## 5 Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis: A Guide for Researchers

- by Brian Thomas
- October 10, 2023

Are you a curious soul, always seeking answers to the whys and hows of the world? As a researcher, formulating a hypothesis is a crucial first step towards unraveling the mysteries of your study. A well-crafted hypothesis not only guides your research but also lays the foundation for drawing valid conclusions. But what exactly makes a hypothesis a good one? In this blog post, we will explore the five key characteristics of a good hypothesis that every researcher should know.

Here, we will delve into the world of hypotheses, covering everything from their types in research to understanding if they can be proven true. Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or just starting out, this blog post will provide valuable insights on how to craft a sound hypothesis for your study. So let’s dive in and uncover the secrets to formulating a hypothesis that stands strong amidst the scientific rigor!

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## 5 Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis

Clear and specific.

A good hypothesis is like a GPS that guides you to the right destination. It needs to be clear and specific so that you know exactly what you’re testing. Avoid vague statements or general ideas. Instead, focus on crafting a hypothesis that clearly states the relationship between variables and the expected outcome. Clarity is key, my friend!

## Testable and Falsifiable

A hypothesis might sound great in theory, but if you can’t test it or prove it wrong, then it’s like chasing unicorns. A good hypothesis should be testable and falsifiable – meaning there should be a way to gather evidence to support or refute it. Don’t be afraid to challenge your hypothesis and put it to the test. Only when it can be proven false can it truly be considered a good hypothesis.

## Based on Existing Knowledge

Imagine trying to build a Lego tower without any Lego bricks. That’s what it’s like to come up with a hypothesis that has no basis in existing knowledge. A good hypothesis is grounded in previous research, theories, or observations. It shows that you’ve done your homework and understand the current state of knowledge in your field. So, put on your research hat and gather those building blocks for a solid hypothesis!

## Specific Predictions

No, we’re not talking about crystal ball predictions or psychic abilities here. A good hypothesis includes specific predictions about what you expect to happen. It’s like making an educated guess based on your understanding of the variables involved. These predictions help guide your research and give you something concrete to look for. So, put on those prediction goggles, my friend, and let’s get specific!

## Relevant to the Research Question

A hypothesis is a road sign that points you in the right direction. But if it’s not relevant to your research question, then you might end up in a never-ending detour. A good hypothesis aligns with your research question and addresses the specific problem or phenomenon you’re investigating. Keep your focus on the main topic and avoid getting sidetracked by shiny distractions. Stay relevant, my friend, and you’ll find the answers you seek!

And there you have it: the five characteristics of a good hypothesis. Remember, a good hypothesis is clear, testable, based on existing knowledge, makes specific predictions, and is relevant to your research question. So go forth, my friend, and hypothesize your way to scientific discovery!

## FAQs: Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis

In the realm of scientific research, a hypothesis plays a crucial role in formulating and testing ideas. A good hypothesis serves as the foundation for an experiment or study, guiding the researcher towards meaningful results. In this FAQ-style subsection, we’ll explore the characteristics of a good hypothesis, their types, formulation, and more. So let’s dive in and unravel the mysteries of hypothesis-making!

## What Are Two Important Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis

A good hypothesis possesses two important characteristics:

Testability : A hypothesis must be testable to determine its validity. It should be formulated in a way that allows researchers to design and conduct experiments or gather data for analysis. For example, if we hypothesize that “drinking herbal tea reduces stress,” we can easily test it by conducting a study with a control group and a group drinking herbal tea.

Falsifiability : Falsifiability refers to the potential for a hypothesis to be proven wrong. A good hypothesis should make specific predictions that can be refuted or supported by evidence. This characteristic ensures that hypotheses are based on empirical observations rather than personal opinions. For instance, the hypothesis “all swans are white” can be falsified by discovering a single black swan.

## What Are the Types of Hypothesis in Research

In research, there are three main types of hypotheses:

Null Hypothesis (H0) : The null hypothesis is a statement of no effect or relationship. It assumes that there is no significant difference between variables or no effect of a treatment. Researchers aim to reject the null hypothesis in favor of an alternative hypothesis.

Alternative Hypothesis (HA or H1) : The alternative hypothesis is the opposite of the null hypothesis. It asserts that there is a significant difference between variables or an effect of a treatment. Researchers seek evidence to support the alternative hypothesis.

Directional Hypothesis : A directional hypothesis predicts the specific direction of the relationship or difference between variables. For example, “increasing exercise duration will lead to greater weight loss.”

## Can a Hypothesis Be Proven True

In scientific research, hypotheses are not proven true; they are supported or rejected based on empirical evidence . Even if a hypothesis is supported by multiple studies, new evidence could arise that contradicts it. Scientific knowledge is always subject to revision and refinement. Therefore, the goal is to gather enough evidence to either support or reject a hypothesis, rather than proving it absolutely true.

## What Are the Six Parts of a Hypothesis

A hypothesis typically consists of six essential parts:

Research Question : A clear and concise question that the hypothesis seeks to answer.

Variables : Identification of the independent (manipulated) and dependent (measured) variables involved in the hypothesis.

Population : The specific group or individuals the hypothesis is concerned with.

Relationship or Comparison : The expected relationship or difference between variables, often indicated by directional terms like “more,” “less,” “higher,” or “lower.”

Predictability : A statement of the predicted outcome or result based on the relationship between variables.

Testability : The ability to design an experiment or gather data to support or reject the hypothesis.

## How Do You Start a Hypothesis Sentence

When starting a hypothesis sentence, it is essential to use clear and concise language to express your ideas. A common approach is to use the phrase “If…then…” to establish the conditional relationship between variables. For example:

- If [independent variable], then [dependent variable] because [explanation of expected relationship].

This structure allows for a straightforward and logical formulation of the hypothesis.

## What Are Examples of Hypotheses

Here are a few examples of well-formulated hypotheses:

If exposure to sunlight increases, then plants will grow taller because sunlight is necessary for photosynthesis.

If students receive praise for good grades, then their motivation to excel will increase because they seek recognition and approval.

If the dose of a painkiller is increased, then the relief from pain will last longer because a higher dosage has a prolonged effect.

## What Are the Five Key Elements to a Good Hypothesis

A good hypothesis should include the following five key elements:

Clarity : The hypothesis should be clear and specific, leaving no room for interpretation.

Testability : It should be possible to test the hypothesis through experimentation or data collection.

Relevance : The hypothesis should be directly tied to the research question or problem being investigated.

Specificity : It must clearly state the relationship or difference between variables being studied.

Falsifiability : The hypothesis should make predictions that can be refuted or supported by empirical evidence.

## What Makes a Good Hypothesis in a Research Paper

In a research paper, a good hypothesis should have the following characteristics:

Relevance : It must directly relate to the research topic and address the objectives of the study.

Clarity : The hypothesis should be concise and precisely worded to avoid confusion.

Unambiguous : It must leave no room for multiple interpretations or ambiguity.

Logic : The hypothesis should be based on rational and logical reasoning, considering existing theories and observations.

Empirical Support : Ideally, the hypothesis should be supported by prior empirical evidence or strong theoretical justifications.

## Is a Hypothesis Always a Question

No, a hypothesis is not always in the form of a question. While some hypotheses can take the form of a question, others may be statements asserting a relationship or difference between variables. The form of a hypothesis depends on the research question being addressed and the researcher’s preferred style of expression.

## What Are the Three Things Needed for a Good Hypothesis

For a hypothesis to be considered good, it must fulfill the following three criteria:

Testability : The hypothesis should be formulated in a way that allows for empirical testing through experimentation or data collection.

Falsifiability : It must make specific predictions that can be potentially refuted or supported by evidence.

Relevance : The hypothesis should directly address the research question or problem being investigated.

## What Are the Four Components to a Good Hypothesis

A good hypothesis typically consists of four components:

Independent Variable : The variable being manipulated or controlled by the researcher.

Dependent Variable : The variable being measured or observed to determine the effect of the independent variable.

Directionality : The predicted relationship or difference between the independent and dependent variables.

Population : The specific group or individuals to which the hypothesis applies.

## How Do You Formulate a Hypothesis

To formulate a hypothesis, follow these steps:

Identify the Research Topic : Clearly define the area or phenomenon you want to study.

Conduct Background Research : Review existing literature and research to gain knowledge about the topic.

Formulate a Research Question : Ask a clear and focused question that you want to answer through your hypothesis.

State the Null and Alternative Hypotheses : Develop a null hypothesis to assume no effect or relationship, and an alternative hypothesis to propose a significant effect or relationship.

Decide on Variables and Relationships : Determine the independent and dependent variables and the predicted relationship between them.

Refine and Test : Refine your hypothesis, ensuring it is clear, testable, and falsifiable. Then, design experiments or gather data to support or reject it.

## What Is a Characteristic of a Hypothesis MCQ

Multiple-choice questions (MCQ) regarding the characteristics of a hypothesis often assess knowledge on the testability and falsifiability of hypotheses. They may ask about the criteria that distinguish a good hypothesis from a poor one or the importance of making specific predictions. Remember to choose answers that emphasize the empirical and testable nature of hypotheses.

## What Five Criteria Must Be Satisfied for a Hypothesis to Be Scientific

For a hypothesis to be considered scientific, it must satisfy the following five criteria:

Testability : The hypothesis must be formulated in a way that allows it to be tested through experimentation or data collection.

Falsifiability : It should make specific predictions that can be potentially refuted or supported by empirical evidence.

Empirical Basis : The hypothesis should be based on empirical observations or existing theories and knowledge.

Relevance : It must directly address the research question or problem being investigated.

Objective : A scientific hypothesis should be free from personal biases or subjective opinions, focusing on objective observations and analysis.

## What Are the Steps of Theory Development in Scientific Methods

In scientific methods, theory development typically involves the following steps:

Observation : Identifying a phenomenon or pattern worthy of investigation through observation or empirical data.

Formulation of a Hypothesis : Constructing a hypothesis that explains the observed phenomena or predicts a relationship between variables.

Data Collection : Gathering relevant data through experiments, surveys, observations, or other research methods.

Analysis : Analyzing the collected data to evaluate the hypothesis’s predictions and determine their validity.

Revision and Refinement : Based on the analysis, refining the hypothesis, modifying the theory, or formulating new hypotheses for further investigation.

## Which of the Following Makes a Good Hypothesis

A good hypothesis is characterized by:

Testability : The ability to form experiments or gather data to support or refute the hypothesis.

Falsifiability : The potential for the hypothesis’s predictions to be proven wrong based on empirical evidence.

Clarity : A clear and concise statement or question that leaves no room for ambiguity.

Relevancy : Directly addressing the research question or problem at hand.

Remember, it is important to select the option that encompasses all these characteristics.

## What Are the Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis

A good hypothesis possesses several characteristics, such as:

Testability : It should allow for empirical testing through experiments or data collection.

Falsifiability : The hypothesis should make specific predictions that can be potentially refuted or supported by evidence.

Clarity : It must be clearly and precisely formulated, leaving no room for ambiguity or multiple interpretations.

Relevance : The hypothesis should directly relate to the research question or problem being investigated.

## What Is the Five-Step p-value Approach to Hypothesis Testing

The five-step p-value approach is a commonly used framework for hypothesis testing:

Step 1: Formulating the Hypotheses : The null hypothesis (H0) assumes no effect or relationship, while the alternative hypothesis (HA) proposes a significant effect or relationship.

Step 2: Setting the Significance Level : Decide on the level of significance (α), which represents the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when it is true. The commonly used level is 0.05 (5%).

Step 3: Collecting Data and Performing the Test : Acquire and analyze the data, calculating the test statistic and the corresponding p-value.

Step 4: Comparing the p-value with the Significance Level : If the p-value is less than the significance level (α), reject the null hypothesis. Otherwise, fail to reject the null hypothesis.

Step 5: Drawing Conclusions : Based on the comparison in Step 4, interpret the results and draw conclusions about the hypothesis.

## What Are the Stages of Hypothesis

The stages of hypothesis generally include:

Observation : Identifying a pattern, phenomenon, or research question that warrants investigation.

Formulation : Developing a hypothesis that explains or predicts the relationship or difference between variables.

Testing : Collecting data, designing experiments, or conducting studies to gather evidence supporting or refuting the hypothesis.

Analysis : Assessing the collected data to determine whether the results support or reject the hypothesis.

Conclusion : Drawing conclusions based on the analysis and making further iterations, refinements, or new hypotheses for future research.

## What Is a Characteristic of a Good Hypothesis

A characteristic of a good hypothesis is its ability to make specific predictions about the relationship or difference between variables. Good hypotheses avoid vague statements and clearly articulate the expected outcomes. By doing so, researchers can design experiments or gather data that directly test the predictions, leading to meaningful results.

## How Do You Write a Good Hypothesis Example

To write a good hypothesis example, follow these guidelines:

If possible, use the “If…then…” format to express a conditional relationship between variables.

Be clear and concise in stating the variables involved, the predicted relationship, and the expected outcome.

Ensure the hypothesis is testable, meaning it can be evaluated through experiments or data collection.

For instance, consider the following example:

If students study for longer periods of time, then their test scores will improve because increased study time allows for better retention of information and increased proficiency.

## What Is the Difference Between Hypothesis and Hypotheses

The main difference between a hypothesis and hypotheses lies in their grammatical number. A hypothesis refers to a single statement or proposition that is formulated to explain or predict the relationship between variables. On the other hand, hypotheses is the plural form of the term hypothesis, commonly used when multiple statements or propositions are proposed and tested simultaneously.

## What Is a Good Hypothesis Statement

A good hypothesis statement exhibits the following qualities:

Clarity : It is written in clear and concise language, leaving no room for confusion or ambiguity.

Testability : The hypothesis should be formulated in a way that enables testing through experiments or data collection.

Specificity : It must clearly state the predicted relationship or difference between variables.

By adhering to these criteria, a good hypothesis statement guides research efforts effectively.

## What Is Not a Characteristic of a Good Hypothesis

A characteristic that does not align with a good hypothesis is subjectivity . A hypothesis should be objective, based on empirical observations or existing theories, and free from personal bias. While personal interpretations and opinions can inspire the formulation of a hypothesis, it must ultimately rely on objective observations and be open to empirical testing.

By now, you’ve gained insights into the characteristics of a good hypothesis, including testability, falsifiability, clarity,

- characteristics
- falsifiable
- good hypothesis
- hypothesis testing
- null hypothesis
- observations
- scientific rigor

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## 4.14: Experiments and Hypotheses

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Now we’ll focus on the methods of scientific inquiry. Science often involves making observations and developing hypotheses. Experiments and further observations are often used to test the hypotheses.

A scientific experiment is a carefully organized procedure in which the scientist intervenes in a system to change something, then observes the result of the change. Scientific inquiry often involves doing experiments, though not always. For example, a scientist studying the mating behaviors of ladybugs might begin with detailed observations of ladybugs mating in their natural habitats. While this research may not be experimental, it is scientific: it involves careful and verifiable observation of the natural world. The same scientist might then treat some of the ladybugs with a hormone hypothesized to trigger mating and observe whether these ladybugs mated sooner or more often than untreated ones. This would qualify as an experiment because the scientist is now making a change in the system and observing the effects.

## Forming a Hypothesis

When conducting scientific experiments, researchers develop hypotheses to guide experimental design. A hypothesis is a suggested explanation that is both testable and falsifiable. You must be able to test your hypothesis, and it must be possible to prove your hypothesis true or false.

For example, Michael observes that maple trees lose their leaves in the fall. He might then propose a possible explanation for this observation: “cold weather causes maple trees to lose their leaves in the fall.” This statement is testable. He could grow maple trees in a warm enclosed environment such as a greenhouse and see if their leaves still dropped in the fall. The hypothesis is also falsifiable. If the leaves still dropped in the warm environment, then clearly temperature was not the main factor in causing maple leaves to drop in autumn.

In the Try It below, you can practice recognizing scientific hypotheses. As you consider each statement, try to think as a scientist would: can I test this hypothesis with observations or experiments? Is the statement falsifiable? If the answer to either of these questions is “no,” the statement is not a valid scientific hypothesis.

## Practice Questions

Determine whether each following statement is a scientific hypothesis.

- No. This statement is not testable or falsifiable.
- No. This statement is not testable.
- No. This statement is not falsifiable.
- Yes. This statement is testable and falsifiable.

[reveal-answer q=”429550″] Show Answers [/reveal-answer] [hidden-answer a=”429550″]

- d: Yes. This statement is testable and falsifiable. This could be tested with a number of different kinds of observations and experiments, and it is possible to gather evidence that indicates that air pollution is not linked with asthma.
- a: No. This statement is not testable or falsifiable. “Bad thoughts and behaviors” are excessively vague and subjective variables that would be impossible to measure or agree upon in a reliable way. The statement might be “falsifiable” if you came up with a counterexample: a “wicked” place that was not punished by a natural disaster. But some would question whether the people in that place were really wicked, and others would continue to predict that a natural disaster was bound to strike that place at some point. There is no reason to suspect that people’s immoral behavior affects the weather unless you bring up the intervention of a supernatural being, making this idea even harder to test.

[/hidden-answer]

## Testing a Vaccine

Let’s examine the scientific process by discussing an actual scientific experiment conducted by researchers at the University of Washington. These researchers investigated whether a vaccine may reduce the incidence of the human papillomavirus (HPV). The experimental process and results were published in an article titled, “ A controlled trial of a human papillomavirus type 16 vaccine .”

Preliminary observations made by the researchers who conducted the HPV experiment are listed below:

- Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States.
- There are about 40 different types of HPV. A significant number of people that have HPV are unaware of it because many of these viruses cause no symptoms.
- Some types of HPV can cause cervical cancer.
- About 4,000 women a year die of cervical cancer in the United States.

## Practice Question

Researchers have developed a potential vaccine against HPV and want to test it. What is the first testable hypothesis that the researchers should study?

- HPV causes cervical cancer.
- People should not have unprotected sex with many partners.
- People who get the vaccine will not get HPV.
- The HPV vaccine will protect people against cancer.

[reveal-answer q=”20917″] Show Answer [/reveal-answer] [hidden-answer a=”20917″]Hypothesis A is not the best choice because this information is already known from previous studies. Hypothesis B is not testable because scientific hypotheses are not value statements; they do not include judgments like “should,” “better than,” etc. Scientific evidence certainly might support this value judgment, but a hypothesis would take a different form: “Having unprotected sex with many partners increases a person’s risk for cervical cancer.” Before the researchers can test if the vaccine protects against cancer (hypothesis D), they want to test if it protects against the virus. This statement will make an excellent hypothesis for the next study. The researchers should first test hypothesis C—whether or not the new vaccine can prevent HPV.[/hidden-answer]

## Experimental Design

You’ve successfully identified a hypothesis for the University of Washington’s study on HPV: People who get the HPV vaccine will not get HPV.

The next step is to design an experiment that will test this hypothesis. There are several important factors to consider when designing a scientific experiment. First, scientific experiments must have an experimental group. This is the group that receives the experimental treatment necessary to address the hypothesis.

The experimental group receives the vaccine, but how can we know if the vaccine made a difference? Many things may change HPV infection rates in a group of people over time. To clearly show that the vaccine was effective in helping the experimental group, we need to include in our study an otherwise similar control group that does not get the treatment. We can then compare the two groups and determine if the vaccine made a difference. The control group shows us what happens in the absence of the factor under study.

However, the control group cannot get “nothing.” Instead, the control group often receives a placebo. A placebo is a procedure that has no expected therapeutic effect—such as giving a person a sugar pill or a shot containing only plain saline solution with no drug. Scientific studies have shown that the “placebo effect” can alter experimental results because when individuals are told that they are or are not being treated, this knowledge can alter their actions or their emotions, which can then alter the results of the experiment.

Moreover, if the doctor knows which group a patient is in, this can also influence the results of the experiment. Without saying so directly, the doctor may show—through body language or other subtle cues—his or her views about whether the patient is likely to get well. These errors can then alter the patient’s experience and change the results of the experiment. Therefore, many clinical studies are “double blind.” In these studies, neither the doctor nor the patient knows which group the patient is in until all experimental results have been collected.

Both placebo treatments and double-blind procedures are designed to prevent bias. Bias is any systematic error that makes a particular experimental outcome more or less likely. Errors can happen in any experiment: people make mistakes in measurement, instruments fail, computer glitches can alter data. But most such errors are random and don’t favor one outcome over another. Patients’ belief in a treatment can make it more likely to appear to “work.” Placebos and double-blind procedures are used to level the playing field so that both groups of study subjects are treated equally and share similar beliefs about their treatment.

The scientists who are researching the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine will test their hypothesis by separating 2,392 young women into two groups: the control group and the experimental group. Answer the following questions about these two groups.

- This group is given a placebo.
- This group is deliberately infected with HPV.
- This group is given nothing.
- This group is given the HPV vaccine.

[reveal-answer q=”918962″] Show Answers [/reveal-answer] [hidden-answer a=”918962″]

- a: This group is given a placebo. A placebo will be a shot, just like the HPV vaccine, but it will have no active ingredient. It may change peoples’ thinking or behavior to have such a shot given to them, but it will not stimulate the immune systems of the subjects in the same way as predicted for the vaccine itself.
- d: This group is given the HPV vaccine. The experimental group will receive the HPV vaccine and researchers will then be able to see if it works, when compared to the control group.

## Experimental Variables

A variable is a characteristic of a subject (in this case, of a person in the study) that can vary over time or among individuals. Sometimes a variable takes the form of a category, such as male or female; often a variable can be measured precisely, such as body height. Ideally, only one variable is different between the control group and the experimental group in a scientific experiment. Otherwise, the researchers will not be able to determine which variable caused any differences seen in the results. For example, imagine that the people in the control group were, on average, much more sexually active than the people in the experimental group. If, at the end of the experiment, the control group had a higher rate of HPV infection, could you confidently determine why? Maybe the experimental subjects were protected by the vaccine, but maybe they were protected by their low level of sexual contact.

To avoid this situation, experimenters make sure that their subject groups are as similar as possible in all variables except for the variable that is being tested in the experiment. This variable, or factor, will be deliberately changed in the experimental group. The one variable that is different between the two groups is called the independent variable. An independent variable is known or hypothesized to cause some outcome. Imagine an educational researcher investigating the effectiveness of a new teaching strategy in a classroom. The experimental group receives the new teaching strategy, while the control group receives the traditional strategy. It is the teaching strategy that is the independent variable in this scenario. In an experiment, the independent variable is the variable that the scientist deliberately changes or imposes on the subjects.

Dependent variables are known or hypothesized consequences; they are the effects that result from changes or differences in an independent variable. In an experiment, the dependent variables are those that the scientist measures before, during, and particularly at the end of the experiment to see if they have changed as expected. The dependent variable must be stated so that it is clear how it will be observed or measured. Rather than comparing “learning” among students (which is a vague and difficult to measure concept), an educational researcher might choose to compare test scores, which are very specific and easy to measure.

In any real-world example, many, many variables MIGHT affect the outcome of an experiment, yet only one or a few independent variables can be tested. Other variables must be kept as similar as possible between the study groups and are called control variables . For our educational research example, if the control group consisted only of people between the ages of 18 and 20 and the experimental group contained people between the ages of 30 and 35, we would not know if it was the teaching strategy or the students’ ages that played a larger role in the results. To avoid this problem, a good study will be set up so that each group contains students with a similar age profile. In a well-designed educational research study, student age will be a controlled variable, along with other possibly important factors like gender, past educational achievement, and pre-existing knowledge of the subject area.

What is the independent variable in this experiment?

- Sex (all of the subjects will be female)
- Presence or absence of the HPV vaccine
- Presence or absence of HPV (the virus)

[reveal-answer q=”68680″]Show Answer[/reveal-answer] [hidden-answer a=”68680″]Answer b. Presence or absence of the HPV vaccine. This is the variable that is different between the control and the experimental groups. All the subjects in this study are female, so this variable is the same in all groups. In a well-designed study, the two groups will be of similar age. The presence or absence of the virus is what the researchers will measure at the end of the experiment. Ideally the two groups will both be HPV-free at the start of the experiment.

List three control variables other than age.

[practice-area rows=”3″][/practice-area] [reveal-answer q=”903121″]Show Answer[/reveal-answer] [hidden-answer a=”903121″]Some possible control variables would be: general health of the women, sexual activity, lifestyle, diet, socioeconomic status, etc.

What is the dependent variable in this experiment?

- Sex (male or female)
- Rates of HPV infection
- Age (years)

[reveal-answer q=”907103″]Show Answer[/reveal-answer] [hidden-answer a=”907103″]Answer b. Rates of HPV infection. The researchers will measure how many individuals got infected with HPV after a given period of time.[/hidden-answer]

## Contributors and Attributions

- Revision and adaptation. Authored by : Shelli Carter and Lumen Learning. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
- Scientific Inquiry. Provided by : Open Learning Initiative. Located at : https://oli.cmu.edu/jcourse/workbook/activity/page?context=434a5c2680020ca6017c03488572e0f8 . Project : Introduction to Biology (Open + Free). License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

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Home » What is a Hypothesis – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

## What is a Hypothesis – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

Table of Contents

Definition:

Hypothesis is an educated guess or proposed explanation for a phenomenon, based on some initial observations or data. It is a tentative statement that can be tested and potentially proven or disproven through further investigation and experimentation.

Hypothesis is often used in scientific research to guide the design of experiments and the collection and analysis of data. It is an essential element of the scientific method, as it allows researchers to make predictions about the outcome of their experiments and to test those predictions to determine their accuracy.

## Types of Hypothesis

Types of Hypothesis are as follows:

## Research Hypothesis

A research hypothesis is a statement that predicts a relationship between variables. It is usually formulated as a specific statement that can be tested through research, and it is often used in scientific research to guide the design of experiments.

## Null Hypothesis

The null hypothesis is a statement that assumes there is no significant difference or relationship between variables. It is often used as a starting point for testing the research hypothesis, and if the results of the study reject the null hypothesis, it suggests that there is a significant difference or relationship between variables.

## Alternative Hypothesis

An alternative hypothesis is a statement that assumes there is a significant difference or relationship between variables. It is often used as an alternative to the null hypothesis and is tested against the null hypothesis to determine which statement is more accurate.

## Directional Hypothesis

A directional hypothesis is a statement that predicts the direction of the relationship between variables. For example, a researcher might predict that increasing the amount of exercise will result in a decrease in body weight.

## Non-directional Hypothesis

A non-directional hypothesis is a statement that predicts the relationship between variables but does not specify the direction. For example, a researcher might predict that there is a relationship between the amount of exercise and body weight, but they do not specify whether increasing or decreasing exercise will affect body weight.

## Statistical Hypothesis

A statistical hypothesis is a statement that assumes a particular statistical model or distribution for the data. It is often used in statistical analysis to test the significance of a particular result.

## Composite Hypothesis

A composite hypothesis is a statement that assumes more than one condition or outcome. It can be divided into several sub-hypotheses, each of which represents a different possible outcome.

## Empirical Hypothesis

An empirical hypothesis is a statement that is based on observed phenomena or data. It is often used in scientific research to develop theories or models that explain the observed phenomena.

## Simple Hypothesis

A simple hypothesis is a statement that assumes only one outcome or condition. It is often used in scientific research to test a single variable or factor.

## Complex Hypothesis

A complex hypothesis is a statement that assumes multiple outcomes or conditions. It is often used in scientific research to test the effects of multiple variables or factors on a particular outcome.

## Applications of Hypothesis

Hypotheses are used in various fields to guide research and make predictions about the outcomes of experiments or observations. Here are some examples of how hypotheses are applied in different fields:

- Science : In scientific research, hypotheses are used to test the validity of theories and models that explain natural phenomena. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of a particular variable on a natural system, such as the effects of climate change on an ecosystem.
- Medicine : In medical research, hypotheses are used to test the effectiveness of treatments and therapies for specific conditions. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of a new drug on a particular disease.
- Psychology : In psychology, hypotheses are used to test theories and models of human behavior and cognition. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of a particular stimulus on the brain or behavior.
- Sociology : In sociology, hypotheses are used to test theories and models of social phenomena, such as the effects of social structures or institutions on human behavior. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of income inequality on crime rates.
- Business : In business research, hypotheses are used to test the validity of theories and models that explain business phenomena, such as consumer behavior or market trends. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of a new marketing campaign on consumer buying behavior.
- Engineering : In engineering, hypotheses are used to test the effectiveness of new technologies or designs. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the efficiency of a new solar panel design.

## How to write a Hypothesis

Here are the steps to follow when writing a hypothesis:

## Identify the Research Question

The first step is to identify the research question that you want to answer through your study. This question should be clear, specific, and focused. It should be something that can be investigated empirically and that has some relevance or significance in the field.

## Conduct a Literature Review

Before writing your hypothesis, it’s essential to conduct a thorough literature review to understand what is already known about the topic. This will help you to identify the research gap and formulate a hypothesis that builds on existing knowledge.

## Determine the Variables

The next step is to identify the variables involved in the research question. A variable is any characteristic or factor that can vary or change. There are two types of variables: independent and dependent. The independent variable is the one that is manipulated or changed by the researcher, while the dependent variable is the one that is measured or observed as a result of the independent variable.

## Formulate the Hypothesis

Based on the research question and the variables involved, you can now formulate your hypothesis. A hypothesis should be a clear and concise statement that predicts the relationship between the variables. It should be testable through empirical research and based on existing theory or evidence.

## Write the Null Hypothesis

The null hypothesis is the opposite of the alternative hypothesis, which is the hypothesis that you are testing. The null hypothesis states that there is no significant difference or relationship between the variables. It is important to write the null hypothesis because it allows you to compare your results with what would be expected by chance.

## Refine the Hypothesis

After formulating the hypothesis, it’s important to refine it and make it more precise. This may involve clarifying the variables, specifying the direction of the relationship, or making the hypothesis more testable.

## Examples of Hypothesis

Here are a few examples of hypotheses in different fields:

- Psychology : “Increased exposure to violent video games leads to increased aggressive behavior in adolescents.”
- Biology : “Higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will lead to increased plant growth.”
- Sociology : “Individuals who grow up in households with higher socioeconomic status will have higher levels of education and income as adults.”
- Education : “Implementing a new teaching method will result in higher student achievement scores.”
- Marketing : “Customers who receive a personalized email will be more likely to make a purchase than those who receive a generic email.”
- Physics : “An increase in temperature will cause an increase in the volume of a gas, assuming all other variables remain constant.”
- Medicine : “Consuming a diet high in saturated fats will increase the risk of developing heart disease.”

## Purpose of Hypothesis

The purpose of a hypothesis is to provide a testable explanation for an observed phenomenon or a prediction of a future outcome based on existing knowledge or theories. A hypothesis is an essential part of the scientific method and helps to guide the research process by providing a clear focus for investigation. It enables scientists to design experiments or studies to gather evidence and data that can support or refute the proposed explanation or prediction.

The formulation of a hypothesis is based on existing knowledge, observations, and theories, and it should be specific, testable, and falsifiable. A specific hypothesis helps to define the research question, which is important in the research process as it guides the selection of an appropriate research design and methodology. Testability of the hypothesis means that it can be proven or disproven through empirical data collection and analysis. Falsifiability means that the hypothesis should be formulated in such a way that it can be proven wrong if it is incorrect.

In addition to guiding the research process, the testing of hypotheses can lead to new discoveries and advancements in scientific knowledge. When a hypothesis is supported by the data, it can be used to develop new theories or models to explain the observed phenomenon. When a hypothesis is not supported by the data, it can help to refine existing theories or prompt the development of new hypotheses to explain the phenomenon.

## When to use Hypothesis

Here are some common situations in which hypotheses are used:

- In scientific research , hypotheses are used to guide the design of experiments and to help researchers make predictions about the outcomes of those experiments.
- In social science research , hypotheses are used to test theories about human behavior, social relationships, and other phenomena.
- I n business , hypotheses can be used to guide decisions about marketing, product development, and other areas. For example, a hypothesis might be that a new product will sell well in a particular market, and this hypothesis can be tested through market research.

## Characteristics of Hypothesis

Here are some common characteristics of a hypothesis:

- Testable : A hypothesis must be able to be tested through observation or experimentation. This means that it must be possible to collect data that will either support or refute the hypothesis.
- Falsifiable : A hypothesis must be able to be proven false if it is not supported by the data. If a hypothesis cannot be falsified, then it is not a scientific hypothesis.
- Clear and concise : A hypothesis should be stated in a clear and concise manner so that it can be easily understood and tested.
- Based on existing knowledge : A hypothesis should be based on existing knowledge and research in the field. It should not be based on personal beliefs or opinions.
- Specific : A hypothesis should be specific in terms of the variables being tested and the predicted outcome. This will help to ensure that the research is focused and well-designed.
- Tentative: A hypothesis is a tentative statement or assumption that requires further testing and evidence to be confirmed or refuted. It is not a final conclusion or assertion.
- Relevant : A hypothesis should be relevant to the research question or problem being studied. It should address a gap in knowledge or provide a new perspective on the issue.

## Advantages of Hypothesis

Hypotheses have several advantages in scientific research and experimentation:

- Guides research: A hypothesis provides a clear and specific direction for research. It helps to focus the research question, select appropriate methods and variables, and interpret the results.
- Predictive powe r: A hypothesis makes predictions about the outcome of research, which can be tested through experimentation. This allows researchers to evaluate the validity of the hypothesis and make new discoveries.
- Facilitates communication: A hypothesis provides a common language and framework for scientists to communicate with one another about their research. This helps to facilitate the exchange of ideas and promotes collaboration.
- Efficient use of resources: A hypothesis helps researchers to use their time, resources, and funding efficiently by directing them towards specific research questions and methods that are most likely to yield results.
- Provides a basis for further research: A hypothesis that is supported by data provides a basis for further research and exploration. It can lead to new hypotheses, theories, and discoveries.
- Increases objectivity: A hypothesis can help to increase objectivity in research by providing a clear and specific framework for testing and interpreting results. This can reduce bias and increase the reliability of research findings.

## Limitations of Hypothesis

Some Limitations of the Hypothesis are as follows:

- Limited to observable phenomena: Hypotheses are limited to observable phenomena and cannot account for unobservable or intangible factors. This means that some research questions may not be amenable to hypothesis testing.
- May be inaccurate or incomplete: Hypotheses are based on existing knowledge and research, which may be incomplete or inaccurate. This can lead to flawed hypotheses and erroneous conclusions.
- May be biased: Hypotheses may be biased by the researcher’s own beliefs, values, or assumptions. This can lead to selective interpretation of data and a lack of objectivity in research.
- Cannot prove causation: A hypothesis can only show a correlation between variables, but it cannot prove causation. This requires further experimentation and analysis.
- Limited to specific contexts: Hypotheses are limited to specific contexts and may not be generalizable to other situations or populations. This means that results may not be applicable in other contexts or may require further testing.
- May be affected by chance : Hypotheses may be affected by chance or random variation, which can obscure or distort the true relationship between variables.

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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

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.

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."

## What Are the Elements of a Good Hypothesis?

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A hypothesis is an educated guess or prediction of what will happen. In science, a hypothesis proposes a relationship between factors called variables. A good hypothesis relates an independent variable and a dependent variable. The effect on the dependent variable depends on or is determined by what happens when you change the independent variable . While you could consider any prediction of an outcome to be a type of hypothesis, a good hypothesis is one you can test using the scientific method. In other words, you want to propose a hypothesis to use as the basis for an experiment.

## Cause and Effect or 'If, Then' Relationships

A good experimental hypothesis can be written as an if, then statement to establish cause and effect on the variables. If you make a change to the independent variable, then the dependent variable will respond. Here's an example of a hypothesis:

If you increase the duration of light, (then) corn plants will grow more each day.

The hypothesis establishes two variables, length of light exposure, and the rate of plant growth. An experiment could be designed to test whether the rate of growth depends on the duration of light. The duration of light is the independent variable, which you can control in an experiment . The rate of plant growth is the dependent variable, which you can measure and record as data in an experiment.

## Key Points of Hypothesis

When you have an idea for a hypothesis, it may help to write it out in several different ways. Review your choices and select a hypothesis that accurately describes what you are testing.

- Does the hypothesis relate an independent and dependent variable? Can you identify the variables?
- Can you test the hypothesis? In other words, could you design an experiment that would allow you to establish or disprove a relationship between the variables?
- Would your experiment be safe and ethical?
- Is there a simpler or more precise way to state the hypothesis? If so, rewrite it.

## What If the Hypothesis Is Incorrect?

It's not wrong or bad if the hypothesis is not supported or is incorrect. Actually, this outcome may tell you more about a relationship between the variables than if the hypothesis is supported. You may intentionally write your hypothesis as a null hypothesis or no-difference hypothesis to establish a relationship between the variables.

For example, the hypothesis:

The rate of corn plant growth does not depend on the duration of light.

This can be tested by exposing corn plants to different length "days" and measuring the rate of plant growth. A statistical test can be applied to measure how well the data support the hypothesis. If the hypothesis is not supported, then you have evidence of a relationship between the variables. It's easier to establish cause and effect by testing whether "no effect" is found. Alternatively, if the null hypothesis is supported, then you have shown the variables are not related. Either way, your experiment is a success.

Need more examples of how to write a hypothesis ? Here you go:

- If you turn out all the lights, you will fall asleep faster. (Think: How would you test it?)
- If you drop different objects, they will fall at the same rate.
- If you eat only fast food, then you will gain weight.
- If you use cruise control, then your car will get better gas mileage.
- If you apply a top coat, then your manicure will last longer.
- If you turn the lights on and off rapidly, then the bulb will burn out faster.
- Null Hypothesis Examples
- Examples of Independent and Dependent Variables
- Difference Between Independent and Dependent Variables
- Null Hypothesis Definition and Examples
- Six Steps of the Scientific Method
- What Is a Hypothesis? (Science)
- Understanding Simple vs Controlled Experiments
- The Role of a Controlled Variable in an Experiment
- Dependent Variable Definition and Examples
- How To Design a Science Fair Experiment
- Independent Variable Definition and Examples
- Scientific Method Vocabulary Terms
- Scientific Method Flow Chart
- Definition of a Hypothesis
- What Is an Experiment? Definition and Design

University of Lethbridge

Science Toolkit

## What is a Hypothesis?

A hypothesis (plural: hypotheses) is in its simplest form nothing more than an idea about how the world works. For example, “the moon is made of green cheese” is a valid hypothesis. But there are several characteristics which separate useful scientific hypotheses from those which are impractical. First and foremost, a hypothesis must be testable. We must (at least in principle) be able to design an experiment which will allow us to determine whether the hypothesis is false. Keep in mind that we can never prove any hypothesis is completely true because we can always

English chemist Robert Boyle (1627-1691) was one of the first scientists to explicitly adopt a program of hypothesis testing. imagine new circumstances in which it has not been tested, or other possible explanations for the results we have obtained. It is much easier to show, with a high degree of confidence, that a hypothesis is false. If it is not consistent with the results of a well designed and executed experiment, we are forced to accept that the hypothesis is false. If a hypothesis is not falsifiable, it is outside the realm of science. Note that the “green-cheese hypothesis” meets this test. A hypothesis should also be plausible. That is, the hypothesis, should be consistent with what we already know about the subject being investigated, and its parts should be logically and mathematically sound. We often celebrate the creative spark by which new hypotheses come to light. But typically that moment of inspiration follows a great deal of perspiration racked up in a thorough review of previous research in the subject. A hypothesis may in the end be a guess, but it should be the best guess possible. Given what we know about astronomy (and cheese production) the”green-cheese hypothesis” is not plausible, and not worth investing much of our time and resources in testing. What are predictions?

The predictions of a hypothesis set out what we expect to see if the hypothesis is true. (This is where we use deductive “If-Then” logic.) Experiments are designed to test specific predictions of the hypothesis. The “green-cheese hypothesis” predicts that material collected from the moon would contain milk proteins and fungi. These predictions could be tested by bringing material back from the moon, and testing its chemical structure. The hypothesis also makes predictions about the wavelengths of light reflected from the moon, a field called spectroscopy. (These predictions have actually been tested, believe it or not. Needless to say the hypothesis was not supported!) Three main factors make a prediction useful in testing a hypothesis: The prediction should be specific to the hypothesis (i.e. no other hypotheses make the same prediction). If several hypotheses predict the same outcome of an experiment, we will need to do further experiments to distinguish between them. The prediction should provide results which are unambiguous. It should be practical and economically feasible to run the experiment. A prediction is really nothing more than a simpler hypothesis — practical to test — derived from a larger hypothesis. Note that a prediction does not have be about the future, but it does have to apply to a situation we have not looked at yet. We are free to use the results of previous experiments to develop a new hypothesis, but we can’t then test our predictions against the results of those old experiments — to do so would be arguing in circles. Are theories different from hypotheses?

A “theory” has no formal definition in science (Style Manual Committee, CBE 1994). Hypotheses which have considerable support from experiments, and which are useful in explaining a fairly wide range of phenomena, are “upgraded” to theories, for example Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, or the Theory of Plate Tectonics (which explains the movement of continents). So a theory is simply a well-tested and widely useful hypothesis, and there’s no strict rules defining when a hypothesis becomes a theory. Theories which are extremely well supported by experiments, particularly those which can be expressed as simple mathematical equations, are often called laws, e.g. Newton’s Law of Gravitation, Kepler’s Laws of Motion, or Mendel’s Laws of Genetics. Again, no one has yet laid out a strict set of rules for defining a natural law. A final term that scientists use to describe their ideas is a model. This dates back to the time when physical models were one of the few tools researchers had in investigating phenomena which were too big or too small to manipulate directly. Physical models are still used in science. Francis Crick and James Watson used a scale model of a DNA molecule to help them deduce its structure (Giere 1997). But scientists also use mathematical models to help them understand how different factors will interact. The development of computers has vastly increased the scope of mathematical models, and made them accessible even to non-mathematicians. Why are hypotheses important?

Philosopher of science Karl Popper likened a hypothesis to a searchlight, which the researcher shines on the relevant portion of nature (Davies 1973). It tells us which experiments are the important ones to perform, and which observations the important ones to make, out of an infinite number of possibilities. Without hypotheses scientists would be reduced to bean counters, and science to a collection of facts without organization or purpose. A hypothesis is the cornerstone used in building an elegant, structured body of knowledge from the apparent chaos of nature. (So they’re pretty important, eh!)

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Is the typical US runner getting faster or slower over time? We consider this question in the context of the Cherry Blossom Run, comparing runners in 2006 and 2012. Technological advances in shoes, training, and diet might suggest runners would be faster in 2012. An opposing viewpoint might say that with the average body mass index on the rise, people tend to run slower. In fact, all of these components might be influencing run time.

In addition to considering run times in this section, we consider a topic near and dear to most students: sleep. A recent study found that college students average about 7 hours of sleep per night.15 However, researchers at a rural college are interested in showing that their students sleep longer than seven hours on average. We investigate this topic in Section 4.3.4.

## Hypothesis Testing Framework

The average time for all runners who finished the Cherry Blossom Run in 2006 was 93.29 minutes (93 minutes and about 17 seconds). We want to determine if the run10Samp data set provides strong evidence that the participants in 2012 were faster or slower than those runners in 2006, versus the other possibility that there has been no change. 16 We simplify these three options into two competing hypotheses :

- H 0 : The average 10 mile run time was the same for 2006 and 2012.
- H A : The average 10 mile run time for 2012 was different than that of 2006.

We call H 0 the null hypothesis and H A the alternative hypothesis.

Null and alternative hypotheses

- The null hypothesis (H 0 ) often represents either a skeptical perspective or a claim to be tested.
- The alternative hypothesis (H A ) represents an alternative claim under consideration and is often represented by a range of possible parameter values.

15 theloquitur.com/?p=1161

16 While we could answer this question by examining the entire population data (run10), we only consider the sample data (run10Samp), which is more realistic since we rarely have access to population data.

The null hypothesis often represents a skeptical position or a perspective of no difference. The alternative hypothesis often represents a new perspective, such as the possibility that there has been a change.

Hypothesis testing framework

The skeptic will not reject the null hypothesis (H 0 ), unless the evidence in favor of the alternative hypothesis (H A ) is so strong that she rejects H 0 in favor of H A .

The hypothesis testing framework is a very general tool, and we often use it without a second thought. If a person makes a somewhat unbelievable claim, we are initially skeptical. However, if there is sufficient evidence that supports the claim, we set aside our skepticism and reject the null hypothesis in favor of the alternative. The hallmarks of hypothesis testing are also found in the US court system.

Exercise \(\PageIndex{1}\)

A US court considers two possible claims about a defendant: she is either innocent or guilty. If we set these claims up in a hypothesis framework, which would be the null hypothesis and which the alternative? 17

Jurors examine the evidence to see whether it convincingly shows a defendant is guilty. Even if the jurors leave unconvinced of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, this does not mean they believe the defendant is innocent. This is also the case with hypothesis testing: even if we fail to reject the null hypothesis, we typically do not accept the null hypothesis as true. Failing to find strong evidence for the alternative hypothesis is not equivalent to accepting the null hypothesis.

17 H 0 : The average cost is $650 per month, \(\mu\) = $650.

In the example with the Cherry Blossom Run, the null hypothesis represents no difference in the average time from 2006 to 2012. The alternative hypothesis represents something new or more interesting: there was a difference, either an increase or a decrease. These hypotheses can be described in mathematical notation using \(\mu_{12}\) as the average run time for 2012:

- H 0 : \(\mu_{12} = 93.29\)
- H A : \(\mu_{12} \ne 93.29\)

where 93.29 minutes (93 minutes and about 17 seconds) is the average 10 mile time for all runners in the 2006 Cherry Blossom Run. Using this mathematical notation, the hypotheses can now be evaluated using statistical tools. We call 93.29 the null value since it represents the value of the parameter if the null hypothesis is true. We will use the run10Samp data set to evaluate the hypothesis test.

## Testing Hypotheses using Confidence Intervals

We can start the evaluation of the hypothesis setup by comparing 2006 and 2012 run times using a point estimate from the 2012 sample: \(\bar {x}_{12} = 95.61\) minutes. This estimate suggests the average time is actually longer than the 2006 time, 93.29 minutes. However, to evaluate whether this provides strong evidence that there has been a change, we must consider the uncertainty associated with \(\bar {x}_{12}\).

1 6 The jury considers whether the evidence is so convincing (strong) that there is no reasonable doubt regarding the person's guilt; in such a case, the jury rejects innocence (the null hypothesis) and concludes the defendant is guilty (alternative hypothesis).

We learned in Section 4.1 that there is fluctuation from one sample to another, and it is very unlikely that the sample mean will be exactly equal to our parameter; we should not expect \(\bar {x}_{12}\) to exactly equal \(\mu_{12}\). Given that \(\bar {x}_{12} = 95.61\), it might still be possible that the population average in 2012 has remained unchanged from 2006. The difference between \(\bar {x}_{12}\) and 93.29 could be due to sampling variation, i.e. the variability associated with the point estimate when we take a random sample.

In Section 4.2, confidence intervals were introduced as a way to find a range of plausible values for the population mean. Based on run10Samp, a 95% confidence interval for the 2012 population mean, \(\mu_{12}\), was calculated as

\[(92.45, 98.77)\]

Because the 2006 mean, 93.29, falls in the range of plausible values, we cannot say the null hypothesis is implausible. That is, we failed to reject the null hypothesis, H 0 .

Double negatives can sometimes be used in statistics

In many statistical explanations, we use double negatives. For instance, we might say that the null hypothesis is not implausible or we failed to reject the null hypothesis. Double negatives are used to communicate that while we are not rejecting a position, we are also not saying it is correct.

Example \(\PageIndex{1}\)

Next consider whether there is strong evidence that the average age of runners has changed from 2006 to 2012 in the Cherry Blossom Run. In 2006, the average age was 36.13 years, and in the 2012 run10Samp data set, the average was 35.05 years with a standard deviation of 8.97 years for 100 runners.

First, set up the hypotheses:

- H 0 : The average age of runners has not changed from 2006 to 2012, \(\mu_{age} = 36.13.\)
- H A : The average age of runners has changed from 2006 to 2012, \(\mu _{age} 6 \ne 36.13.\)

We have previously veri ed conditions for this data set. The normal model may be applied to \(\bar {y}\) and the estimate of SE should be very accurate. Using the sample mean and standard error, we can construct a 95% con dence interval for \(\mu _{age}\) to determine if there is sufficient evidence to reject H 0 :

\[\bar{y} \pm 1.96 \times \dfrac {s}{\sqrt {100}} \rightarrow 35.05 \pm 1.96 \times 0.90 \rightarrow (33.29, 36.81)\]

This confidence interval contains the null value, 36.13. Because 36.13 is not implausible, we cannot reject the null hypothesis. We have not found strong evidence that the average age is different than 36.13 years.

Exercise \(\PageIndex{2}\)

Colleges frequently provide estimates of student expenses such as housing. A consultant hired by a community college claimed that the average student housing expense was $650 per month. What are the null and alternative hypotheses to test whether this claim is accurate? 18

H A : The average cost is different than $650 per month, \(\mu \ne\) $650.

18 Applying the normal model requires that certain conditions are met. Because the data are a simple random sample and the sample (presumably) represents no more than 10% of all students at the college, the observations are independent. The sample size is also sufficiently large (n = 75) and the data exhibit only moderate skew. Thus, the normal model may be applied to the sample mean.

Exercise \(\PageIndex{3}\)

The community college decides to collect data to evaluate the $650 per month claim. They take a random sample of 75 students at their school and obtain the data represented in Figure 4.11. Can we apply the normal model to the sample mean?

If the court makes a Type 1 Error, this means the defendant is innocent (H 0 true) but wrongly convicted. A Type 2 Error means the court failed to reject H 0 (i.e. failed to convict the person) when she was in fact guilty (H A true).

Example \(\PageIndex{2}\)

The sample mean for student housing is $611.63 and the sample standard deviation is $132.85. Construct a 95% confidence interval for the population mean and evaluate the hypotheses of Exercise 4.22.

The standard error associated with the mean may be estimated using the sample standard deviation divided by the square root of the sample size. Recall that n = 75 students were sampled.

\[ SE = \dfrac {s}{\sqrt {n}} = \dfrac {132.85}{\sqrt {75}} = 15.34\]

You showed in Exercise 4.23 that the normal model may be applied to the sample mean. This ensures a 95% confidence interval may be accurately constructed:

\[\bar {x} \pm z*SE \rightarrow 611.63 \pm 1.96 \times 15.34 \times (581.56, 641.70)\]

Because the null value $650 is not in the confidence interval, a true mean of $650 is implausible and we reject the null hypothesis. The data provide statistically significant evidence that the actual average housing expense is less than $650 per month.

## Decision Errors

Hypothesis tests are not flawless. Just think of the court system: innocent people are sometimes wrongly convicted and the guilty sometimes walk free. Similarly, we can make a wrong decision in statistical hypothesis tests. However, the difference is that we have the tools necessary to quantify how often we make such errors.

There are two competing hypotheses: the null and the alternative. In a hypothesis test, we make a statement about which one might be true, but we might choose incorrectly. There are four possible scenarios in a hypothesis test, which are summarized in Table 4.12.

A Type 1 Error is rejecting the null hypothesis when H0 is actually true. A Type 2 Error is failing to reject the null hypothesis when the alternative is actually true.

Exercise 4.25

In a US court, the defendant is either innocent (H 0 ) or guilty (H A ). What does a Type 1 Error represent in this context? What does a Type 2 Error represent? Table 4.12 may be useful.

To lower the Type 1 Error rate, we might raise our standard for conviction from "beyond a reasonable doubt" to "beyond a conceivable doubt" so fewer people would be wrongly convicted. However, this would also make it more difficult to convict the people who are actually guilty, so we would make more Type 2 Errors.

Exercise 4.26

How could we reduce the Type 1 Error rate in US courts? What influence would this have on the Type 2 Error rate?

To lower the Type 2 Error rate, we want to convict more guilty people. We could lower the standards for conviction from "beyond a reasonable doubt" to "beyond a little doubt". Lowering the bar for guilt will also result in more wrongful convictions, raising the Type 1 Error rate.

Exercise 4.27

How could we reduce the Type 2 Error rate in US courts? What influence would this have on the Type 1 Error rate?

A skeptic would have no reason to believe that sleep patterns at this school are different than the sleep patterns at another school.

Exercises 4.25-4.27 provide an important lesson:

If we reduce how often we make one type of error, we generally make more of the other type.

Hypothesis testing is built around rejecting or failing to reject the null hypothesis. That is, we do not reject H 0 unless we have strong evidence. But what precisely does strong evidence mean? As a general rule of thumb, for those cases where the null hypothesis is actually true, we do not want to incorrectly reject H 0 more than 5% of the time. This corresponds to a significance level of 0.05. We often write the significance level using \(\alpha\) (the Greek letter alpha): \(\alpha = 0.05.\) We discuss the appropriateness of different significance levels in Section 4.3.6.

If we use a 95% confidence interval to test a hypothesis where the null hypothesis is true, we will make an error whenever the point estimate is at least 1.96 standard errors away from the population parameter. This happens about 5% of the time (2.5% in each tail). Similarly, using a 99% con dence interval to evaluate a hypothesis is equivalent to a significance level of \(\alpha = 0.01\).

A confidence interval is, in one sense, simplistic in the world of hypothesis tests. Consider the following two scenarios:

- The null value (the parameter value under the null hypothesis) is in the 95% confidence interval but just barely, so we would not reject H 0 . However, we might like to somehow say, quantitatively, that it was a close decision.
- The null value is very far outside of the interval, so we reject H 0 . However, we want to communicate that, not only did we reject the null hypothesis, but it wasn't even close. Such a case is depicted in Figure 4.13.

In Section 4.3.4, we introduce a tool called the p-value that will be helpful in these cases. The p-value method also extends to hypothesis tests where con dence intervals cannot be easily constructed or applied.

## Formal Testing using p-Values

The p-value is a way of quantifying the strength of the evidence against the null hypothesis and in favor of the alternative. Formally the p-value is a conditional probability.

definition: p-value

The p-value is the probability of observing data at least as favorable to the alternative hypothesis as our current data set, if the null hypothesis is true. We typically use a summary statistic of the data, in this chapter the sample mean, to help compute the p-value and evaluate the hypotheses.

A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that college students average about 7 hours of sleep per night. Researchers at a rural school are interested in showing that students at their school sleep longer than seven hours on average, and they would like to demonstrate this using a sample of students. What would be an appropriate skeptical position for this research?

This is entirely based on the interests of the researchers. Had they been only interested in the opposite case - showing that their students were actually averaging fewer than seven hours of sleep but not interested in showing more than 7 hours - then our setup would have set the alternative as \(\mu < 7\).

We can set up the null hypothesis for this test as a skeptical perspective: the students at this school average 7 hours of sleep per night. The alternative hypothesis takes a new form reflecting the interests of the research: the students average more than 7 hours of sleep. We can write these hypotheses as

- H 0 : \(\mu\) = 7.
- H A : \(\mu\) > 7.

Using \(\mu\) > 7 as the alternative is an example of a one-sided hypothesis test. In this investigation, there is no apparent interest in learning whether the mean is less than 7 hours. (The standard error can be estimated from the sample standard deviation and the sample size: \(SE_{\bar {x}} = \dfrac {s_x}{\sqrt {n}} = \dfrac {1.75}{\sqrt {110}} = 0.17\)). Earlier we encountered a two-sided hypothesis where we looked for any clear difference, greater than or less than the null value.

Always use a two-sided test unless it was made clear prior to data collection that the test should be one-sided. Switching a two-sided test to a one-sided test after observing the data is dangerous because it can inflate the Type 1 Error rate.

TIP: One-sided and two-sided tests

If the researchers are only interested in showing an increase or a decrease, but not both, use a one-sided test. If the researchers would be interested in any difference from the null value - an increase or decrease - then the test should be two-sided.

TIP: Always write the null hypothesis as an equality

We will find it most useful if we always list the null hypothesis as an equality (e.g. \(\mu\) = 7) while the alternative always uses an inequality (e.g. \(\mu \ne 7, \mu > 7, or \mu < 7)\).

The researchers at the rural school conducted a simple random sample of n = 110 students on campus. They found that these students averaged 7.42 hours of sleep and the standard deviation of the amount of sleep for the students was 1.75 hours. A histogram of the sample is shown in Figure 4.14.

Before we can use a normal model for the sample mean or compute the standard error of the sample mean, we must verify conditions. (1) Because this is a simple random sample from less than 10% of the student body, the observations are independent. (2) The sample size in the sleep study is sufficiently large since it is greater than 30. (3) The data show moderate skew in Figure 4.14 and the presence of a couple of outliers. This skew and the outliers (which are not too extreme) are acceptable for a sample size of n = 110. With these conditions veri ed, the normal model can be safely applied to \(\bar {x}\) and the estimated standard error will be very accurate.

What is the standard deviation associated with \(\bar {x}\)? That is, estimate the standard error of \(\bar {x}\). 25

The hypothesis test will be evaluated using a significance level of \(\alpha = 0.05\). We want to consider the data under the scenario that the null hypothesis is true. In this case, the sample mean is from a distribution that is nearly normal and has mean 7 and standard deviation of about 0.17. Such a distribution is shown in Figure 4.15.

The shaded tail in Figure 4.15 represents the chance of observing such a large mean, conditional on the null hypothesis being true. That is, the shaded tail represents the p-value. We shade all means larger than our sample mean, \(\bar {x} = 7.42\), because they are more favorable to the alternative hypothesis than the observed mean.

We compute the p-value by finding the tail area of this normal distribution, which we learned to do in Section 3.1. First compute the Z score of the sample mean, \(\bar {x} = 7.42\):

\[Z = \dfrac {\bar {x} - \text {null value}}{SE_{\bar {x}}} = \dfrac {7.42 - 7}{0.17} = 2.47\]

Using the normal probability table, the lower unshaded area is found to be 0.993. Thus the shaded area is 1 - 0.993 = 0.007. If the null hypothesis is true, the probability of observing such a large sample mean for a sample of 110 students is only 0.007. That is, if the null hypothesis is true, we would not often see such a large mean.

We evaluate the hypotheses by comparing the p-value to the significance level. Because the p-value is less than the significance level \((p-value = 0.007 < 0.05 = \alpha)\), we reject the null hypothesis. What we observed is so unusual with respect to the null hypothesis that it casts serious doubt on H 0 and provides strong evidence favoring H A .

p-value as a tool in hypothesis testing

The p-value quantifies how strongly the data favor H A over H 0 . A small p-value (usually < 0.05) corresponds to sufficient evidence to reject H 0 in favor of H A .

TIP: It is useful to First draw a picture to find the p-value

It is useful to draw a picture of the distribution of \(\bar {x}\) as though H 0 was true (i.e. \(\mu\) equals the null value), and shade the region (or regions) of sample means that are at least as favorable to the alternative hypothesis. These shaded regions represent the p-value.

The ideas below review the process of evaluating hypothesis tests with p-values:

- The null hypothesis represents a skeptic's position or a position of no difference. We reject this position only if the evidence strongly favors H A .
- A small p-value means that if the null hypothesis is true, there is a low probability of seeing a point estimate at least as extreme as the one we saw. We interpret this as strong evidence in favor of the alternative.
- We reject the null hypothesis if the p-value is smaller than the significance level, \(\alpha\), which is usually 0.05. Otherwise, we fail to reject H 0 .
- We should always state the conclusion of the hypothesis test in plain language so non-statisticians can also understand the results.

The p-value is constructed in such a way that we can directly compare it to the significance level ( \(\alpha\)) to determine whether or not to reject H 0 . This method ensures that the Type 1 Error rate does not exceed the significance level standard.

If the null hypothesis is true, how often should the p-value be less than 0.05?

About 5% of the time. If the null hypothesis is true, then the data only has a 5% chance of being in the 5% of data most favorable to H A .

Exercise 4.31

Suppose we had used a significance level of 0.01 in the sleep study. Would the evidence have been strong enough to reject the null hypothesis? (The p-value was 0.007.) What if the significance level was \(\alpha = 0.001\)? 27

27 We reject the null hypothesis whenever p-value < \(\alpha\). Thus, we would still reject the null hypothesis if \(\alpha = 0.01\) but not if the significance level had been \(\alpha = 0.001\).

Exercise 4.32

Ebay might be interested in showing that buyers on its site tend to pay less than they would for the corresponding new item on Amazon. We'll research this topic for one particular product: a video game called Mario Kart for the Nintendo Wii. During early October 2009, Amazon sold this game for $46.99. Set up an appropriate (one-sided!) hypothesis test to check the claim that Ebay buyers pay less during auctions at this same time. 28

28 The skeptic would say the average is the same on Ebay, and we are interested in showing the average price is lower.

Exercise 4.33

During early October, 2009, 52 Ebay auctions were recorded for Mario Kart.29 The total prices for the auctions are presented using a histogram in Figure 4.17, and we may like to apply the normal model to the sample mean. Check the three conditions required for applying the normal model: (1) independence, (2) at least 30 observations, and (3) the data are not strongly skewed. 30

30 (1) The independence condition is unclear. We will make the assumption that the observations are independent, which we should report with any nal results. (2) The sample size is sufficiently large: \(n = 52 \ge 30\). (3) The data distribution is not strongly skewed; it is approximately symmetric.

H 0 : The average auction price on Ebay is equal to (or more than) the price on Amazon. We write only the equality in the statistical notation: \(\mu_{ebay} = 46.99\).

H A : The average price on Ebay is less than the price on Amazon, \(\mu _{ebay} < 46.99\).

29 These data were collected by OpenIntro staff.

Example 4.34

The average sale price of the 52 Ebay auctions for Wii Mario Kart was $44.17 with a standard deviation of $4.15. Does this provide sufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis in Exercise 4.32? Use a significance level of \(\alpha = 0.01\).

The hypotheses were set up and the conditions were checked in Exercises 4.32 and 4.33. The next step is to find the standard error of the sample mean and produce a sketch to help find the p-value.

Because the alternative hypothesis says we are looking for a smaller mean, we shade the lower tail. We find this shaded area by using the Z score and normal probability table: \(Z = \dfrac {44.17 \times 46.99}{0.5755} = -4.90\), which has area less than 0.0002. The area is so small we cannot really see it on the picture. This lower tail area corresponds to the p-value.

Because the p-value is so small - specifically, smaller than = 0.01 - this provides sufficiently strong evidence to reject the null hypothesis in favor of the alternative. The data provide statistically signi cant evidence that the average price on Ebay is lower than Amazon's asking price.

## Two-sided hypothesis testing with p-values

We now consider how to compute a p-value for a two-sided test. In one-sided tests, we shade the single tail in the direction of the alternative hypothesis. For example, when the alternative had the form \(\mu\) > 7, then the p-value was represented by the upper tail (Figure 4.16). When the alternative was \(\mu\) < 46.99, the p-value was the lower tail (Exercise 4.32). In a two-sided test, we shade two tails since evidence in either direction is favorable to H A .

Exercise 4.35 Earlier we talked about a research group investigating whether the students at their school slept longer than 7 hours each night. Let's consider a second group of researchers who want to evaluate whether the students at their college differ from the norm of 7 hours. Write the null and alternative hypotheses for this investigation. 31

Example 4.36 The second college randomly samples 72 students and nds a mean of \(\bar {x} = 6.83\) hours and a standard deviation of s = 1.8 hours. Does this provide strong evidence against H 0 in Exercise 4.35? Use a significance level of \(\alpha = 0.05\).

First, we must verify assumptions. (1) A simple random sample of less than 10% of the student body means the observations are independent. (2) The sample size is 72, which is greater than 30. (3) Based on the earlier distribution and what we already know about college student sleep habits, the distribution is probably not strongly skewed.

Next we can compute the standard error \((SE_{\bar {x}} = \dfrac {s}{\sqrt {n}} = 0.21)\) of the estimate and create a picture to represent the p-value, shown in Figure 4.18. Both tails are shaded.

31 Because the researchers are interested in any difference, they should use a two-sided setup: H 0 : \(\mu\) = 7, H A : \(\mu \ne 7.\)

An estimate of 7.17 or more provides at least as strong of evidence against the null hypothesis and in favor of the alternative as the observed estimate, \(\bar {x} = 6.83\).

We can calculate the tail areas by rst nding the lower tail corresponding to \(\bar {x}\):

\[Z = \dfrac {6.83 - 7.00}{0.21} = -0.81 \xrightarrow {table} \text {left tail} = 0.2090\]

Because the normal model is symmetric, the right tail will have the same area as the left tail. The p-value is found as the sum of the two shaded tails:

\[ \text {p-value} = \text {left tail} + \text {right tail} = 2 \times \text {(left tail)} = 0.4180\]

This p-value is relatively large (larger than \(\mu\)= 0.05), so we should not reject H 0 . That is, if H 0 is true, it would not be very unusual to see a sample mean this far from 7 hours simply due to sampling variation. Thus, we do not have sufficient evidence to conclude that the mean is different than 7 hours.

Example 4.37 It is never okay to change two-sided tests to one-sided tests after observing the data. In this example we explore the consequences of ignoring this advice. Using \(\alpha = 0.05\), we show that freely switching from two-sided tests to onesided tests will cause us to make twice as many Type 1 Errors as intended.

Suppose the sample mean was larger than the null value, \(\mu_0\) (e.g. \(\mu_0\) would represent 7 if H 0 : \(\mu\) = 7). Then if we can ip to a one-sided test, we would use H A : \(\mu > \mu_0\). Now if we obtain any observation with a Z score greater than 1.65, we would reject H 0 . If the null hypothesis is true, we incorrectly reject the null hypothesis about 5% of the time when the sample mean is above the null value, as shown in Figure 4.19.

Suppose the sample mean was smaller than the null value. Then if we change to a one-sided test, we would use H A : \(\mu < \mu_0\). If \(\bar {x}\) had a Z score smaller than -1.65, we would reject H 0 . If the null hypothesis is true, then we would observe such a case about 5% of the time.

By examining these two scenarios, we can determine that we will make a Type 1 Error 5% + 5% = 10% of the time if we are allowed to swap to the "best" one-sided test for the data. This is twice the error rate we prescribed with our significance level: \(\alpha = 0.05\) (!).

Caution: One-sided hypotheses are allowed only before seeing data

After observing data, it is tempting to turn a two-sided test into a one-sided test. Avoid this temptation. Hypotheses must be set up before observing the data. If they are not, the test must be two-sided.

## Choosing a Significance Level

Choosing a significance level for a test is important in many contexts, and the traditional level is 0.05. However, it is often helpful to adjust the significance level based on the application. We may select a level that is smaller or larger than 0.05 depending on the consequences of any conclusions reached from the test.

- If making a Type 1 Error is dangerous or especially costly, we should choose a small significance level (e.g. 0.01). Under this scenario we want to be very cautious about rejecting the null hypothesis, so we demand very strong evidence favoring H A before we would reject H 0 .
- If a Type 2 Error is relatively more dangerous or much more costly than a Type 1 Error, then we should choose a higher significance level (e.g. 0.10). Here we want to be cautious about failing to reject H 0 when the null is actually false. We will discuss this particular case in greater detail in Section 4.6.

Significance levels should reflect consequences of errors

The significance level selected for a test should reflect the consequences associated with Type 1 and Type 2 Errors.

Example 4.38

A car manufacturer is considering a higher quality but more expensive supplier for window parts in its vehicles. They sample a number of parts from their current supplier and also parts from the new supplier. They decide that if the high quality parts will last more than 12% longer, it makes nancial sense to switch to this more expensive supplier. Is there good reason to modify the significance level in such a hypothesis test?

The null hypothesis is that the more expensive parts last no more than 12% longer while the alternative is that they do last more than 12% longer. This decision is just one of the many regular factors that have a marginal impact on the car and company. A significancelevel of 0.05 seems reasonable since neither a Type 1 or Type 2 error should be dangerous or (relatively) much more expensive.

Example 4.39

The same car manufacturer is considering a slightly more expensive supplier for parts related to safety, not windows. If the durability of these safety components is shown to be better than the current supplier, they will switch manufacturers. Is there good reason to modify the significance level in such an evaluation?

The null hypothesis would be that the suppliers' parts are equally reliable. Because safety is involved, the car company should be eager to switch to the slightly more expensive manufacturer (reject H 0 ) even if the evidence of increased safety is only moderately strong. A slightly larger significance level, such as \(\mu = 0.10\), might be appropriate.

Exercise 4.40

A part inside of a machine is very expensive to replace. However, the machine usually functions properly even if this part is broken, so the part is replaced only if we are extremely certain it is broken based on a series of measurements. Identify appropriate hypotheses for this test (in plain language) and suggest an appropriate significance level. 32

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- v.36(50); 2021 Dec 27

## Formulating Hypotheses for Different Study Designs

Durga prasanna misra.

1 Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India.

## Armen Yuri Gasparyan

2 Departments of Rheumatology and Research and Development, Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust (Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham, UK), Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, UK.

## Olena Zimba

3 Department of Internal Medicine #2, Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University, Lviv, Ukraine.

## Marlen Yessirkepov

4 Department of Biology and Biochemistry, South Kazakhstan Medical Academy, Shymkent, Kazakhstan.

## Vikas Agarwal

George d. kitas.

5 Centre for Epidemiology versus Arthritis, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

Generating a testable working hypothesis is the first step towards conducting original research. Such research may prove or disprove the proposed hypothesis. Case reports, case series, online surveys and other observational studies, clinical trials, and narrative reviews help to generate hypotheses. Observational and interventional studies help to test hypotheses. A good hypothesis is usually based on previous evidence-based reports. Hypotheses without evidence-based justification and a priori ideas are not received favourably by the scientific community. Original research to test a hypothesis should be carefully planned to ensure appropriate methodology and adequate statistical power. While hypotheses can challenge conventional thinking and may be controversial, they should not be destructive. A hypothesis should be tested by ethically sound experiments with meaningful ethical and clinical implications. The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has brought into sharp focus numerous hypotheses, some of which were proven (e.g. effectiveness of corticosteroids in those with hypoxia) while others were disproven (e.g. ineffectiveness of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin).

## Graphical Abstract

## DEFINING WORKING AND STANDALONE SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESES

Science is the systematized description of natural truths and facts. Routine observations of existing life phenomena lead to the creative thinking and generation of ideas about mechanisms of such phenomena and related human interventions. Such ideas presented in a structured format can be viewed as hypotheses. After generating a hypothesis, it is necessary to test it to prove its validity. Thus, hypothesis can be defined as a proposed mechanism of a naturally occurring event or a proposed outcome of an intervention. 1 , 2

Hypothesis testing requires choosing the most appropriate methodology and adequately powering statistically the study to be able to “prove” or “disprove” it within predetermined and widely accepted levels of certainty. This entails sample size calculation that often takes into account previously published observations and pilot studies. 2 , 3 In the era of digitization, hypothesis generation and testing may benefit from the availability of numerous platforms for data dissemination, social networking, and expert validation. Related expert evaluations may reveal strengths and limitations of proposed ideas at early stages of post-publication promotion, preventing the implementation of unsupported controversial points. 4

Thus, hypothesis generation is an important initial step in the research workflow, reflecting accumulating evidence and experts' stance. In this article, we overview the genesis and importance of scientific hypotheses and their relevance in the era of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

## DO WE NEED HYPOTHESES FOR ALL STUDY DESIGNS?

Broadly, research can be categorized as primary or secondary. In the context of medicine, primary research may include real-life observations of disease presentations and outcomes. Single case descriptions, which often lead to new ideas and hypotheses, serve as important starting points or justifications for case series and cohort studies. The importance of case descriptions is particularly evident in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic when unique, educational case reports have heralded a new era in clinical medicine. 5

Case series serve similar purpose to single case reports, but are based on a slightly larger quantum of information. Observational studies, including online surveys, describe the existing phenomena at a larger scale, often involving various control groups. Observational studies include variable-scale epidemiological investigations at different time points. Interventional studies detail the results of therapeutic interventions.

Secondary research is based on already published literature and does not directly involve human or animal subjects. Review articles are generated by secondary research. These could be systematic reviews which follow methods akin to primary research but with the unit of study being published papers rather than humans or animals. Systematic reviews have a rigid structure with a mandatory search strategy encompassing multiple databases, systematic screening of search results against pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria, critical appraisal of study quality and an optional component of collating results across studies quantitatively to derive summary estimates (meta-analysis). 6 Narrative reviews, on the other hand, have a more flexible structure. Systematic literature searches to minimise bias in selection of articles are highly recommended but not mandatory. 7 Narrative reviews are influenced by the authors' viewpoint who may preferentially analyse selected sets of articles. 8

In relation to primary research, case studies and case series are generally not driven by a working hypothesis. Rather, they serve as a basis to generate a hypothesis. Observational or interventional studies should have a hypothesis for choosing research design and sample size. The results of observational and interventional studies further lead to the generation of new hypotheses, testing of which forms the basis of future studies. Review articles, on the other hand, may not be hypothesis-driven, but form fertile ground to generate future hypotheses for evaluation. Fig. 1 summarizes which type of studies are hypothesis-driven and which lead on to hypothesis generation.

## STANDARDS OF WORKING AND SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESES

A review of the published literature did not enable the identification of clearly defined standards for working and scientific hypotheses. It is essential to distinguish influential versus not influential hypotheses, evidence-based hypotheses versus a priori statements and ideas, ethical versus unethical, or potentially harmful ideas. The following points are proposed for consideration while generating working and scientific hypotheses. 1 , 2 Table 1 summarizes these points.

## Evidence-based data

A scientific hypothesis should have a sound basis on previously published literature as well as the scientist's observations. Randomly generated (a priori) hypotheses are unlikely to be proven. A thorough literature search should form the basis of a hypothesis based on published evidence. 7

Unless a scientific hypothesis can be tested, it can neither be proven nor be disproven. Therefore, a scientific hypothesis should be amenable to testing with the available technologies and the present understanding of science.

## Supported by pilot studies

If a hypothesis is based purely on a novel observation by the scientist in question, it should be grounded on some preliminary studies to support it. For example, if a drug that targets a specific cell population is hypothesized to be useful in a particular disease setting, then there must be some preliminary evidence that the specific cell population plays a role in driving that disease process.

## Testable by ethical studies

The hypothesis should be testable by experiments that are ethically acceptable. 9 For example, a hypothesis that parachutes reduce mortality from falls from an airplane cannot be tested using a randomized controlled trial. 10 This is because it is obvious that all those jumping from a flying plane without a parachute would likely die. Similarly, the hypothesis that smoking tobacco causes lung cancer cannot be tested by a clinical trial that makes people take up smoking (since there is considerable evidence for the health hazards associated with smoking). Instead, long-term observational studies comparing outcomes in those who smoke and those who do not, as was performed in the landmark epidemiological case control study by Doll and Hill, 11 are more ethical and practical.

## Balance between scientific temper and controversy

Novel findings, including novel hypotheses, particularly those that challenge established norms, are bound to face resistance for their wider acceptance. Such resistance is inevitable until the time such findings are proven with appropriate scientific rigor. However, hypotheses that generate controversy are generally unwelcome. For example, at the time the pandemic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS was taking foot, there were numerous deniers that refused to believe that HIV caused AIDS. 12 , 13 Similarly, at a time when climate change is causing catastrophic changes to weather patterns worldwide, denial that climate change is occurring and consequent attempts to block climate change are certainly unwelcome. 14 The denialism and misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, including unfortunate examples of vaccine hesitancy, are more recent examples of controversial hypotheses not backed by science. 15 , 16 An example of a controversial hypothesis that was a revolutionary scientific breakthrough was the hypothesis put forth by Warren and Marshall that Helicobacter pylori causes peptic ulcers. Initially, the hypothesis that a microorganism could cause gastritis and gastric ulcers faced immense resistance. When the scientists that proposed the hypothesis themselves ingested H. pylori to induce gastritis in themselves, only then could they convince the wider world about their hypothesis. Such was the impact of the hypothesis was that Barry Marshall and Robin Warren were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2005 for this discovery. 17 , 18

## DISTINGUISHING THE MOST INFLUENTIAL HYPOTHESES

Influential hypotheses are those that have stood the test of time. An archetype of an influential hypothesis is that proposed by Edward Jenner in the eighteenth century that cowpox infection protects against smallpox. While this observation had been reported for nearly a century before this time, it had not been suitably tested and publicised until Jenner conducted his experiments on a young boy by demonstrating protection against smallpox after inoculation with cowpox. 19 These experiments were the basis for widespread smallpox immunization strategies worldwide in the 20th century which resulted in the elimination of smallpox as a human disease today. 20

Other influential hypotheses are those which have been read and cited widely. An example of this is the hygiene hypothesis proposing an inverse relationship between infections in early life and allergies or autoimmunity in adulthood. An analysis reported that this hypothesis had been cited more than 3,000 times on Scopus. 1

## LESSONS LEARNED FROM HYPOTHESES AMIDST THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The COVID-19 pandemic devastated the world like no other in recent memory. During this period, various hypotheses emerged, understandably so considering the public health emergency situation with innumerable deaths and suffering for humanity. Within weeks of the first reports of COVID-19, aberrant immune system activation was identified as a key driver of organ dysfunction and mortality in this disease. 21 Consequently, numerous drugs that suppress the immune system or abrogate the activation of the immune system were hypothesized to have a role in COVID-19. 22 One of the earliest drugs hypothesized to have a benefit was hydroxychloroquine. Hydroxychloroquine was proposed to interfere with Toll-like receptor activation and consequently ameliorate the aberrant immune system activation leading to pathology in COVID-19. 22 The drug was also hypothesized to have a prophylactic role in preventing infection or disease severity in COVID-19. It was also touted as a wonder drug for the disease by many prominent international figures. However, later studies which were well-designed randomized controlled trials failed to demonstrate any benefit of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19. 23 , 24 , 25 , 26 Subsequently, azithromycin 27 , 28 and ivermectin 29 were hypothesized as potential therapies for COVID-19, but were not supported by evidence from randomized controlled trials. The role of vitamin D in preventing disease severity was also proposed, but has not been proven definitively until now. 30 , 31 On the other hand, randomized controlled trials identified the evidence supporting dexamethasone 32 and interleukin-6 pathway blockade with tocilizumab as effective therapies for COVID-19 in specific situations such as at the onset of hypoxia. 33 , 34 Clues towards the apparent effectiveness of various drugs against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in vitro but their ineffectiveness in vivo have recently been identified. Many of these drugs are weak, lipophilic bases and some others induce phospholipidosis which results in apparent in vitro effectiveness due to non-specific off-target effects that are not replicated inside living systems. 35 , 36

Another hypothesis proposed was the association of the routine policy of vaccination with Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) with lower deaths due to COVID-19. This hypothesis emerged in the middle of 2020 when COVID-19 was still taking foot in many parts of the world. 37 , 38 Subsequently, many countries which had lower deaths at that time point went on to have higher numbers of mortality, comparable to other areas of the world. Furthermore, the hypothesis that BCG vaccination reduced COVID-19 mortality was a classic example of ecological fallacy. Associations between population level events (ecological studies; in this case, BCG vaccination and COVID-19 mortality) cannot be directly extrapolated to the individual level. Furthermore, such associations cannot per se be attributed as causal in nature, and can only serve to generate hypotheses that need to be tested at the individual level. 39

## IS TRADITIONAL PEER REVIEW EFFICIENT FOR EVALUATION OF WORKING AND SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESES?

Traditionally, publication after peer review has been considered the gold standard before any new idea finds acceptability amongst the scientific community. Getting a work (including a working or scientific hypothesis) reviewed by experts in the field before experiments are conducted to prove or disprove it helps to refine the idea further as well as improve the experiments planned to test the hypothesis. 40 A route towards this has been the emergence of journals dedicated to publishing hypotheses such as the Central Asian Journal of Medical Hypotheses and Ethics. 41 Another means of publishing hypotheses is through registered research protocols detailing the background, hypothesis, and methodology of a particular study. If such protocols are published after peer review, then the journal commits to publishing the completed study irrespective of whether the study hypothesis is proven or disproven. 42 In the post-pandemic world, online research methods such as online surveys powered via social media channels such as Twitter and Instagram might serve as critical tools to generate as well as to preliminarily test the appropriateness of hypotheses for further evaluation. 43 , 44

Some radical hypotheses might be difficult to publish after traditional peer review. These hypotheses might only be acceptable by the scientific community after they are tested in research studies. Preprints might be a way to disseminate such controversial and ground-breaking hypotheses. 45 However, scientists might prefer to keep their hypotheses confidential for the fear of plagiarism of ideas, avoiding online posting and publishing until they have tested the hypotheses.

## SUGGESTIONS ON GENERATING AND PUBLISHING HYPOTHESES

Publication of hypotheses is important, however, a balance is required between scientific temper and controversy. Journal editors and reviewers might keep in mind these specific points, summarized in Table 2 and detailed hereafter, while judging the merit of hypotheses for publication. Keeping in mind the ethical principle of primum non nocere, a hypothesis should be published only if it is testable in a manner that is ethically appropriate. 46 Such hypotheses should be grounded in reality and lend themselves to further testing to either prove or disprove them. It must be considered that subsequent experiments to prove or disprove a hypothesis have an equal chance of failing or succeeding, akin to tossing a coin. A pre-conceived belief that a hypothesis is unlikely to be proven correct should not form the basis of rejection of such a hypothesis for publication. In this context, hypotheses generated after a thorough literature search to identify knowledge gaps or based on concrete clinical observations on a considerable number of patients (as opposed to random observations on a few patients) are more likely to be acceptable for publication by peer-reviewed journals. Also, hypotheses should be considered for publication or rejection based on their implications for science at large rather than whether the subsequent experiments to test them end up with results in favour of or against the original hypothesis.

Hypotheses form an important part of the scientific literature. The COVID-19 pandemic has reiterated the importance and relevance of hypotheses for dealing with public health emergencies and highlighted the need for evidence-based and ethical hypotheses. A good hypothesis is testable in a relevant study design, backed by preliminary evidence, and has positive ethical and clinical implications. General medical journals might consider publishing hypotheses as a specific article type to enable more rapid advancement of science.

Disclosure: The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

Author Contributions:

- Data curation: Gasparyan AY, Misra DP, Zimba O, Yessirkepov M, Agarwal V, Kitas GD.

- Scientific Methods

## What is Hypothesis?

We have heard of many hypotheses which have led to great inventions in science. Assumptions that are made on the basis of some evidence are known as hypotheses. In this article, let us learn in detail about the hypothesis and the type of hypothesis with examples.

A hypothesis is an assumption that is made based on some evidence. This is the initial point of any investigation that translates the research questions into predictions. It includes components like variables, population and the relation between the variables. A research hypothesis is a hypothesis that is used to test the relationship between two or more variables.

## Characteristics of Hypothesis

Following are the characteristics of the hypothesis:

- The hypothesis should be clear and precise to consider it to be reliable.
- If the hypothesis is a relational hypothesis, then it should be stating the relationship between variables.
- The hypothesis must be specific and should have scope for conducting more tests.
- The way of explanation of the hypothesis must be very simple and it should also be understood that the simplicity of the hypothesis is not related to its significance.

## Sources of Hypothesis

Following are the sources of hypothesis:

- The resemblance between the phenomenon.
- Observations from past studies, present-day experiences and from the competitors.
- Scientific theories.
- General patterns that influence the thinking process of people.

## Types of Hypothesis

There are six forms of hypothesis and they are:

- Simple hypothesis
- Complex hypothesis
- Directional hypothesis
- Non-directional hypothesis
- Null hypothesis
- Associative and casual hypothesis

## Simple Hypothesis

It shows a relationship between one dependent variable and a single independent variable. For example – If you eat more vegetables, you will lose weight faster. Here, eating more vegetables is an independent variable, while losing weight is the dependent variable.

## Complex Hypothesis

It shows the relationship between two or more dependent variables and two or more independent variables. Eating more vegetables and fruits leads to weight loss, glowing skin, and reduces the risk of many diseases such as heart disease.

## Directional Hypothesis

It shows how a researcher is intellectual and committed to a particular outcome. The relationship between the variables can also predict its nature. For example- children aged four years eating proper food over a five-year period are having higher IQ levels than children not having a proper meal. This shows the effect and direction of the effect.

## Non-directional Hypothesis

It is used when there is no theory involved. It is a statement that a relationship exists between two variables, without predicting the exact nature (direction) of the relationship.

## Null Hypothesis

It provides a statement which is contrary to the hypothesis. It’s a negative statement, and there is no relationship between independent and dependent variables. The symbol is denoted by “H O ”.

## Associative and Causal Hypothesis

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

## Examples of Hypothesis

Following are the examples of hypotheses based on their types:

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

## Functions of Hypothesis

Following are the functions performed by the hypothesis:

- Hypothesis helps in making an observation and experiments possible.
- It becomes the start point for the investigation.
- Hypothesis helps in verifying the observations.
- It helps in directing the inquiries in the right direction.

## How will Hypothesis help in the Scientific Method?

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

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

## Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is hypothesis.

A hypothesis is an assumption made based on some evidence.

## Give an example of simple hypothesis?

What are the types of hypothesis.

Types of hypothesis are:

- Associative and Casual hypothesis

## State true or false: Hypothesis is the initial point of any investigation that translates the research questions into a prediction.

Define complex hypothesis..

A complex hypothesis shows the relationship between two or more dependent variables and two or more independent variables.

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Which of the Following Makes a Good Hypothesis. A good hypothesis is characterized by: Testability: The ability to form experiments or gather data to support or refute the hypothesis. Falsifiability: The potential for the hypothesis's predictions to be proven wrong based on empirical evidence.

scientific hypothesis, an idea that proposes a tentative explanation about a phenomenon or a narrow set of phenomena observed in the natural world.The two primary features of a scientific hypothesis are falsifiability and testability, which are reflected in an "If…then" statement summarizing the idea and in the ability to be supported or refuted through observation and experimentation.

Forming a Hypothesis. When conducting scientific experiments, researchers develop hypotheses to guide experimental design. A hypothesis is a suggested explanation that is both testable and falsifiable. You must be able to test your hypothesis, and it must be possible to prove your hypothesis true or false.

Here are some common characteristics of a hypothesis: Testable: A hypothesis must be able to be tested through observation or experimentation. This means that it must be possible to collect data that will either support or refute the hypothesis. Falsifiable: A hypothesis must be able to be proven false if it is not supported by the data. If a ...

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 ...

The hypothesis of Andreas Cellarius, showing the planetary motions in eccentric and epicyclical orbits.. A hypothesis (pl.: hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon.For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained ...

Components of a Formal Hypothesis Test. The null hypothesis is a statement about the value of a population parameter, such as the population mean (µ) or the population proportion (p).It contains the condition of equality and is denoted as H 0 (H-naught).. H 0: µ = 157 or H0 : p = 0.37. The alternative hypothesis is the claim to be tested, the opposite of the null hypothesis.

A hypothesis is an educated guess or prediction of what will happen. In science, a hypothesis proposes a relationship between factors called variables. A good hypothesis relates an independent variable and a dependent variable. The effect on the dependent variable depends on or is determined by what happens when you change the independent variable.

Null and Alternative Hypotheses. The actual test begins by considering two hypotheses.They are called the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.These hypotheses contain opposing viewpoints. \(H_0\): The null hypothesis: It is a statement of no difference between the variables—they are not related. This can often be considered the status quo and as a result if you cannot accept the ...

A hypothesis (plural: hypotheses) is in its simplest form nothing more than an idea about how the world works. For example, "the moon is made of green cheese" is a valid hypothesis. But there are several characteristics which separate useful scientific hypotheses from those which are impractical. First and foremost, a hypothesis must be ...

This is also the case with hypothesis testing: even if we fail to reject the null hypothesis, we typically do not accept the null hypothesis as true. Failing to find strong evidence for the alternative hypothesis is not equivalent to accepting the null hypothesis. 17 H 0: The average cost is $650 per month, μ = $650.

A hypothesis is a statement or claim regarding a characteristic of one or more population Hypothesis testing (or test of significance) is a procedure, ... the other must be true. The null hypothesis (denoted by H 0) is a hypothesis that contains a statement of equality, =. The alternative hypothesis (denoted by H 1

Present the findings in your results and discussion section. Though the specific details might vary, the procedure you will use when testing a hypothesis will always follow some version of these steps. Table of contents. Step 1: State your null and alternate hypothesis. Step 2: Collect data. Step 3: Perform a statistical test.

Formulating Hypotheses for Different Study Designs. Generating a testable working hypothesis is the first step towards conducting original research. Such research may prove or disprove the proposed hypothesis. Case reports, case series, online surveys and other observational studies, clinical trials, and narrative reviews help to generate ...

A hypothesis must be in intimate contact with objects that may be observed. It is based on observation and does not believe in air castles. ... As a result, testability is the most important characteristic of a good hypothesis. Relevant to the Issue A hypothesis would be considered good if it is applicable to a certain problem. A hypothesis ...

the hypothesis must be worded so that failures to find the predicted effect are considered evidence that the hypothesis is false your hypothesis should be disprovable by the research findings i.e. if you read this book carefully enough, ... the hypothesis must be able to be proven to be either true or false i.e. hungry students read slowly.

Alumni University of Leicester & University of Sussex. The key characteristic of a good hypothesis is the ability to derive predictions from this hypothesis about the results of future experiments ...

Following are the characteristics of the hypothesis: The hypothesis should be clear and precise to consider it to be reliable. If the hypothesis is a relational hypothesis, then it should be stating the relationship between variables. The hypothesis must be specific and should have scope for conducting more tests.

To qualify as a hypothesis, however, it must specify that some unknown type of relation is expected.-Low SES and high SES subjects will differ in their level of authoritarianism. Principle 3.1. When the goal of research is to describe group(s) without describing relations among variables, state a research purpose or question instead of a ...

Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like What characteristic must be true of a good hypothesis? a. It must be correct. b. It must have been observed many times. c. It must involve quantitative data. d. It must be testable by observation or experiment., Which of the following is "a tentative explanation based on observational data and experiments"? a. Scientific theory b ...

What characteristic must be true of a well-stated hypothesis?it must be correctit must have been observed many timesit must involve quantitative datait must be testable by observation or experimentationall of the above

What must be true of a conclusion to a controlled experiment? the theory/explanation What is a scientific explanation that can be tested by observation or an experiment?

The characteristic that must be true of a good hypothesis is that it must be testable by observation or experiment (option D).. What is a hypothesis? Hypothesis is a tentative conjecture explaining an observation, phenomenon or scientific problem that can be tested by further observation, investigation and/or experimentation.. Hypothesis is a significant part of the scientific method that must ...