tests than students who do not participate in athletics.

The research question tests the correlation between varsity sports participation and leadership qualities expressed as a score on leadership tests. It compares the population of athletes to non-athletes.

- What are the five steps of a hypothesis?

Once you decide on the specific problem or question you want to address, you can write your research hypothesis. Use this five-step system to hone your null hypothesis and generate your alternative hypothesis.

Step 1 : Create your research question. This topic should interest and excite you; answering it provides relevant information to an industry or academic area.

Step 2 : Conduct a literature review to gather essential existing research.

Step 3 : Write a clear, strong, simply worded sentence that explains your test parameter, test direction, and hypothesized parameter.

Step 4 : Read it a few times. Have others read it and ask them what they think it means. Refine your statement accordingly until it becomes understandable to everyone. While not everyone can or will comprehend every research study conducted, any person from the general population should be able to read your hypothesis and alternative hypothesis and understand the essential question you want to answer.

Step 5 : Re-write your null hypothesis until it reads simply and understandably. Write your alternative hypothesis.

## What is the Red Queen hypothesis?

Some hypotheses are well-known, such as the Red Queen hypothesis. Choose your wording carefully, since you could become like the famed scientist Dr. Leigh Van Valen. In 1973, Dr. Van Valen proposed the Red Queen hypothesis to describe coevolutionary activity, specifically reciprocal evolutionary effects between species to explain extinction rates in the fossil record.

Essentially, Van Valen theorized that to survive, each species remains in a constant state of adaptation, evolution, and proliferation, and constantly competes for survival alongside other species doing the same. Only by doing this can a species avoid extinction. Van Valen took the hypothesis title from the Lewis Carroll book, "Through the Looking Glass," which contains a key character named the Red Queen who explains to Alice that for all of her running, she's merely running in place.

- Getting started with your research

In conclusion, once you write your null hypothesis (H0) and an alternative hypothesis (Ha), you’ve essentially authored the elevator pitch of your research. These two one-sentence statements describe your topic in simple, understandable terms that both professionals and laymen can understand. They provide the starting point of your research project.

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General Education

Think about something strange and unexplainable in your life. Maybe you get a headache right before it rains, or maybe you think your favorite sports team wins when you wear a certain color. If you wanted to see whether these are just coincidences or scientific fact, you would form a hypothesis, then create an experiment to see whether that hypothesis is true or not.

But what is a hypothesis, anyway? If you’re not sure about what a hypothesis is--or how to test for one!--you’re in the right place. This article will teach you everything you need to know about hypotheses, including:

- Defining the term “hypothesis”
- Providing hypothesis examples
- Giving you tips for how to write your own hypothesis

So let’s get started!

## What Is a Hypothesis?

Merriam Webster defines a hypothesis as “an assumption or concession made for the sake of argument.” In other words, a hypothesis is an educated guess . Scientists make a reasonable assumption--or a hypothesis--then design an experiment to test whether it’s true or not. Keep in mind that in science, a hypothesis should be testable. You have to be able to design an experiment that tests your hypothesis in order for it to be valid.

As you could assume from that statement, it’s easy to make a bad hypothesis. But when you’re holding an experiment, it’s even more important that your guesses be good...after all, you’re spending time (and maybe money!) to figure out more about your observation. That’s why we refer to a hypothesis as an educated guess--good hypotheses are based on existing data and research to make them as sound as possible.

Hypotheses are one part of what’s called the scientific method . Every (good) experiment or study is based in the scientific method. The scientific method gives order and structure to experiments and ensures that interference from scientists or outside influences does not skew the results. It’s important that you understand the concepts of the scientific method before holding your own experiment. Though it may vary among scientists, the scientific method is generally made up of six steps (in order):

- Observation
- Asking questions
- Forming a hypothesis
- Analyze the data
- Communicate your results

You’ll notice that the hypothesis comes pretty early on when conducting an experiment. That’s because experiments work best when they’re trying to answer one specific question. And you can’t conduct an experiment until you know what you’re trying to prove!

## Independent and Dependent Variables

After doing your research, you’re ready for another important step in forming your hypothesis: identifying variables. Variables are basically any factor that could influence the outcome of your experiment . Variables have to be measurable and related to the topic being studied.

There are two types of variables: independent variables and dependent variables. I ndependent variables remain constant . For example, age is an independent variable; it will stay the same, and researchers can look at different ages to see if it has an effect on the dependent variable.

Speaking of dependent variables... dependent variables are subject to the influence of the independent variable , meaning that they are not constant. Let’s say you want to test whether a person’s age affects how much sleep they need. In that case, the independent variable is age (like we mentioned above), and the dependent variable is how much sleep a person gets.

Variables will be crucial in writing your hypothesis. You need to be able to identify which variable is which, as both the independent and dependent variables will be written into your hypothesis. For instance, in a study about exercise, the independent variable might be the speed at which the respondents walk for thirty minutes, and the dependent variable would be their heart rate. In your study and in your hypothesis, you’re trying to understand the relationship between the two variables.

## Elements of a Good Hypothesis

The best hypotheses start by asking the right questions . For instance, if you’ve observed that the grass is greener when it rains twice a week, you could ask what kind of grass it is, what elevation it’s at, and if the grass across the street responds to rain in the same way. Any of these questions could become the backbone of experiments to test why the grass gets greener when it rains fairly frequently.

As you’re asking more questions about your first observation, make sure you’re also making more observations . If it doesn’t rain for two weeks and the grass still looks green, that’s an important observation that could influence your hypothesis. You'll continue observing all throughout your experiment, but until the hypothesis is finalized, every observation should be noted.

Finally, you should consult secondary research before writing your hypothesis . Secondary research is comprised of results found and published by other people. You can usually find this information online or at your library. Additionally, m ake sure the research you find is credible and related to your topic. If you’re studying the correlation between rain and grass growth, it would help you to research rain patterns over the past twenty years for your county, published by a local agricultural association. You should also research the types of grass common in your area, the type of grass in your lawn, and whether anyone else has conducted experiments about your hypothesis. Also be sure you’re checking the quality of your research . Research done by a middle school student about what minerals can be found in rainwater would be less useful than an article published by a local university.

## Writing Your Hypothesis

Once you’ve considered all of the factors above, you’re ready to start writing your hypothesis. Hypotheses usually take a certain form when they’re written out in a research report.

When you boil down your hypothesis statement, you are writing down your best guess and not the question at hand . This means that your statement should be written as if it is fact already, even though you are simply testing it.

The reason for this is that, after you have completed your study, you'll either accept or reject your if-then or your null hypothesis. All hypothesis testing examples should be measurable and able to be confirmed or denied. You cannot confirm a question, only a statement!

In fact, you come up with hypothesis examples all the time! For instance, when you guess on the outcome of a basketball game, you don’t say, “Will the Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics?” but instead, “I think the Miami Heat will beat the Boston Celtics.” You state it as if it is already true, even if it turns out you’re wrong. You do the same thing when writing your hypothesis.

Additionally, keep in mind that hypotheses can range from very specific to very broad. These hypotheses can be specific, but if your hypothesis testing examples involve a broad range of causes and effects, your hypothesis can also be broad.

## The Two Types of Hypotheses

Now that you understand what goes into a hypothesis, it’s time to look more closely at the two most common types of hypothesis: the if-then hypothesis and the null hypothesis.

## #1: If-Then Hypotheses

First of all, if-then hypotheses typically follow this formula:

If ____ happens, then ____ will happen.

The goal of this type of hypothesis is to test the causal relationship between the independent and dependent variable. It’s fairly simple, and each hypothesis can vary in how detailed it can be. We create if-then hypotheses all the time with our daily predictions. Here are some examples of hypotheses that use an if-then structure from daily life:

- If I get enough sleep, I’ll be able to get more work done tomorrow.
- If the bus is on time, I can make it to my friend’s birthday party.
- If I study every night this week, I’ll get a better grade on my exam.

In each of these situations, you’re making a guess on how an independent variable (sleep, time, or studying) will affect a dependent variable (the amount of work you can do, making it to a party on time, or getting better grades).

You may still be asking, “What is an example of a hypothesis used in scientific research?” Take one of the hypothesis examples from a real-world study on whether using technology before bed affects children’s sleep patterns. The hypothesis read s:

“We hypothesized that increased hours of tablet- and phone-based screen time at bedtime would be inversely correlated with sleep quality and child attention.”

It might not look like it, but this is an if-then statement. The researchers basically said, “If children have more screen usage at bedtime, then their quality of sleep and attention will be worse.” The sleep quality and attention are the dependent variables and the screen usage is the independent variable. (Usually, the independent variable comes after the “if” and the dependent variable comes after the “then,” as it is the independent variable that affects the dependent variable.) This is an excellent example of how flexible hypothesis statements can be, as long as the general idea of “if-then” and the independent and dependent variables are present.

## #2: Null Hypotheses

Your if-then hypothesis is not the only one needed to complete a successful experiment, however. You also need a null hypothesis to test it against. In its most basic form, the null hypothesis is the opposite of your if-then hypothesis . When you write your null hypothesis, you are writing a hypothesis that suggests that your guess is not true, and that the independent and dependent variables have no relationship .

One null hypothesis for the cell phone and sleep study from the last section might say:

“If children have more screen usage at bedtime, their quality of sleep and attention will not be worse.”

In this case, this is a null hypothesis because it’s asking the opposite of the original thesis!

Conversely, if your if-then hypothesis suggests that your two variables have no relationship, then your null hypothesis would suggest that there is one. So, pretend that there is a study that is asking the question, “Does the amount of followers on Instagram influence how long people spend on the app?” The independent variable is the amount of followers, and the dependent variable is the time spent. But if you, as the researcher, don’t think there is a relationship between the number of followers and time spent, you might write an if-then hypothesis that reads:

“If people have many followers on Instagram, they will not spend more time on the app than people who have less.”

In this case, the if-then suggests there isn’t a relationship between the variables. In that case, one of the null hypothesis examples might say:

“If people have many followers on Instagram, they will spend more time on the app than people who have less.”

You then test both the if-then and the null hypothesis to gauge if there is a relationship between the variables, and if so, how much of a relationship.

## 4 Tips to Write the Best Hypothesis

If you’re going to take the time to hold an experiment, whether in school or by yourself, you’re also going to want to take the time to make sure your hypothesis is a good one. The best hypotheses have four major elements in common: plausibility, defined concepts, observability, and general explanation.

## #1: Plausibility

At first glance, this quality of a hypothesis might seem obvious. When your hypothesis is plausible, that means it’s possible given what we know about science and general common sense. However, improbable hypotheses are more common than you might think.

Imagine you’re studying weight gain and television watching habits. If you hypothesize that people who watch more than twenty hours of television a week will gain two hundred pounds or more over the course of a year, this might be improbable (though it’s potentially possible). Consequently, c ommon sense can tell us the results of the study before the study even begins.

Improbable hypotheses generally go against science, as well. Take this hypothesis example:

“If a person smokes one cigarette a day, then they will have lungs just as healthy as the average person’s.”

This hypothesis is obviously untrue, as studies have shown again and again that cigarettes negatively affect lung health. You must be careful that your hypotheses do not reflect your own personal opinion more than they do scientifically-supported findings. This plausibility points to the necessity of research before the hypothesis is written to make sure that your hypothesis has not already been disproven.

## #2: Defined Concepts

The more advanced you are in your studies, the more likely that the terms you’re using in your hypothesis are specific to a limited set of knowledge. One of the hypothesis testing examples might include the readability of printed text in newspapers, where you might use words like “kerning” and “x-height.” Unless your readers have a background in graphic design, it’s likely that they won’t know what you mean by these terms. Thus, it’s important to either write what they mean in the hypothesis itself or in the report before the hypothesis.

Here’s what we mean. Which of the following sentences makes more sense to the common person?

If the kerning is greater than average, more words will be read per minute.

If the space between letters is greater than average, more words will be read per minute.

For people reading your report that are not experts in typography, simply adding a few more words will be helpful in clarifying exactly what the experiment is all about. It’s always a good idea to make your research and findings as accessible as possible.

Good hypotheses ensure that you can observe the results.

## #3: Observability

In order to measure the truth or falsity of your hypothesis, you must be able to see your variables and the way they interact. For instance, if your hypothesis is that the flight patterns of satellites affect the strength of certain television signals, yet you don’t have a telescope to view the satellites or a television to monitor the signal strength, you cannot properly observe your hypothesis and thus cannot continue your study.

Some variables may seem easy to observe, but if you do not have a system of measurement in place, you cannot observe your hypothesis properly. Here’s an example: if you’re experimenting on the effect of healthy food on overall happiness, but you don’t have a way to monitor and measure what “overall happiness” means, your results will not reflect the truth. Monitoring how often someone smiles for a whole day is not reasonably observable, but having the participants state how happy they feel on a scale of one to ten is more observable.

In writing your hypothesis, always keep in mind how you'll execute the experiment.

## #4: Generalizability

Perhaps you’d like to study what color your best friend wears the most often by observing and documenting the colors she wears each day of the week. This might be fun information for her and you to know, but beyond you two, there aren’t many people who could benefit from this experiment. When you start an experiment, you should note how generalizable your findings may be if they are confirmed. Generalizability is basically how common a particular phenomenon is to other people’s everyday life.

Let’s say you’re asking a question about the health benefits of eating an apple for one day only, you need to realize that the experiment may be too specific to be helpful. It does not help to explain a phenomenon that many people experience. If you find yourself with too specific of a hypothesis, go back to asking the big question: what is it that you want to know, and what do you think will happen between your two variables?

## Hypothesis Testing Examples

We know it can be hard to write a good hypothesis unless you’ve seen some good hypothesis examples. We’ve included four hypothesis examples based on some made-up experiments. Use these as templates or launch pads for coming up with your own hypotheses.

## Experiment #1: Students Studying Outside (Writing a Hypothesis)

You are a student at PrepScholar University. When you walk around campus, you notice that, when the temperature is above 60 degrees, more students study in the quad. You want to know when your fellow students are more likely to study outside. With this information, how do you make the best hypothesis possible?

You must remember to make additional observations and do secondary research before writing your hypothesis. In doing so, you notice that no one studies outside when it’s 75 degrees and raining, so this should be included in your experiment. Also, studies done on the topic beforehand suggested that students are more likely to study in temperatures less than 85 degrees. With this in mind, you feel confident that you can identify your variables and write your hypotheses:

If-then: “If the temperature in Fahrenheit is less than 60 degrees, significantly fewer students will study outside.”

Null: “If the temperature in Fahrenheit is less than 60 degrees, the same number of students will study outside as when it is more than 60 degrees.”

These hypotheses are plausible, as the temperatures are reasonably within the bounds of what is possible. The number of people in the quad is also easily observable. It is also not a phenomenon specific to only one person or at one time, but instead can explain a phenomenon for a broader group of people.

To complete this experiment, you pick the month of October to observe the quad. Every day (except on the days where it’s raining)from 3 to 4 PM, when most classes have released for the day, you observe how many people are on the quad. You measure how many people come and how many leave. You also write down the temperature on the hour.

After writing down all of your observations and putting them on a graph, you find that the most students study on the quad when it is 70 degrees outside, and that the number of students drops a lot once the temperature reaches 60 degrees or below. In this case, your research report would state that you accept or “failed to reject” your first hypothesis with your findings.

## Experiment #2: The Cupcake Store (Forming a Simple Experiment)

Let’s say that you work at a bakery. You specialize in cupcakes, and you make only two colors of frosting: yellow and purple. You want to know what kind of customers are more likely to buy what kind of cupcake, so you set up an experiment. Your independent variable is the customer’s gender, and the dependent variable is the color of the frosting. What is an example of a hypothesis that might answer the question of this study?

Here’s what your hypotheses might look like:

If-then: “If customers’ gender is female, then they will buy more yellow cupcakes than purple cupcakes.”

Null: “If customers’ gender is female, then they will be just as likely to buy purple cupcakes as yellow cupcakes.”

This is a pretty simple experiment! It passes the test of plausibility (there could easily be a difference), defined concepts (there’s nothing complicated about cupcakes!), observability (both color and gender can be easily observed), and general explanation ( this would potentially help you make better business decisions ).

## Experiment #3: Backyard Bird Feeders (Integrating Multiple Variables and Rejecting the If-Then Hypothesis)

While watching your backyard bird feeder, you realized that different birds come on the days when you change the types of seeds. You decide that you want to see more cardinals in your backyard, so you decide to see what type of food they like the best and set up an experiment.

However, one morning, you notice that, while some cardinals are present, blue jays are eating out of your backyard feeder filled with millet. You decide that, of all of the other birds, you would like to see the blue jays the least. This means you'll have more than one variable in your hypothesis. Your new hypotheses might look like this:

If-then: “If sunflower seeds are placed in the bird feeders, then more cardinals will come than blue jays. If millet is placed in the bird feeders, then more blue jays will come than cardinals.”

Null: “If either sunflower seeds or millet are placed in the bird, equal numbers of cardinals and blue jays will come.”

Through simple observation, you actually find that cardinals come as often as blue jays when sunflower seeds or millet is in the bird feeder. In this case, you would reject your “if-then” hypothesis and “fail to reject” your null hypothesis . You cannot accept your first hypothesis, because it’s clearly not true. Instead you found that there was actually no relation between your different variables. Consequently, you would need to run more experiments with different variables to see if the new variables impact the results.

## Experiment #4: In-Class Survey (Including an Alternative Hypothesis)

You’re about to give a speech in one of your classes about the importance of paying attention. You want to take this opportunity to test a hypothesis you’ve had for a while:

If-then: If students sit in the first two rows of the classroom, then they will listen better than students who do not.

Null: If students sit in the first two rows of the classroom, then they will not listen better or worse than students who do not.

You give your speech and then ask your teacher if you can hand out a short survey to the class. On the survey, you’ve included questions about some of the topics you talked about. When you get back the results, you’re surprised to see that not only do the students in the first two rows not pay better attention, but they also scored worse than students in other parts of the classroom! Here, both your if-then and your null hypotheses are not representative of your findings. What do you do?

This is when you reject both your if-then and null hypotheses and instead create an alternative hypothesis . This type of hypothesis is used in the rare circumstance that neither of your hypotheses is able to capture your findings . Now you can use what you’ve learned to draft new hypotheses and test again!

## Key Takeaways: Hypothesis Writing

The more comfortable you become with writing hypotheses, the better they will become. The structure of hypotheses is flexible and may need to be changed depending on what topic you are studying. The most important thing to remember is the purpose of your hypothesis and the difference between the if-then and the null . From there, in forming your hypothesis, you should constantly be asking questions, making observations, doing secondary research, and considering your variables. After you have written your hypothesis, be sure to edit it so that it is plausible, clearly defined, observable, and helpful in explaining a general phenomenon.

Writing a hypothesis is something that everyone, from elementary school children competing in a science fair to professional scientists in a lab, needs to know how to do. Hypotheses are vital in experiments and in properly executing the scientific method . When done correctly, hypotheses will set up your studies for success and help you to understand the world a little better, one experiment at a time.

## What’s Next?

If you’re studying for the science portion of the ACT, there’s definitely a lot you need to know. We’ve got the tools to help, though! Start by checking out our ultimate study guide for the ACT Science subject test. Once you read through that, be sure to download our recommended ACT Science practice tests , since they’re one of the most foolproof ways to improve your score. (And don’t forget to check out our expert guide book , too.)

If you love science and want to major in a scientific field, you should start preparing in high school . Here are the science classes you should take to set yourself up for success.

If you’re trying to think of science experiments you can do for class (or for a science fair!), here’s a list of 37 awesome science experiments you can do at home

Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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## How to Develop a Good Research Hypothesis

The story of a research study begins by asking a question. Researchers all around the globe are asking curious questions and formulating research hypothesis. However, whether the research study provides an effective conclusion depends on how well one develops a good research hypothesis. Research hypothesis examples could help researchers get an idea as to how to write a good research hypothesis.

This blog will help you understand what is a research hypothesis, its characteristics and, how to formulate a research hypothesis

Table of Contents

## What is Hypothesis?

Hypothesis is an assumption or an idea proposed for the sake of argument so that it can be tested. It is a precise, testable statement of what the researchers predict will be outcome of the study. Hypothesis usually involves proposing a relationship between two variables: the independent variable (what the researchers change) and the dependent variable (what the research measures).

## What is a Research Hypothesis?

Research hypothesis is a statement that introduces a research question and proposes an expected result. It is an integral part of the scientific method that forms the basis of scientific experiments. Therefore, you need to be careful and thorough when building your research hypothesis. A minor flaw in the construction of your hypothesis could have an adverse effect on your experiment. In research, there is a convention that the hypothesis is written in two forms, the null hypothesis, and the alternative hypothesis (called the experimental hypothesis when the method of investigation is an experiment).

## Characteristics of a Good Research Hypothesis

As the hypothesis is specific, there is a testable prediction about what you expect to happen in a study. You may consider drawing hypothesis from previously published research based on the theory.

A good research hypothesis involves more effort than just a guess. In particular, your hypothesis may begin with a question that could be further explored through background research.

To help you formulate a promising research hypothesis, you should ask yourself the following questions:

- Is the language clear and focused?
- What is the relationship between your hypothesis and your research topic?
- Is your hypothesis testable? If yes, then how?
- What are the possible explanations that you might want to explore?
- Does your hypothesis include both an independent and dependent variable?
- Can you manipulate your variables without hampering the ethical standards?
- Does your research predict the relationship and outcome?
- Is your research simple and concise (avoids wordiness)?
- Is it clear with no ambiguity or assumptions about the readers’ knowledge
- Is your research observable and testable results?
- Is it relevant and specific to the research question or problem?

The questions listed above can be used as a checklist to make sure your hypothesis is based on a solid foundation. Furthermore, it can help you identify weaknesses in your hypothesis and revise it if necessary.

## Source: Educational Hub

How to formulate a research hypothesis.

A testable hypothesis is not a simple statement. It is rather an intricate statement that needs to offer a clear introduction to a scientific experiment, its intentions, and the possible outcomes. However, there are some important things to consider when building a compelling hypothesis.

## 1. State the problem that you are trying to solve.

Make sure that the hypothesis clearly defines the topic and the focus of the experiment.

## 2. Try to write the hypothesis as an if-then statement.

Follow this template: If a specific action is taken, then a certain outcome is expected.

## 3. Define the variables

Independent variables are the ones that are manipulated, controlled, or changed. Independent variables are isolated from other factors of the study.

Dependent variables , as the name suggests are dependent on other factors of the study. They are influenced by the change in independent variable.

## 4. Scrutinize the hypothesis

Evaluate assumptions, predictions, and evidence rigorously to refine your understanding.

## Types of Research Hypothesis

The types of research hypothesis are stated below:

## 1. Simple Hypothesis

It predicts the relationship between a single dependent variable and a single independent variable.

## 2. Complex Hypothesis

It predicts the relationship between two or more independent and dependent variables.

## 3. Directional Hypothesis

It specifies the expected direction to be followed to determine the relationship between variables and is derived from theory. Furthermore, it implies the researcher’s intellectual commitment to a particular outcome.

## 4. Non-directional Hypothesis

It does not predict the exact direction or nature of the relationship between the two variables. The non-directional hypothesis is used when there is no theory involved or when findings contradict previous research.

## 5. Associative and Causal Hypothesis

The associative hypothesis defines interdependency between variables. A change in one variable results in the change of the other variable. On the other hand, the causal hypothesis proposes an effect on the dependent due to manipulation of the independent variable.

## 6. Null Hypothesis

Null hypothesis states a negative statement to support the researcher’s findings that there is no relationship between two variables. There will be no changes in the dependent variable due the manipulation of the independent variable. Furthermore, it states results are due to chance and are not significant in terms of supporting the idea being investigated.

## 7. Alternative Hypothesis

It states that there is a relationship between the two variables of the study and that the results are significant to the research topic. An experimental hypothesis predicts what changes will take place in the dependent variable when the independent variable is manipulated. Also, it states that the results are not due to chance and that they are significant in terms of supporting the theory being investigated.

## Research Hypothesis Examples of Independent and Dependent Variables

Research Hypothesis Example 1 The greater number of coal plants in a region (independent variable) increases water pollution (dependent variable). If you change the independent variable (building more coal factories), it will change the dependent variable (amount of water pollution).

Research Hypothesis Example 2 What is the effect of diet or regular soda (independent variable) on blood sugar levels (dependent variable)? If you change the independent variable (the type of soda you consume), it will change the dependent variable (blood sugar levels)

You should not ignore the importance of the above steps. The validity of your experiment and its results rely on a robust testable hypothesis. Developing a strong testable hypothesis has few advantages, it compels us to think intensely and specifically about the outcomes of a study. Consequently, it enables us to understand the implication of the question and the different variables involved in the study. Furthermore, it helps us to make precise predictions based on prior research. Hence, forming a hypothesis would be of great value to the research. Here are some good examples of testable hypotheses.

More importantly, you need to build a robust testable research hypothesis for your scientific experiments. A testable hypothesis is a hypothesis that can be proved or disproved as a result of experimentation.

## Importance of a Testable Hypothesis

To devise and perform an experiment using scientific method, you need to make sure that your hypothesis is testable. To be considered testable, some essential criteria must be met:

- There must be a possibility to prove that the hypothesis is true.
- There must be a possibility to prove that the hypothesis is false.
- The results of the hypothesis must be reproducible.

Without these criteria, the hypothesis and the results will be vague. As a result, the experiment will not prove or disprove anything significant.

What are your experiences with building hypotheses for scientific experiments? What challenges did you face? How did you overcome these challenges? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

## Frequently Asked Questions

The steps to write a research hypothesis are: 1. Stating the problem: Ensure that the hypothesis defines the research problem 2. Writing a hypothesis as an 'if-then' statement: Include the action and the expected outcome of your study by following a ‘if-then’ structure. 3. Defining the variables: Define the variables as Dependent or Independent based on their dependency to other factors. 4. Scrutinizing the hypothesis: Identify the type of your hypothesis

Hypothesis testing is a statistical tool which is used to make inferences about a population data to draw conclusions for a particular hypothesis.

Hypothesis in statistics is a formal statement about the nature of a population within a structured framework of a statistical model. It is used to test an existing hypothesis by studying a population.

Research hypothesis is a statement that introduces a research question and proposes an expected result. It forms the basis of scientific experiments.

The different types of hypothesis in research are: • Null hypothesis: Null hypothesis is a negative statement to support the researcher’s findings that there is no relationship between two variables. • Alternate hypothesis: Alternate hypothesis predicts the relationship between the two variables of the study. • Directional hypothesis: Directional hypothesis specifies the expected direction to be followed to determine the relationship between variables. • Non-directional hypothesis: Non-directional hypothesis does not predict the exact direction or nature of the relationship between the two variables. • Simple hypothesis: Simple hypothesis predicts the relationship between a single dependent variable and a single independent variable. • Complex hypothesis: Complex hypothesis predicts the relationship between two or more independent and dependent variables. • Associative and casual hypothesis: Associative and casual hypothesis predicts the relationship between two or more independent and dependent variables. • Empirical hypothesis: Empirical hypothesis can be tested via experiments and observation. • Statistical hypothesis: A statistical hypothesis utilizes statistical models to draw conclusions about broader populations.

Wow! You really simplified your explanation that even dummies would find it easy to comprehend. Thank you so much.

Thanks a lot for your valuable guidance.

I enjoy reading the post. Hypotheses are actually an intrinsic part in a study. It bridges the research question and the methodology of the study.

Useful piece!

This is awesome.Wow.

It very interesting to read the topic, can you guide me any specific example of hypothesis process establish throw the Demand and supply of the specific product in market

Nicely explained

It is really a useful for me Kindly give some examples of hypothesis

It was a well explained content ,can you please give me an example with the null and alternative hypothesis illustrated

clear and concise. thanks.

So Good so Amazing

Good to learn

Thanks a lot for explaining to my level of understanding

Explained well and in simple terms. Quick read! Thank you

It awesome. It has really positioned me in my research project

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## Writing Null Hypotheses in Research and Statistics

Last Updated: January 17, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Joseph Quinones and by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD . Joseph Quinones is a High School Physics Teacher working at South Bronx Community Charter High School. Joseph specializes in astronomy and astrophysics and is interested in science education and science outreach, currently practicing ways to make physics accessible to more students with the goal of bringing more students of color into the STEM fields. He has experience working on Astrophysics research projects at the Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Joseph recieved his Bachelor's degree in Physics from Lehman College and his Masters in Physics Education from City College of New York (CCNY). He is also a member of a network called New York City Men Teach. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 23,964 times.

Are you working on a research project and struggling with how to write a null hypothesis? Well, you've come to the right place! Start by recognizing that the basic definition of "null" is "none" or "zero"—that's your biggest clue as to what a null hypothesis should say. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the null hypothesis, including how it relates to your research question and your alternative hypothesis as well as how to use it in different types of studies.

## Things You Should Know

- Write a research null hypothesis as a statement that the studied variables have no relationship to each other, or that there's no difference between 2 groups.

- Adjust the format of your null hypothesis to match the statistical method you used to test it, such as using "mean" if you're comparing the mean between 2 groups.

## What is a null hypothesis?

- Research hypothesis: States in plain language that there's no relationship between the 2 variables or there's no difference between the 2 groups being studied.
- Statistical hypothesis: States the predicted outcome of statistical analysis through a mathematical equation related to the statistical method you're using.

## Examples of Null Hypotheses

## Null Hypothesis vs. Alternative Hypothesis

- For example, your alternative hypothesis could state a positive correlation between 2 variables while your null hypothesis states there's no relationship. If there's a negative correlation, then both hypotheses are false.

- You need additional data or evidence to show that your alternative hypothesis is correct—proving the null hypothesis false is just the first step.
- In smaller studies, sometimes it's enough to show that there's some relationship and your hypothesis could be correct—you can leave the additional proof as an open question for other researchers to tackle.

## How do I test a null hypothesis?

- Group means: Compare the mean of the variable in your sample with the mean of the variable in the general population. [6] X Research source
- Group proportions: Compare the proportion of the variable in your sample with the proportion of the variable in the general population. [7] X Research source
- Correlation: Correlation analysis looks at the relationship between 2 variables—specifically, whether they tend to happen together. [8] X Research source
- Regression: Regression analysis reveals the correlation between 2 variables while also controlling for the effect of other, interrelated variables. [9] X Research source

## Templates for Null Hypotheses

- Research null hypothesis: There is no difference in the mean [dependent variable] between [group 1] and [group 2].

- Research null hypothesis: The proportion of [dependent variable] in [group 1] and [group 2] is the same.

- Research null hypothesis: There is no correlation between [independent variable] and [dependent variable] in the population.

- Research null hypothesis: There is no relationship between [independent variable] and [dependent variable] in the population.

## Expert Q&A

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## Expert Interview

Thanks for reading our article! If you’d like to learn more about physics, check out our in-depth interview with Joseph Quinones .

- ↑ https://online.stat.psu.edu/stat100/lesson/10/10.1
- ↑ https://online.stat.psu.edu/stat501/lesson/2/2.12
- ↑ https://support.minitab.com/en-us/minitab/21/help-and-how-to/statistics/basic-statistics/supporting-topics/basics/null-and-alternative-hypotheses/
- ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5635437/
- ↑ https://online.stat.psu.edu/statprogram/reviews/statistical-concepts/hypothesis-testing
- ↑ https://education.arcus.chop.edu/null-hypothesis-testing/
- ↑ https://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/mph-modules/bs/bs704_hypothesistest-means-proportions/bs704_hypothesistest-means-proportions_print.html

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## How to Write a Null Hypothesis (5 Examples)

A hypothesis test uses sample data to determine whether or not some claim about a population parameter is true.

Whenever we perform a hypothesis test, we always write a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis, which take the following forms:

H 0 (Null Hypothesis): Population parameter =, ≤, ≥ some value

H A (Alternative Hypothesis): Population parameter <, >, ≠ some value

Note that the null hypothesis always contains the equal sign .

We interpret the hypotheses as follows:

Null hypothesis: The sample data provides no evidence to support some claim being made by an individual.

Alternative hypothesis: The sample data does provide sufficient evidence to support the claim being made by an individual.

For example, suppose it’s assumed that the average height of a certain species of plant is 20 inches tall. However, one botanist claims the true average height is greater than 20 inches.

To test this claim, she may go out and collect a random sample of plants. She can then use this sample data to perform a hypothesis test using the following two hypotheses:

H 0 : μ ≤ 20 (the true mean height of plants is equal to or even less than 20 inches)

H A : μ > 20 (the true mean height of plants is greater than 20 inches)

If the sample data gathered by the botanist shows that the mean height of this species of plants is significantly greater than 20 inches, she can reject the null hypothesis and conclude that the mean height is greater than 20 inches.

Read through the following examples to gain a better understanding of how to write a null hypothesis in different situations.

## Example 1: Weight of Turtles

A biologist wants to test whether or not the true mean weight of a certain species of turtles is 300 pounds. To test this, he goes out and measures the weight of a random sample of 40 turtles.

Here is how to write the null and alternative hypotheses for this scenario:

H 0 : μ = 300 (the true mean weight is equal to 300 pounds)

H A : μ ≠ 300 (the true mean weight is not equal to 300 pounds)

## Example 2: Height of Males

It’s assumed that the mean height of males in a certain city is 68 inches. However, an independent researcher believes the true mean height is greater than 68 inches. To test this, he goes out and collects the height of 50 males in the city.

H 0 : μ ≤ 68 (the true mean height is equal to or even less than 68 inches)

H A : μ > 68 (the true mean height is greater than 68 inches)

## Example 3: Graduation Rates

A university states that 80% of all students graduate on time. However, an independent researcher believes that less than 80% of all students graduate on time. To test this, she collects data on the proportion of students who graduated on time last year at the university.

H 0 : p ≥ 0.80 (the true proportion of students who graduate on time is 80% or higher)

H A : μ < 0.80 (the true proportion of students who graduate on time is less than 80%)

## Example 4: Burger Weights

A food researcher wants to test whether or not the true mean weight of a burger at a certain restaurant is 7 ounces. To test this, he goes out and measures the weight of a random sample of 20 burgers from this restaurant.

H 0 : μ = 7 (the true mean weight is equal to 7 ounces)

H A : μ ≠ 7 (the true mean weight is not equal to 7 ounces)

## Example 5: Citizen Support

A politician claims that less than 30% of citizens in a certain town support a certain law. To test this, he goes out and surveys 200 citizens on whether or not they support the law.

H 0 : p ≥ .30 (the true proportion of citizens who support the law is greater than or equal to 30%)

H A : μ < 0.30 (the true proportion of citizens who support the law is less than 30%)

## Additional Resources

Introduction to Hypothesis Testing Introduction to Confidence Intervals An Explanation of P-Values and Statistical Significance

## Published by Zach

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## Hypothesis Maker Online

Looking for a hypothesis maker? This online tool for students will help you formulate a beautiful hypothesis quickly, efficiently, and for free.

Are you looking for an effective hypothesis maker online? Worry no more; try our online tool for students and formulate your hypothesis within no time.

- 🔎 How to Use the Tool?
- ⚗️ What Is a Hypothesis in Science?

## 👍 What Does a Good Hypothesis Mean?

- 🧭 Steps to Making a Good Hypothesis

## 🔗 References

📄 hypothesis maker: how to use it.

Our hypothesis maker is a simple and efficient tool you can access online for free.

If you want to create a research hypothesis quickly, you should fill out the research details in the given fields on the hypothesis generator.

Below are the fields you should complete to generate your hypothesis:

- Who or what is your research based on? For instance, the subject can be research group 1.
- What does the subject (research group 1) do?
- What does the subject affect? - This shows the predicted outcome, which is the object.
- Who or what will be compared with research group 1? (research group 2).

Once you fill the in the fields, you can click the ‘Make a hypothesis’ tab and get your results.

## ⚗️ What Is a Hypothesis in the Scientific Method?

A hypothesis is a statement describing an expectation or prediction of your research through observation.

It is similar to academic speculation and reasoning that discloses the outcome of your scientific test . An effective hypothesis, therefore, should be crafted carefully and with precision.

A good hypothesis should have dependent and independent variables . These variables are the elements you will test in your research method – it can be a concept, an event, or an object as long as it is observable.

You can observe the dependent variables while the independent variables keep changing during the experiment.

In a nutshell, a hypothesis directs and organizes the research methods you will use, forming a large section of research paper writing.

## Hypothesis vs. Theory

A hypothesis is a realistic expectation that researchers make before any investigation. It is formulated and tested to prove whether the statement is true. A theory, on the other hand, is a factual principle supported by evidence. Thus, a theory is more fact-backed compared to a hypothesis.

Another difference is that a hypothesis is presented as a single statement , while a theory can be an assortment of things . Hypotheses are based on future possibilities toward a specific projection, but the results are uncertain. Theories are verified with undisputable results because of proper substantiation.

When it comes to data, a hypothesis relies on limited information , while a theory is established on an extensive data set tested on various conditions.

You should observe the stated assumption to prove its accuracy.

Since hypotheses have observable variables, their outcome is usually based on a specific occurrence. Conversely, theories are grounded on a general principle involving multiple experiments and research tests.

This general principle can apply to many specific cases.

The primary purpose of formulating a hypothesis is to present a tentative prediction for researchers to explore further through tests and observations. Theories, in their turn, aim to explain plausible occurrences in the form of a scientific study.

It would help to rely on several criteria to establish a good hypothesis. Below are the parameters you should use to analyze the quality of your hypothesis.

## 🧭 6 Steps to Making a Good Hypothesis

Writing a hypothesis becomes way simpler if you follow a tried-and-tested algorithm. Let’s explore how you can formulate a good hypothesis in a few steps:

## Step #1: Ask Questions

The first step in hypothesis creation is asking real questions about the surrounding reality.

Why do things happen as they do? What are the causes of some occurrences?

Your curiosity will trigger great questions that you can use to formulate a stellar hypothesis. So, ensure you pick a research topic of interest to scrutinize the world’s phenomena, processes, and events.

## Step #2: Do Initial Research

Carry out preliminary research and gather essential background information about your topic of choice.

The extent of the information you collect will depend on what you want to prove.

Your initial research can be complete with a few academic books or a simple Internet search for quick answers with relevant statistics.

Still, keep in mind that in this phase, it is too early to prove or disapprove of your hypothesis.

## Step #3: Identify Your Variables

Now that you have a basic understanding of the topic, choose the dependent and independent variables.

Take note that independent variables are the ones you can’t control, so understand the limitations of your test before settling on a final hypothesis.

## Step #4: Formulate Your Hypothesis

You can write your hypothesis as an ‘if – then’ expression . Presenting any hypothesis in this format is reliable since it describes the cause-and-effect you want to test.

For instance: If I study every day, then I will get good grades.

## Step #5: Gather Relevant Data

Once you have identified your variables and formulated the hypothesis, you can start the experiment. Remember, the conclusion you make will be a proof or rebuttal of your initial assumption.

So, gather relevant information, whether for a simple or statistical hypothesis, because you need to back your statement.

## Step #6: Record Your Findings

Finally, write down your conclusions in a research paper .

Outline in detail whether the test has proved or disproved your hypothesis.

Edit and proofread your work, using a plagiarism checker to ensure the authenticity of your text.

We hope that the above tips will be useful for you. Note that if you need to conduct business analysis, you can use the free templates we’ve prepared: SWOT , PESTLE , VRIO , SOAR , and Porter’s 5 Forces .

## ❓ Hypothesis Formulator FAQ

Updated: Oct 25th, 2023

- How to Write a Hypothesis in 6 Steps - Grammarly
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Use our hypothesis maker whenever you need to formulate a hypothesis for your study. We offer a very simple tool where you just need to provide basic info about your variables, subjects, and predicted outcomes. The rest is on us. Get a perfect hypothesis in no time!

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## 11.2: Correlation Hypothesis Test

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The correlation coefficient, \(r\), tells us about the strength and direction of the linear relationship between \(x\) and \(y\). However, the reliability of the linear model also depends on how many observed data points are in the sample. We need to look at both the value of the correlation coefficient \(r\) and the sample size \(n\), together. We perform a hypothesis test of the "significance of the correlation coefficient" to decide whether the linear relationship in the sample data is strong enough to use to model the relationship in the population.

The sample data are used to compute \(r\), the correlation coefficient for the sample. If we had data for the entire population, we could find the population correlation coefficient. But because we have only sample data, we cannot calculate the population correlation coefficient. The sample correlation coefficient, \(r\), is our estimate of the unknown population correlation coefficient.

- The symbol for the population correlation coefficient is \(\rho\), the Greek letter "rho."
- \(\rho =\) population correlation coefficient (unknown)
- \(r =\) sample correlation coefficient (known; calculated from sample data)

The hypothesis test lets us decide whether the value of the population correlation coefficient \(\rho\) is "close to zero" or "significantly different from zero". We decide this based on the sample correlation coefficient \(r\) and the sample size \(n\).

If the test concludes that the correlation coefficient is significantly different from zero, we say that the correlation coefficient is "significant."

- Conclusion: There is sufficient evidence to conclude that there is a significant linear relationship between \(x\) and \(y\) because the correlation coefficient is significantly different from zero.
- What the conclusion means: There is a significant linear relationship between \(x\) and \(y\). We can use the regression line to model the linear relationship between \(x\) and \(y\) in the population.

If the test concludes that the correlation coefficient is not significantly different from zero (it is close to zero), we say that correlation coefficient is "not significant".

- Conclusion: "There is insufficient evidence to conclude that there is a significant linear relationship between \(x\) and \(y\) because the correlation coefficient is not significantly different from zero."
- What the conclusion means: There is not a significant linear relationship between \(x\) and \(y\). Therefore, we CANNOT use the regression line to model a linear relationship between \(x\) and \(y\) in the population.
- If \(r\) is significant and the scatter plot shows a linear trend, the line can be used to predict the value of \(y\) for values of \(x\) that are within the domain of observed \(x\) values.
- If \(r\) is not significant OR if the scatter plot does not show a linear trend, the line should not be used for prediction.
- If \(r\) is significant and if the scatter plot shows a linear trend, the line may NOT be appropriate or reliable for prediction OUTSIDE the domain of observed \(x\) values in the data.

## PERFORMING THE HYPOTHESIS TEST

- Null Hypothesis: \(H_{0}: \rho = 0\)
- Alternate Hypothesis: \(H_{a}: \rho \neq 0\)

WHAT THE HYPOTHESES MEAN IN WORDS:

- Null Hypothesis \(H_{0}\) : The population correlation coefficient IS NOT significantly different from zero. There IS NOT a significant linear relationship(correlation) between \(x\) and \(y\) in the population.
- Alternate Hypothesis \(H_{a}\) : The population correlation coefficient IS significantly DIFFERENT FROM zero. There IS A SIGNIFICANT LINEAR RELATIONSHIP (correlation) between \(x\) and \(y\) in the population.

DRAWING A CONCLUSION:There are two methods of making the decision. The two methods are equivalent and give the same result.

- Method 1: Using the \(p\text{-value}\)
- Method 2: Using a table of critical values

In this chapter of this textbook, we will always use a significance level of 5%, \(\alpha = 0.05\)

Using the \(p\text{-value}\) method, you could choose any appropriate significance level you want; you are not limited to using \(\alpha = 0.05\). But the table of critical values provided in this textbook assumes that we are using a significance level of 5%, \(\alpha = 0.05\). (If we wanted to use a different significance level than 5% with the critical value method, we would need different tables of critical values that are not provided in this textbook.)

## METHOD 1: Using a \(p\text{-value}\) to make a decision

Using the ti83, 83+, 84, 84+ calculator.

To calculate the \(p\text{-value}\) using LinRegTTEST:

On the LinRegTTEST input screen, on the line prompt for \(\beta\) or \(\rho\), highlight "\(\neq 0\)"

The output screen shows the \(p\text{-value}\) on the line that reads "\(p =\)".

(Most computer statistical software can calculate the \(p\text{-value}\).)

If the \(p\text{-value}\) is less than the significance level ( \(\alpha = 0.05\) ):

- Decision: Reject the null hypothesis.
- Conclusion: "There is sufficient evidence to conclude that there is a significant linear relationship between \(x\) and \(y\) because the correlation coefficient is significantly different from zero."

If the \(p\text{-value}\) is NOT less than the significance level ( \(\alpha = 0.05\) )

- Decision: DO NOT REJECT the null hypothesis.
- Conclusion: "There is insufficient evidence to conclude that there is a significant linear relationship between \(x\) and \(y\) because the correlation coefficient is NOT significantly different from zero."

Calculation Notes:

- You will use technology to calculate the \(p\text{-value}\). The following describes the calculations to compute the test statistics and the \(p\text{-value}\):
- The \(p\text{-value}\) is calculated using a \(t\)-distribution with \(n - 2\) degrees of freedom.
- The formula for the test statistic is \(t = \frac{r\sqrt{n-2}}{\sqrt{1-r^{2}}}\). The value of the test statistic, \(t\), is shown in the computer or calculator output along with the \(p\text{-value}\). The test statistic \(t\) has the same sign as the correlation coefficient \(r\).
- The \(p\text{-value}\) is the combined area in both tails.

An alternative way to calculate the \(p\text{-value}\) ( \(p\) ) given by LinRegTTest is the command 2*tcdf(abs(t),10^99, n-2) in 2nd DISTR.

THIRD-EXAM vs FINAL-EXAM EXAMPLE: \(p\text{-value}\) method

- Consider the third exam/final exam example.
- The line of best fit is: \(\hat{y} = -173.51 + 4.83x\) with \(r = 0.6631\) and there are \(n = 11\) data points.
- Can the regression line be used for prediction? Given a third exam score ( \(x\) value), can we use the line to predict the final exam score (predicted \(y\) value)?
- \(H_{0}: \rho = 0\)
- \(H_{a}: \rho \neq 0\)
- \(\alpha = 0.05\)
- The \(p\text{-value}\) is 0.026 (from LinRegTTest on your calculator or from computer software).
- The \(p\text{-value}\), 0.026, is less than the significance level of \(\alpha = 0.05\).
- Decision: Reject the Null Hypothesis \(H_{0}\)
- Conclusion: There is sufficient evidence to conclude that there is a significant linear relationship between the third exam score (\(x\)) and the final exam score (\(y\)) because the correlation coefficient is significantly different from zero.

Because \(r\) is significant and the scatter plot shows a linear trend, the regression line can be used to predict final exam scores.

## METHOD 2: Using a table of Critical Values to make a decision

The 95% Critical Values of the Sample Correlation Coefficient Table can be used to give you a good idea of whether the computed value of \(r\) is significant or not . Compare \(r\) to the appropriate critical value in the table. If \(r\) is not between the positive and negative critical values, then the correlation coefficient is significant. If \(r\) is significant, then you may want to use the line for prediction.

## Example \(\PageIndex{1}\)

Suppose you computed \(r = 0.801\) using \(n = 10\) data points. \(df = n - 2 = 10 - 2 = 8\). The critical values associated with \(df = 8\) are \(-0.632\) and \(+0.632\). If \(r <\) negative critical value or \(r >\) positive critical value, then \(r\) is significant. Since \(r = 0.801\) and \(0.801 > 0.632\), \(r\) is significant and the line may be used for prediction. If you view this example on a number line, it will help you.

## Exercise \(\PageIndex{1}\)

For a given line of best fit, you computed that \(r = 0.6501\) using \(n = 12\) data points and the critical value is 0.576. Can the line be used for prediction? Why or why not?

If the scatter plot looks linear then, yes, the line can be used for prediction, because \(r >\) the positive critical value.

## Example \(\PageIndex{2}\)

Suppose you computed \(r = –0.624\) with 14 data points. \(df = 14 – 2 = 12\). The critical values are \(-0.532\) and \(0.532\). Since \(-0.624 < -0.532\), \(r\) is significant and the line can be used for prediction

## Exercise \(\PageIndex{2}\)

For a given line of best fit, you compute that \(r = 0.5204\) using \(n = 9\) data points, and the critical value is \(0.666\). Can the line be used for prediction? Why or why not?

No, the line cannot be used for prediction, because \(r <\) the positive critical value.

## Example \(\PageIndex{3}\)

Suppose you computed \(r = 0.776\) and \(n = 6\). \(df = 6 - 2 = 4\). The critical values are \(-0.811\) and \(0.811\). Since \(-0.811 < 0.776 < 0.811\), \(r\) is not significant, and the line should not be used for prediction.

## Exercise \(\PageIndex{3}\)

For a given line of best fit, you compute that \(r = -0.7204\) using \(n = 8\) data points, and the critical value is \(= 0.707\). Can the line be used for prediction? Why or why not?

Yes, the line can be used for prediction, because \(r <\) the negative critical value.

## THIRD-EXAM vs FINAL-EXAM EXAMPLE: critical value method

Consider the third exam/final exam example. The line of best fit is: \(\hat{y} = -173.51 + 4.83x\) with \(r = 0.6631\) and there are \(n = 11\) data points. Can the regression line be used for prediction? Given a third-exam score ( \(x\) value), can we use the line to predict the final exam score (predicted \(y\) value)?

- Use the "95% Critical Value" table for \(r\) with \(df = n - 2 = 11 - 2 = 9\).
- The critical values are \(-0.602\) and \(+0.602\)
- Since \(0.6631 > 0.602\), \(r\) is significant.
- Conclusion:There is sufficient evidence to conclude that there is a significant linear relationship between the third exam score (\(x\)) and the final exam score (\(y\)) because the correlation coefficient is significantly different from zero.

## Example \(\PageIndex{4}\)

Suppose you computed the following correlation coefficients. Using the table at the end of the chapter, determine if \(r\) is significant and the line of best fit associated with each r can be used to predict a \(y\) value. If it helps, draw a number line.

- \(r = –0.567\) and the sample size, \(n\), is \(19\). The \(df = n - 2 = 17\). The critical value is \(-0.456\). \(-0.567 < -0.456\) so \(r\) is significant.
- \(r = 0.708\) and the sample size, \(n\), is \(9\). The \(df = n - 2 = 7\). The critical value is \(0.666\). \(0.708 > 0.666\) so \(r\) is significant.
- \(r = 0.134\) and the sample size, \(n\), is \(14\). The \(df = 14 - 2 = 12\). The critical value is \(0.532\). \(0.134\) is between \(-0.532\) and \(0.532\) so \(r\) is not significant.
- \(r = 0\) and the sample size, \(n\), is five. No matter what the \(dfs\) are, \(r = 0\) is between the two critical values so \(r\) is not significant.

## Exercise \(\PageIndex{4}\)

For a given line of best fit, you compute that \(r = 0\) using \(n = 100\) data points. Can the line be used for prediction? Why or why not?

No, the line cannot be used for prediction no matter what the sample size is.

## Assumptions in Testing the Significance of the Correlation Coefficient

Testing the significance of the correlation coefficient requires that certain assumptions about the data are satisfied. The premise of this test is that the data are a sample of observed points taken from a larger population. We have not examined the entire population because it is not possible or feasible to do so. We are examining the sample to draw a conclusion about whether the linear relationship that we see between \(x\) and \(y\) in the sample data provides strong enough evidence so that we can conclude that there is a linear relationship between \(x\) and \(y\) in the population.

The regression line equation that we calculate from the sample data gives the best-fit line for our particular sample. We want to use this best-fit line for the sample as an estimate of the best-fit line for the population. Examining the scatter plot and testing the significance of the correlation coefficient helps us determine if it is appropriate to do this.

The assumptions underlying the test of significance are:

- There is a linear relationship in the population that models the average value of \(y\) for varying values of \(x\). In other words, the expected value of \(y\) for each particular value lies on a straight line in the population. (We do not know the equation for the line for the population. Our regression line from the sample is our best estimate of this line in the population.)
- The \(y\) values for any particular \(x\) value are normally distributed about the line. This implies that there are more \(y\) values scattered closer to the line than are scattered farther away. Assumption (1) implies that these normal distributions are centered on the line: the means of these normal distributions of \(y\) values lie on the line.
- The standard deviations of the population \(y\) values about the line are equal for each value of \(x\). In other words, each of these normal distributions of \(y\) values has the same shape and spread about the line.
- The residual errors are mutually independent (no pattern).
- The data are produced from a well-designed, random sample or randomized experiment.

Linear regression is a procedure for fitting a straight line of the form \(\hat{y} = a + bx\) to data. The conditions for regression are:

- Linear In the population, there is a linear relationship that models the average value of \(y\) for different values of \(x\).
- Independent The residuals are assumed to be independent.
- Normal The \(y\) values are distributed normally for any value of \(x\).
- Equal variance The standard deviation of the \(y\) values is equal for each \(x\) value.
- Random The data are produced from a well-designed random sample or randomized experiment.

The slope \(b\) and intercept \(a\) of the least-squares line estimate the slope \(\beta\) and intercept \(\alpha\) of the population (true) regression line. To estimate the population standard deviation of \(y\), \(\sigma\), use the standard deviation of the residuals, \(s\). \(s = \sqrt{\frac{SEE}{n-2}}\). The variable \(\rho\) (rho) is the population correlation coefficient. To test the null hypothesis \(H_{0}: \rho =\) hypothesized value , use a linear regression t-test. The most common null hypothesis is \(H_{0}: \rho = 0\) which indicates there is no linear relationship between \(x\) and \(y\) in the population. The TI-83, 83+, 84, 84+ calculator function LinRegTTest can perform this test (STATS TESTS LinRegTTest).

## Formula Review

Least Squares Line or Line of Best Fit:

\[\hat{y} = a + bx\]

\[a = y\text{-intercept}\]

\[b = \text{slope}\]

Standard deviation of the residuals:

\[s = \sqrt{\frac{SSE}{n-2}}\]

\[SSE = \text{sum of squared errors}\]

\[n = \text{the number of data points}\]

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5. Phrase your hypothesis in three ways. To identify the variables, you can write a simple prediction in if…then form. The first part of the sentence states the independent variable and the second part states the dependent variable. If a first-year student starts attending more lectures, then their exam scores will improve.

5.2 - Writing Hypotheses. The first step in conducting a hypothesis test is to write the hypothesis statements that are going to be tested. For each test you will have a null hypothesis ( H 0) and an alternative hypothesis ( H a ). When writing hypotheses there are three things that we need to know: (1) the parameter that we are testing (2) the ...

3 Define your variables. Once you have an idea of what your hypothesis will be, select which variables are independent and which are dependent. Remember that independent variables can only be factors that you have absolute control over, so consider the limits of your experiment before finalizing your hypothesis.

Simple Hypothesis Examples. Increasing the amount of natural light in a classroom will improve students' test scores. Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day reduces the frequency of headaches in adults. Plant growth is faster when the plant is exposed to music for at least one hour per day.

Step 5: Phrase your hypothesis in three ways. To identify the variables, you can write a simple prediction in if … then form. The first part of the sentence states the independent variable and the second part states the dependent variable. If a first-year student starts attending more lectures, then their exam scores will improve.

Step 3: Build the Hypothetical Relationship. In understanding how to compose a hypothesis, constructing the relationship between the variables is key. Based on your research question and variables, predict the expected outcome or connection.

It seeks to explore and understand a particular aspect of the research subject. In contrast, a research hypothesis is a specific statement or prediction that suggests an expected relationship between variables. It is formulated based on existing knowledge or theories and guides the research design and data analysis. 7.

1. Ask a question. Writing a hypothesis implies that you have a question to answer. The question should be direct, focused, and specific. To aid in identification, frame this question with the classic six: who, what, where, when, why, or how. But remember that a hypothesis must be a statement and not a question. 2.

Aim for clarity and simplicity in your wording. State direction, if applicable: If your hypothesis involves a directional outcome (e.g., "increase" or "decrease"), make sure to specify this. You also need to think about how you will measure whether or not the outcome moved in the direction you predicted.

How to Write a Hypothesis. A hypothesis is a statement. Avoid conditional terms like should , might or could. A hypothesis can be phrased in an if/then format, Ex. if you use Topical Treatment A for male pattern baldness, then you will see a 50% increase in hair grown within 3 months. Another workable structure is when x, then y.

What is a hypothesis and how can you write a great one for your research? A hypothesis is a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables that can be tested empirically. Find out how to formulate a clear, specific, and testable hypothesis with examples and tips from Verywell Mind, a trusted source of psychology and mental health information.

1. Select a topic. Pick a topic that interests you, and that you think it would be good to know more about. [2] If you are writing a hypothesis for a school assignment, this step may be taken care of for you. 2. Read existing research. Gather all the information you can about the topic you've selected.

Step 2: Conduct a literature review to gather essential existing research. Step 3: Write a clear, strong, simply worded sentence that explains your test parameter, test direction, and hypothesized parameter. Step 4: Read it a few times. Have others read it and ask them what they think it means.

Merriam Webster defines a hypothesis as "an assumption or concession made for the sake of argument.". In other words, a hypothesis is an educated guess. Scientists make a reasonable assumption--or a hypothesis--then design an experiment to test whether it's true or not.

The steps to write a research hypothesis are: 1. Stating the problem: Ensure that the hypothesis defines the research problem. 2. Writing a hypothesis as an 'if-then' statement: Include the action and the expected outcome of your study by following a 'if-then' structure. 3.

Write a statistical null hypothesis as a mathematical equation, such as. μ 1 = μ 2 {\displaystyle \mu _ {1}=\mu _ {2}} if you're comparing group means. Adjust the format of your null hypothesis to match the statistical method you used to test it, such as using "mean" if you're comparing the mean between 2 groups.

Whenever we perform a hypothesis test, we always write a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis, which take the following forms: H0 (Null Hypothesis): Population parameter =, ≤, ≥ some value. HA (Alternative Hypothesis): Population parameter <, >, ≠ some value. Note that the null hypothesis always contains the equal sign.

🧭 6 Steps to Making a Good Hypothesis. Writing a hypothesis becomes way simpler if you follow a tried-and-tested algorithm. Let's explore how you can formulate a good hypothesis in a few steps: Step #1: Ask Questions. The first step in hypothesis creation is asking real questions about the surrounding reality.

We need to extend our previous discussion of reference-coded models to develop a Two-Way ANOVA model. We start with the Two-Way ANOVA interaction model: yijk = α +τj +γk +ωjk +εijk, (4.3.1) (4.3.1) y i j k = α + τ j + γ k + ω j k + ε i j k, where α α is the baseline group mean (for level 1 of A and level 1 of B), τj τ j is the ...

The p-value is calculated using a t -distribution with n − 2 degrees of freedom. The formula for the test statistic is t = r√n − 2 √1 − r2. The value of the test statistic, t, is shown in the computer or calculator output along with the p-value. The test statistic t has the same sign as the correlation coefficient r.

Think how to write a hypotheses is dependent on your research objective (s) and research question (s) e.g. whether your research focus is on testing the correlationship, influences, differences ...