hypothesis essay about hypotheses

How to Write a Hypothesis

hypothesis essay about hypotheses

If I [do something], then [this] will happen.

This basic statement/formula should be pretty familiar to all of you as it is the starting point of almost every scientific project or paper. It is a hypothesis – a statement that showcases what you “think” will happen during an experiment. This assumption is made based on the knowledge, facts, and data you already have.

How do you write a hypothesis? If you have a clear understanding of the proper structure of a hypothesis, you should not find it too hard to create one. However, if you have never written a hypothesis before, you might find it a bit frustrating. In this article from EssayPro - custom essay writing services , we are going to tell you everything you need to know about hypotheses, their types, and practical tips for writing them.

Hypothesis Definition

According to the definition, a hypothesis is an assumption one makes based on existing knowledge. To elaborate, it is a statement that translates the initial research question into a logical prediction shaped on the basis of available facts and evidence. To solve a specific problem, one first needs to identify the research problem (research question), conduct initial research, and set out to answer the given question by performing experiments and observing their outcomes. However, before one can move to the experimental part of the research, they should first identify what they expect to see for results. At this stage, a scientist makes an educated guess and writes a hypothesis that he or she is going to prove or refute in the course of their study.

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A hypothesis can also be seen as a form of development of knowledge. It is a well-grounded assumption put forward to clarify the properties and causes of the phenomena being studied.

As a rule, a hypothesis is formed based on a number of observations and examples that confirm it. This way, it looks plausible as it is backed up with some known information. The hypothesis is subsequently proved by turning it into an established fact or refuted (for example, by pointing out a counterexample), which allows it to attribute it to the category of false statements.

As a student, you may be asked to create a hypothesis statement as a part of your academic papers. Hypothesis-based approaches are commonly used among scientific academic works, including but not limited to research papers, theses, and dissertations.

Note that in some disciplines, a hypothesis statement is called a thesis statement. However, its essence and purpose remain unchanged – this statement aims to make an assumption regarding the outcomes of the investigation that will either be proved or refuted.

Characteristics and Sources of a Hypothesis

Now, as you know what a hypothesis is in a nutshell, let’s look at the key characteristics that define it:

  • It has to be clear and accurate in order to look reliable.
  • It has to be specific.
  • There should be scope for further investigation and experiments.
  • A hypothesis should be explained in simple language—while retaining its significance.
  • If you are making a relational hypothesis, two essential elements you have to include are variables and the relationship between them.

The main sources of a hypothesis are:

  • Scientific theories.
  • Observations from previous studies and current experiences.
  • The resemblance among different phenomena.
  • General patterns that affect people’s thinking process.

Types of Hypothesis

Basically, there are two major types of scientific hypothesis: alternative and null.

Types of Hypothesis

  • Alternative Hypothesis

This type of hypothesis is generally denoted as H1. This statement is used to identify the expected outcome of your research. According to the alternative hypothesis definition, this type of hypothesis can be further divided into two subcategories:

  • Directional — a statement that explains the direction of the expected outcomes. Sometimes this type of hypothesis is used to study the relationship between variables rather than comparing between the groups.
  • Non-directional — unlike the directional alternative hypothesis, a non-directional one does not imply a specific direction of the expected outcomes.

Now, let’s see an alternative hypothesis example for each type:

Directional: Attending more lectures will result in improved test scores among students. Non-directional: Lecture attendance will influence test scores among students.

Notice how in the directional hypothesis we specified that the attendance of more lectures will boost student’s performance on tests, whereas in the non-directional hypothesis we only stated that there is a relationship between the two variables (i.e. lecture attendance and students’ test scores) but did not specify whether the performance will improve or decrease.

  • Null Hypothesis

This type of hypothesis is generally denoted as H0. This statement is the complete opposite of what you expect or predict will happen throughout the course of your study—meaning it is the opposite of your alternative hypothesis. Simply put, a null hypothesis claims that there is no exact or actual correlation between the variables defined in the hypothesis.

To give you a better idea of how to write a null hypothesis, here is a clear example: Lecture attendance has no effect on student’s test scores.

Both of these types of hypotheses provide specific clarifications and restatements of the research problem. The main difference between these hypotheses and a research problem is that the latter is just a question that can’t be tested, whereas hypotheses can.

Based on the alternative and null hypothesis examples provided earlier, we can conclude that the importance and main purpose of these hypotheses are that they deliver a rough description of the subject matter. The main purpose of these statements is to give an investigator a specific guess that can be directly tested in a study. Simply put, a hypothesis outlines the framework, scope, and direction for the study. Although null and alternative hypotheses are the major types, there are also a few more to keep in mind:

Research Hypothesis — a statement that is used to test the correlation between two or more variables.

For example: Eating vitamin-rich foods affects human health.

Simple Hypothesis — a statement used to indicate the correlation between one independent and one dependent variable.

For example: Eating more vegetables leads to better immunity.

Complex Hypothesis — a statement used to indicate the correlation between two or more independent variables and two or more dependent variables.

For example: Eating more fruits and vegetables leads to better immunity, weight loss, and lower risk of diseases.

Associative and Causal Hypothesis — an associative hypothesis is a statement used to indicate the correlation between variables under the scenario when a change in one variable inevitably changes the other variable. A causal hypothesis is a statement that highlights the cause and effect relationship between variables.

Be sure to read how to write a DBQ - this article will expand your understanding.

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Hypothesis vs Prediction

When speaking of hypotheses, another term that comes to mind is prediction. These two terms are often used interchangeably, which can be rather confusing. Although both a hypothesis and prediction can generally be defined as “guesses” and can be easy to confuse, these terms are different. The main difference between a hypothesis and a prediction is that the first is predominantly used in science, while the latter is most often used outside of science.

Simply put, a hypothesis is an intelligent assumption. It is a guess made regarding the nature of the unknown (or less known) phenomena based on existing knowledge, studies, and/or series of experiments, and is otherwise grounded by valid facts. The main purpose of a hypothesis is to use available facts to create a logical relationship between variables in order to provide a more precise scientific explanation. Additionally, hypotheses are statements that can be tested with further experiments. It is an assumption you make regarding the flow and outcome(s) of your research study.

A prediction, on the contrary, is a guess that often lacks grounding. Although, in theory, a prediction can be scientific, in most cases it is rather fictional—i.e. a pure guess that is not based on current knowledge and/or facts. As a rule, predictions are linked to foretelling events that may or may not occur in the future. Often, a person who makes predictions has little or no actual knowledge of the subject matter he or she makes the assumption about.

Another big difference between these terms is in the methodology used to prove each of them. A prediction can only be proven once. You can determine whether it is right or wrong only upon the occurrence or non-occurrence of the predicted event. A hypothesis, on the other hand, offers scope for further testing and experiments. Additionally, a hypothesis can be proven in multiple stages. This basically means that a single hypothesis can be proven or refuted numerous times by different scientists who use different scientific tools and methods.

To give you a better idea of how a hypothesis is different from a prediction, let’s look at the following examples:

Hypothesis: If I eat more vegetables and fruits, then I will lose weight faster.

This is a hypothesis because it is based on generally available knowledge (i.e. fruits and vegetables include fewer calories compared to other foods) and past experiences (i.e. people who give preference to healthier foods like fruits and vegetables are losing weight easier). It is still a guess, but it is based on facts and can be tested with an experiment.

Prediction: The end of the world will occur in 2023.

This is a prediction because it foretells future events. However, this assumption is fictional as it doesn’t have any actual grounded evidence supported by facts.

Based on everything that was said earlier and our examples, we can highlight the following key takeaways:

  • A hypothesis, unlike a prediction, is a more intelligent assumption based on facts.
  • Hypotheses define existing variables and analyze the relationship(s) between them.
  • Predictions are most often fictional and lack grounding.
  • A prediction is most often used to foretell events in the future.
  • A prediction can only be proven once – when the predicted event occurs or doesn’t occur. 
  • A hypothesis can remain a hypothesis even if one scientist has already proven or disproven it. Other scientists in the future can obtain a different result using other methods and tools.

We also recommend that you read about some informative essay topics .

Now, as you know what a hypothesis is, what types of it exist, and how it differs from a prediction, you are probably wondering how to state a hypothesis. In this section, we will guide you through the main stages of writing a good hypothesis and provide handy tips and examples to help you overcome this challenge:

how to write

1. Define Your Research Question

Here is one thing to keep in mind – regardless of the paper or project you are working on, the process should always start with asking the right research question. A perfect research question should be specific, clear, focused (meaning not too broad), and manageable.

Example: How does eating fruits and vegetables affect human health?

2. Conduct Your Basic Initial Research

As you already know, a hypothesis is an educated guess of the expected results and outcomes of an investigation. Thus, it is vital to collect some information before you can make this assumption.

At this stage, you should find an answer to your research question based on what has already been discovered. Search for facts, past studies, theories, etc. Based on the collected information, you should be able to make a logical and intelligent guess.

3. Formulate a Hypothesis

Based on the initial research, you should have a certain idea of what you may find throughout the course of your research. Use this knowledge to shape a clear and concise hypothesis.

Based on the type of project you are working on, and the type of hypothesis you are planning to use, you can restate your hypothesis in several different ways:

Non-directional: Eating fruits and vegetables will affect one’s human physical health. Directional: Eating fruits and vegetables will positively affect one’s human physical health. Null: Eating fruits and vegetables will have no effect on one’s human physical health.

4. Refine Your Hypothesis

Finally, the last stage of creating a good hypothesis is refining what you’ve got. During this step, you need to define whether your hypothesis:

  • Has clear and relevant variables;
  • Identifies the relationship between its variables;
  • Is specific and testable;
  • Suggests a predicted result of the investigation or experiment.

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Hypothesis Examples

Following a step-by-step guide and tips from our essay writers for hire , you should be able to create good hypotheses with ease. To give you a starting point, we have also compiled a list of different research questions with one hypothesis and one null hypothesis example for each:

Ask Pros to Make a Perfect Hypothesis for You!

Sometimes, coping with a large academic load is just too much for a student to handle. Papers like research papers and dissertations can take too much time and effort to write, and, often, a hypothesis is a necessary starting point to get the task on track. Writing or editing a hypothesis is not as easy as it may seem. However, if you need help with forming it, the team at EssayPro is always ready to come to your rescue! If you’re feeling stuck, or don’t have enough time to cope with other tasks, don’t hesitate to send us you rewrite my essay for me or any other request.

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How to Write a Hypothesis for an Essay

Last Updated: September 16, 2021

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A hypothesis is an educated guess as to what will happen, given a certain set of circumstances. [1] X Research source Hypotheses are often used in science. Scientists look at a given set of circumstances or parameters and make an educated guess about how those circumstances affect something else. Then, they test that guess. Essays are often used to write up the results of these experiments. But before you ever write this type of essay, you have to choose and write out a hypothesis to test.

Narrowing Down Your Topic

Step 1 Choose a broad category.

  • It’s easy to use the library database at your local library. Once you locate the library’s databases, you should pick out ones that are focused on science articles.
  • Most libraries have some form of EBSCOhost, and if you use advanced search, you can select the databases you want, such as Science and Technology or Science Reference Center.
  • Once you’ve decided on databases, you can use search terms to find what you need. Ask your librarian can help you if you’re having trouble.

Step 3 Choose resources based on your level of study.

  • As a high school student, you’ll want to stick to more basic stuff; you can find databases geared towards your level, and your librarian should be able to point you in the right direction.
  • If you’re a college student, you should be able to use most of what you find in the academic databases. You can also use your textbook to help you decide what you want to study, as well as whose theories you will base your own experiment on.
  • For instance, maybe you want to study Gregor Mendel’s techniques with genetics and plants.

Step 4 Continue to explore the topic.

  • It’s best to keep all of the bibliographical information together so you can find it again. Just make sure you jot down the name of the author when you begin taking notes from a source, so you know what bibliographic entry it came from.
  • You should also note where you found the article or book, as well, so you can go back to it if you need to do further research.

Step 5 Make sure your topic is not too broad, but not too narrow either.

  • It is possible to be too narrow, but it is easier to expand it a bit if you need to rather than to condense it after you’ve tried to tackle too much research. If you are a younger student, such as a high school student, you may just want to repeat Mendel’s experiments to see how they work.
  • If you are an older student, such as a graduate student, your work will need to be more original. You will need to put your own spin on plants and genetics. Maybe you want to study how splicing together two plants changes the genes of the plant over time.

Composing the Hypothesis

Step 1 Begin by organizing your research.

  • That is, with a paper on hybrids, you might want to make one category on Mendel’s research, one for newer studies that are similar, one for splicing, and one for the type of cucumber you are using.

Step 2 Look at previous studies that focus on what you want to do.

  • To conduct the experiment, you will splice plants that manifest certain characteristics to see which produces the desired results. In this case, you are manipulating genes by picking plants for certain characteristics.
  • According to Explorable, the point of an experiment is to change one variable while controlling other ones and watching for changes. [3] X Research source That is, with the cucumbers, you would need a control, such as splicing one set of cucumber plants at random, noting its characteristics, instead of choosing for a particular characteristic. Then you compare the fruit each type of plants produce.

Step 4 Based on your research, predict how the experiment will turn out.

  • Also include how you plan to carry out the experiment and what you expect to happen. Because a hypothesis is a guess about what will happen, you have to spell out for your reader what you're thinking.
  • Start putting it together into a formal sentence. Basically, your hypothesis is how you tell your reader in one concise sentence what you are going to do. You are boiling it down as much as possible.

Step 6 Be as specific as possible.

  • For instance, for this experiment, you could write something like, “This experiment will test the hypothesis that selecting Armenian cucumbers (scientific name Cucumis melo var. flexuosus) for crispiness and splicing those plants together will, over time, produce a crisper cucumber, and this hypothesis will be tested by selecting cucumbers for crispiness to splice with cucumbers with similar traits, along with a control group for comparing results.”
  • This hypothesis is specific, it tells what you want to do, and it gives an idea of how you are going to do it.

Step 7 Have someone read over your hypothesis.

Expert Q&A

  • Essentially, to write a hypothesis, you need to pick a field and narrow down to an experiment you want to conduct. Make an educated guess about that experiment, and write it up formally for your paper. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • For instance, a kid doing science project might guess that a plant will grow better if it is fed tea rather than water. It is an educated guess because the kid knows that tea has more nutrients than water, so it might help it grow faster. The kid will then test the hypothesis by performing a set of experiments over time, comparing a plant growing with just water to one growing with tea, to prove whether her hypothesis was correct or not. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Remember that you will not necessarily prove your hypothesis is correct. The point of the experiment is to see if you are right, but you may not be. The outcome of the experiment should not affect the quality of the essay one way or the other. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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  • ↑ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hypothesis
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/314.htm
  • ↑ https://explorable.com/experimental-research

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How to Write a Research Hypothesis: Good & Bad Examples

hypothesis essay about hypotheses

What is a research hypothesis?

A research hypothesis is an attempt at explaining a phenomenon or the relationships between phenomena/variables in the real world. Hypotheses are sometimes called “educated guesses”, but they are in fact (or let’s say they should be) based on previous observations, existing theories, scientific evidence, and logic. A research hypothesis is also not a prediction—rather, predictions are ( should be) based on clearly formulated hypotheses. For example, “We tested the hypothesis that KLF2 knockout mice would show deficiencies in heart development” is an assumption or prediction, not a hypothesis. 

The research hypothesis at the basis of this prediction is “the product of the KLF2 gene is involved in the development of the cardiovascular system in mice”—and this hypothesis is probably (hopefully) based on a clear observation, such as that mice with low levels of Kruppel-like factor 2 (which KLF2 codes for) seem to have heart problems. From this hypothesis, you can derive the idea that a mouse in which this particular gene does not function cannot develop a normal cardiovascular system, and then make the prediction that we started with. 

What is the difference between a hypothesis and a prediction?

You might think that these are very subtle differences, and you will certainly come across many publications that do not contain an actual hypothesis or do not make these distinctions correctly. But considering that the formulation and testing of hypotheses is an integral part of the scientific method, it is good to be aware of the concepts underlying this approach. The two hallmarks of a scientific hypothesis are falsifiability (an evaluation standard that was introduced by the philosopher of science Karl Popper in 1934) and testability —if you cannot use experiments or data to decide whether an idea is true or false, then it is not a hypothesis (or at least a very bad one).

So, in a nutshell, you (1) look at existing evidence/theories, (2) come up with a hypothesis, (3) make a prediction that allows you to (4) design an experiment or data analysis to test it, and (5) come to a conclusion. Of course, not all studies have hypotheses (there is also exploratory or hypothesis-generating research), and you do not necessarily have to state your hypothesis as such in your paper. 

But for the sake of understanding the principles of the scientific method, let’s first take a closer look at the different types of hypotheses that research articles refer to and then give you a step-by-step guide for how to formulate a strong hypothesis for your own paper.

Types of Research Hypotheses

Hypotheses can be simple , which means they describe the relationship between one single independent variable (the one you observe variations in or plan to manipulate) and one single dependent variable (the one you expect to be affected by the variations/manipulation). If there are more variables on either side, you are dealing with a complex hypothesis. You can also distinguish hypotheses according to the kind of relationship between the variables you are interested in (e.g., causal or associative ). But apart from these variations, we are usually interested in what is called the “alternative hypothesis” and, in contrast to that, the “null hypothesis”. If you think these two should be listed the other way round, then you are right, logically speaking—the alternative should surely come second. However, since this is the hypothesis we (as researchers) are usually interested in, let’s start from there.

Alternative Hypothesis

If you predict a relationship between two variables in your study, then the research hypothesis that you formulate to describe that relationship is your alternative hypothesis (usually H1 in statistical terms). The goal of your hypothesis testing is thus to demonstrate that there is sufficient evidence that supports the alternative hypothesis, rather than evidence for the possibility that there is no such relationship. The alternative hypothesis is usually the research hypothesis of a study and is based on the literature, previous observations, and widely known theories. 

Null Hypothesis

The hypothesis that describes the other possible outcome, that is, that your variables are not related, is the null hypothesis ( H0 ). Based on your findings, you choose between the two hypotheses—usually that means that if your prediction was correct, you reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative. Make sure, however, that you are not getting lost at this step of the thinking process: If your prediction is that there will be no difference or change, then you are trying to find support for the null hypothesis and reject H1. 

Directional Hypothesis

While the null hypothesis is obviously “static”, the alternative hypothesis can specify a direction for the observed relationship between variables—for example, that mice with higher expression levels of a certain protein are more active than those with lower levels. This is then called a one-tailed hypothesis. 

Another example for a directional one-tailed alternative hypothesis would be that 

H1: Attending private classes before important exams has a positive effect on performance. 

Your null hypothesis would then be that

H0: Attending private classes before important exams has no/a negative effect on performance.

Nondirectional Hypothesis

A nondirectional hypothesis does not specify the direction of the potentially observed effect, only that there is a relationship between the studied variables—this is called a two-tailed hypothesis. For instance, if you are studying a new drug that has shown some effects on pathways involved in a certain condition (e.g., anxiety) in vitro in the lab, but you can’t say for sure whether it will have the same effects in an animal model or maybe induce other/side effects that you can’t predict and potentially increase anxiety levels instead, you could state the two hypotheses like this:

H1: The only lab-tested drug (somehow) affects anxiety levels in an anxiety mouse model.

You then test this nondirectional alternative hypothesis against the null hypothesis:

H0: The only lab-tested drug has no effect on anxiety levels in an anxiety mouse model.

hypothesis in a research paper

How to Write a Hypothesis for a Research Paper

Now that we understand the important distinctions between different kinds of research hypotheses, let’s look at a simple process of how to write a hypothesis.

Writing a Hypothesis Step:1

Ask a question, based on earlier research. Research always starts with a question, but one that takes into account what is already known about a topic or phenomenon. For example, if you are interested in whether people who have pets are happier than those who don’t, do a literature search and find out what has already been demonstrated. You will probably realize that yes, there is quite a bit of research that shows a relationship between happiness and owning a pet—and even studies that show that owning a dog is more beneficial than owning a cat ! Let’s say you are so intrigued by this finding that you wonder: 

What is it that makes dog owners even happier than cat owners? 

Let’s move on to Step 2 and find an answer to that question.

Writing a Hypothesis Step 2:

Formulate a strong hypothesis by answering your own question. Again, you don’t want to make things up, take unicorns into account, or repeat/ignore what has already been done. Looking at the dog-vs-cat papers your literature search returned, you see that most studies are based on self-report questionnaires on personality traits, mental health, and life satisfaction. What you don’t find is any data on actual (mental or physical) health measures, and no experiments. You therefore decide to make a bold claim come up with the carefully thought-through hypothesis that it’s maybe the lifestyle of the dog owners, which includes walking their dog several times per day, engaging in fun and healthy activities such as agility competitions, and taking them on trips, that gives them that extra boost in happiness. You could therefore answer your question in the following way:

Dog owners are happier than cat owners because of the dog-related activities they engage in.

Now you have to verify that your hypothesis fulfills the two requirements we introduced at the beginning of this resource article: falsifiability and testability . If it can’t be wrong and can’t be tested, it’s not a hypothesis. We are lucky, however, because yes, we can test whether owning a dog but not engaging in any of those activities leads to lower levels of happiness or well-being than owning a dog and playing and running around with them or taking them on trips.  

Writing a Hypothesis Step 3:

Make your predictions and define your variables. We have verified that we can test our hypothesis, but now we have to define all the relevant variables, design our experiment or data analysis, and make precise predictions. You could, for example, decide to study dog owners (not surprising at this point), let them fill in questionnaires about their lifestyle as well as their life satisfaction (as other studies did), and then compare two groups of active and inactive dog owners. Alternatively, if you want to go beyond the data that earlier studies produced and analyzed and directly manipulate the activity level of your dog owners to study the effect of that manipulation, you could invite them to your lab, select groups of participants with similar lifestyles, make them change their lifestyle (e.g., couch potato dog owners start agility classes, very active ones have to refrain from any fun activities for a certain period of time) and assess their happiness levels before and after the intervention. In both cases, your independent variable would be “ level of engagement in fun activities with dog” and your dependent variable would be happiness or well-being . 

Examples of a Good and Bad Hypothesis

Let’s look at a few examples of good and bad hypotheses to get you started.

Good Hypothesis Examples

Bad hypothesis examples, tips for writing a research hypothesis.

If you understood the distinction between a hypothesis and a prediction we made at the beginning of this article, then you will have no problem formulating your hypotheses and predictions correctly. To refresh your memory: We have to (1) look at existing evidence, (2) come up with a hypothesis, (3) make a prediction, and (4) design an experiment. For example, you could summarize your dog/happiness study like this:

(1) While research suggests that dog owners are happier than cat owners, there are no reports on what factors drive this difference. (2) We hypothesized that it is the fun activities that many dog owners (but very few cat owners) engage in with their pets that increases their happiness levels. (3) We thus predicted that preventing very active dog owners from engaging in such activities for some time and making very inactive dog owners take up such activities would lead to an increase and decrease in their overall self-ratings of happiness, respectively. (4) To test this, we invited dog owners into our lab, assessed their mental and emotional well-being through questionnaires, and then assigned them to an “active” and an “inactive” group, depending on… 

Note that you use “we hypothesize” only for your hypothesis, not for your experimental prediction, and “would” or “if – then” only for your prediction, not your hypothesis. A hypothesis that states that something “would” affect something else sounds as if you don’t have enough confidence to make a clear statement—in which case you can’t expect your readers to believe in your research either. Write in the present tense, don’t use modal verbs that express varying degrees of certainty (such as may, might, or could ), and remember that you are not drawing a conclusion while trying not to exaggerate but making a clear statement that you then, in a way, try to disprove . And if that happens, that is not something to fear but an important part of the scientific process.

Similarly, don’t use “we hypothesize” when you explain the implications of your research or make predictions in the conclusion section of your manuscript, since these are clearly not hypotheses in the true sense of the word. As we said earlier, you will find that many authors of academic articles do not seem to care too much about these rather subtle distinctions, but thinking very clearly about your own research will not only help you write better but also ensure that even that infamous Reviewer 2 will find fewer reasons to nitpick about your manuscript. 

Perfect Your Manuscript With Professional Editing

Now that you know how to write a strong research hypothesis for your research paper, you might be interested in our free AI proofreader , Wordvice AI, which finds and fixes errors in grammar, punctuation, and word choice in academic texts. Or if you are interested in human proofreading , check out our English editing services , including research paper editing and manuscript editing .

On the Wordvice academic resources website , you can also find many more articles and other resources that can help you with writing the other parts of your research paper , with making a research paper outline before you put everything together, or with writing an effective cover letter once you are ready to submit.

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How to Write a Great Hypothesis

Hypothesis Format, Examples, and Tips

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

hypothesis essay about hypotheses

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.

hypothesis essay about hypotheses

Verywell / Alex Dos Diaz

  • The Scientific Method

Hypothesis Format

Falsifiability of a hypothesis, operational definitions, types of hypotheses, hypotheses examples.

  • Collecting Data

Frequently Asked Questions

A hypothesis is a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more  variables. It is a specific, testable prediction about what you expect to happen in a study.

One hypothesis example would be a study designed to look at the relationship between sleep deprivation and test performance might have a hypothesis that states: "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."

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. It is only at this point that researchers 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 a number of 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 wisdom 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.

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.

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.

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

In order to measure this variable, the researcher must devise a measurement that assesses aggressive behavior without harming other people. In this situation, the researcher might utilize a simulated task to measure aggressiveness.

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 that there is a relationship between one independent variable and one dependent variable.
  • Complex hypothesis : This type of hypothesis suggests a relationship between three or more variables, such as two independent variables and a dependent variable.
  • 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 sample of the population 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."
  • Complex hypothesis: "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."

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:

  • "Children who receive a new reading intervention will have scores different than students who do not receive the intervention."
  • "There will be no difference in scores on a memory recall task between children and adults."

Examples of an alternative hypothesis:

  • "Children who receive a new reading intervention will perform better than students who did not receive the intervention."
  • "Adults will perform better on a memory task than children." 

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 it would be impossible or difficult to  conduct an experiment . 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 then be used to look at how the variables are related. This type of 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.

A Word From Verywell

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

Some examples of how to write a hypothesis include:

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

The four parts of a hypothesis are:

  • The research question
  • The independent variable (IV)
  • The dependent variable (DV)
  • The proposed relationship between the IV and DV

Castillo M. The scientific method: a need for something better? . AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2013;34(9):1669-71. doi:10.3174/ajnr.A3401

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."

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SciSpace Resources

The Craft of Writing a Strong Hypothesis

Deeptanshu D

Table of Contents

Writing a hypothesis is one of the essential elements of a scientific research paper. It needs to be to the point, clearly communicating what your research is trying to accomplish. A blurry, drawn-out, or complexly-structured hypothesis can confuse your readers. Or worse, the editor and peer reviewers.

A captivating hypothesis is not too intricate. This blog will take you through the process so that, by the end of it, you have a better idea of how to convey your research paper's intent in just one sentence.

What is a Hypothesis?

The first step in your scientific endeavor, a hypothesis, is a strong, concise statement that forms the basis of your research. It is not the same as a thesis statement , which is a brief summary of your research paper .

The sole purpose of a hypothesis is to predict your paper's findings, data, and conclusion. It comes from a place of curiosity and intuition . When you write a hypothesis, you're essentially making an educated guess based on scientific prejudices and evidence, which is further proven or disproven through the scientific method.

The reason for undertaking research is to observe a specific phenomenon. A hypothesis, therefore, lays out what the said phenomenon is. And it does so through two variables, an independent and dependent variable.

The independent variable is the cause behind the observation, while the dependent variable is the effect of the cause. A good example of this is “mixing red and blue forms purple.” In this hypothesis, mixing red and blue is the independent variable as you're combining the two colors at your own will. The formation of purple is the dependent variable as, in this case, it is conditional to the independent variable.

Different Types of Hypotheses‌

Types-of-hypotheses

Types of hypotheses

Some would stand by the notion that there are only two types of hypotheses: a Null hypothesis and an Alternative hypothesis. While that may have some truth to it, it would be better to fully distinguish the most common forms as these terms come up so often, which might leave you out of context.

Apart from Null and Alternative, there are Complex, Simple, Directional, Non-Directional, Statistical, and Associative and casual hypotheses. They don't necessarily have to be exclusive, as one hypothesis can tick many boxes, but knowing the distinctions between them will make it easier for you to construct your own.

1. Null hypothesis

A null hypothesis proposes no relationship between two variables. Denoted by H 0 , it is a negative statement like “Attending physiotherapy sessions does not affect athletes' on-field performance.” Here, the author claims physiotherapy sessions have no effect on on-field performances. Even if there is, it's only a coincidence.

2. Alternative hypothesis

Considered to be the opposite of a null hypothesis, an alternative hypothesis is donated as H1 or Ha. It explicitly states that the dependent variable affects the independent variable. A good  alternative hypothesis example is “Attending physiotherapy sessions improves athletes' on-field performance.” or “Water evaporates at 100 °C. ” The alternative hypothesis further branches into directional and non-directional.

  • Directional hypothesis: A hypothesis that states the result would be either positive or negative is called directional hypothesis. It accompanies H1 with either the ‘<' or ‘>' sign.
  • Non-directional hypothesis: A non-directional hypothesis only claims an effect on the dependent variable. It does not clarify whether the result would be positive or negative. The sign for a non-directional hypothesis is ‘≠.'

3. Simple hypothesis

A simple hypothesis is a statement made to reflect the relation between exactly two variables. One independent and one dependent. Consider the example, “Smoking is a prominent cause of lung cancer." The dependent variable, lung cancer, is dependent on the independent variable, smoking.

4. Complex hypothesis

In contrast to a simple hypothesis, a complex hypothesis implies the relationship between multiple independent and dependent variables. For instance, “Individuals who eat more fruits tend to have higher immunity, lesser cholesterol, and high metabolism.” The independent variable is eating more fruits, while the dependent variables are higher immunity, lesser cholesterol, and high metabolism.

5. Associative and casual hypothesis

Associative and casual hypotheses don't exhibit how many variables there will be. They define the relationship between the variables. In an associative hypothesis, changing any one variable, dependent or independent, affects others. In a casual hypothesis, the independent variable directly affects the dependent.

6. Empirical hypothesis

Also referred to as the working hypothesis, an empirical hypothesis claims a theory's validation via experiments and observation. This way, the statement appears justifiable and different from a wild guess.

Say, the hypothesis is “Women who take iron tablets face a lesser risk of anemia than those who take vitamin B12.” This is an example of an empirical hypothesis where the researcher  the statement after assessing a group of women who take iron tablets and charting the findings.

7. Statistical hypothesis

The point of a statistical hypothesis is to test an already existing hypothesis by studying a population sample. Hypothesis like “44% of the Indian population belong in the age group of 22-27.” leverage evidence to prove or disprove a particular statement.

Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis

Writing a hypothesis is essential as it can make or break your research for you. That includes your chances of getting published in a journal. So when you're designing one, keep an eye out for these pointers:

  • A research hypothesis has to be simple yet clear to look justifiable enough.
  • It has to be testable — your research would be rendered pointless if too far-fetched into reality or limited by technology.
  • It has to be precise about the results —what you are trying to do and achieve through it should come out in your hypothesis.
  • A research hypothesis should be self-explanatory, leaving no doubt in the reader's mind.
  • If you are developing a relational hypothesis, you need to include the variables and establish an appropriate relationship among them.
  • A hypothesis must keep and reflect the scope for further investigations and experiments.

Separating a Hypothesis from a Prediction

Outside of academia, hypothesis and prediction are often used interchangeably. In research writing, this is not only confusing but also incorrect. And although a hypothesis and prediction are guesses at their core, there are many differences between them.

A hypothesis is an educated guess or even a testable prediction validated through research. It aims to analyze the gathered evidence and facts to define a relationship between variables and put forth a logical explanation behind the nature of events.

Predictions are assumptions or expected outcomes made without any backing evidence. They are more fictionally inclined regardless of where they originate from.

For this reason, a hypothesis holds much more weight than a prediction. It sticks to the scientific method rather than pure guesswork. "Planets revolve around the Sun." is an example of a hypothesis as it is previous knowledge and observed trends. Additionally, we can test it through the scientific method.

Whereas "COVID-19 will be eradicated by 2030." is a prediction. Even though it results from past trends, we can't prove or disprove it. So, the only way this gets validated is to wait and watch if COVID-19 cases end by 2030.

Finally, How to Write a Hypothesis

Quick-tips-on-how-to-write-a-hypothesis

Quick tips on writing a hypothesis

1.  Be clear about your research question

A hypothesis should instantly address the research question or the problem statement. To do so, you need to ask a question. Understand the constraints of your undertaken research topic and then formulate a simple and topic-centric problem. Only after that can you develop a hypothesis and further test for evidence.

2. Carry out a recce

Once you have your research's foundation laid out, it would be best to conduct preliminary research. Go through previous theories, academic papers, data, and experiments before you start curating your research hypothesis. It will give you an idea of your hypothesis's viability or originality.

Making use of references from relevant research papers helps draft a good research hypothesis. SciSpace Discover offers a repository of over 270 million research papers to browse through and gain a deeper understanding of related studies on a particular topic. Additionally, you can use SciSpace Copilot , your AI research assistant, for reading any lengthy research paper and getting a more summarized context of it. A hypothesis can be formed after evaluating many such summarized research papers. Copilot also offers explanations for theories and equations, explains paper in simplified version, allows you to highlight any text in the paper or clip math equations and tables and provides a deeper, clear understanding of what is being said. This can improve the hypothesis by helping you identify potential research gaps.

3. Create a 3-dimensional hypothesis

Variables are an essential part of any reasonable hypothesis. So, identify your independent and dependent variable(s) and form a correlation between them. The ideal way to do this is to write the hypothetical assumption in the ‘if-then' form. If you use this form, make sure that you state the predefined relationship between the variables.

In another way, you can choose to present your hypothesis as a comparison between two variables. Here, you must specify the difference you expect to observe in the results.

4. Write the first draft

Now that everything is in place, it's time to write your hypothesis. For starters, create the first draft. In this version, write what you expect to find from your research.

Clearly separate your independent and dependent variables and the link between them. Don't fixate on syntax at this stage. The goal is to ensure your hypothesis addresses the issue.

5. Proof your hypothesis

After preparing the first draft of your hypothesis, you need to inspect it thoroughly. It should tick all the boxes, like being concise, straightforward, relevant, and accurate. Your final hypothesis has to be well-structured as well.

Research projects are an exciting and crucial part of being a scholar. And once you have your research question, you need a great hypothesis to begin conducting research. Thus, knowing how to write a hypothesis is very important.

Now that you have a firmer grasp on what a good hypothesis constitutes, the different kinds there are, and what process to follow, you will find it much easier to write your hypothesis, which ultimately helps your research.

Now it's easier than ever to streamline your research workflow with SciSpace Discover . Its integrated, comprehensive end-to-end platform for research allows scholars to easily discover, write and publish their research and fosters collaboration.

It includes everything you need, including a repository of over 270 million research papers across disciplines, SEO-optimized summaries and public profiles to show your expertise and experience.

If you found these tips on writing a research hypothesis useful, head over to our blog on Statistical Hypothesis Testing to learn about the top researchers, papers, and institutions in this domain.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. what is the definition of hypothesis.

According to the Oxford dictionary, a hypothesis is defined as “An idea or explanation of something that is based on a few known facts, but that has not yet been proved to be true or correct”.

2. What is an example of hypothesis?

The hypothesis is a statement that proposes a relationship between two or more variables. An example: "If we increase the number of new users who join our platform by 25%, then we will see an increase in revenue."

3. What is an example of null hypothesis?

A null hypothesis is a statement that there is no relationship between two variables. The null hypothesis is written as H0. The null hypothesis states that there is no effect. For example, if you're studying whether or not a particular type of exercise increases strength, your null hypothesis will be "there is no difference in strength between people who exercise and people who don't."

4. What are the types of research?

• Fundamental research

• Applied research

• Qualitative research

• Quantitative research

• Mixed research

• Exploratory research

• Longitudinal research

• Cross-sectional research

• Field research

• Laboratory research

• Fixed research

• Flexible research

• Action research

• Policy research

• Classification research

• Comparative research

• Causal research

• Inductive research

• Deductive research

5. How to write a hypothesis?

• Your hypothesis should be able to predict the relationship and outcome.

• Avoid wordiness by keeping it simple and brief.

• Your hypothesis should contain observable and testable outcomes.

• Your hypothesis should be relevant to the research question.

6. What are the 2 types of hypothesis?

• Null hypotheses are used to test the claim that "there is no difference between two groups of data".

• Alternative hypotheses test the claim that "there is a difference between two data groups".

7. Difference between research question and research hypothesis?

A research question is a broad, open-ended question you will try to answer through your research. A hypothesis is a statement based on prior research or theory that you expect to be true due to your study. Example - Research question: What are the factors that influence the adoption of the new technology? Research hypothesis: There is a positive relationship between age, education and income level with the adoption of the new technology.

8. What is plural for hypothesis?

The plural of hypothesis is hypotheses. Here's an example of how it would be used in a statement, "Numerous well-considered hypotheses are presented in this part, and they are supported by tables and figures that are well-illustrated."

9. What is the red queen hypothesis?

The red queen hypothesis in evolutionary biology states that species must constantly evolve to avoid extinction because if they don't, they will be outcompeted by other species that are evolving. Leigh Van Valen first proposed it in 1973; since then, it has been tested and substantiated many times.

10. Who is known as the father of null hypothesis?

The father of the null hypothesis is Sir Ronald Fisher. He published a paper in 1925 that introduced the concept of null hypothesis testing, and he was also the first to use the term itself.

11. When to reject null hypothesis?

You need to find a significant difference between your two populations to reject the null hypothesis. You can determine that by running statistical tests such as an independent sample t-test or a dependent sample t-test. You should reject the null hypothesis if the p-value is less than 0.05.

hypothesis essay about hypotheses

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How to Develop a Good Research Hypothesis

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

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

Table of Contents

What is Hypothesis?

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

What is a Research Hypothesis?

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

Characteristics of a Good Research Hypothesis

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

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

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

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

research hypothesis example

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

Source: Educational Hub

How to formulate a research hypothesis.

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

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

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

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

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

3. Define the variables

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

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

4. Scrutinize the hypothesis

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

Types of Research Hypothesis

The types of research hypothesis are stated below:

1. Simple Hypothesis

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

2. Complex Hypothesis

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

3. Directional Hypothesis

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

4. Non-directional Hypothesis

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

5. Associative and Causal Hypothesis

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

6. Null Hypothesis

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

7. Alternative Hypothesis

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

Research Hypothesis Examples of Independent and Dependent Variables

Research Hypothesis Example 1 The greater number of coal plants in a region (independent variable) increases water pollution (dependent variable). If you change the independent variable (building more coal factories), it will change the dependent variable (amount of water pollution).
Research Hypothesis Example 2 What is the effect of diet or regular soda (independent variable) on blood sugar levels (dependent variable)? If you change the independent variable (the type of soda you consume), it will change the dependent variable (blood sugar levels)

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

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

Importance of a Testable Hypothesis

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

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

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks a lot for your valuable guidance.

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

Useful piece!

This is awesome.Wow.

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

Nicely explained

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

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

clear and concise. thanks.

So Good so Amazing

Good to learn

Thanks a lot for explaining to my level of understanding

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hypothesis essay about hypotheses

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

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

Table of Contents

What is a Hypothesis?

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

Here are some examples of well-crafted hypotheses:

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

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

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

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

  • Students and improved learning hecks.

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

  • The use of APA format in research papers. 

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

The Building Blocks of a Hypothesis

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

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

Types of Hypotheses

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

Alternative Hypothesis (H1)

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

  • Directional 

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

  • Non-directional

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

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

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

Null Hypothesis (H0)

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

Here are some of the examples

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

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

Importance of a Hypothesis in Research

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

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

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

How to Write a Hypothesis?

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

Step 1: Identify Your Research Question

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

Step 2: Determine the Variables

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

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

Step 3: Build the Hypothetical Relationship

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

Step 4: Write the Null Hypothesis

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

Step 5: Review Your Hypothesis

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

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

Hypothesis vs. Prediction: What’s the Difference?

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

Hypothesis: The Foundation of Your Research

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

The critical elements for a hypothesis include:

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

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

Prediction: The Expected Outcome

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

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

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

Key Differences Between a Hypothesis and a Prediction

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

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

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

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

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Scientific Hypotheses: Writing, Promoting, and Predicting Implications

Armen yuri gasparyan.

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

Lilit Ayvazyan

2 Department of Medical Chemistry, Yerevan State Medical University, Yerevan, Armenia.

Ulzhan Mukanova

3 Department of Surgical Disciplines, South Kazakhstan Medical Academy, Shymkent, Kazakhstan.

Marlen Yessirkepov

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

George D. Kitas

5 Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

Scientific hypotheses are essential for progress in rapidly developing academic disciplines. Proposing new ideas and hypotheses require thorough analyses of evidence-based data and predictions of the implications. One of the main concerns relates to the ethical implications of the generated hypotheses. The authors may need to outline potential benefits and limitations of their suggestions and target widely visible publication outlets to ignite discussion by experts and start testing the hypotheses. Not many publication outlets are currently welcoming hypotheses and unconventional ideas that may open gates to criticism and conservative remarks. A few scholarly journals guide the authors on how to structure hypotheses. Reflecting on general and specific issues around the subject matter is often recommended for drafting a well-structured hypothesis article. An analysis of influential hypotheses, presented in this article, particularly Strachan's hygiene hypothesis with global implications in the field of immunology and allergy, points to the need for properly interpreting and testing new suggestions. Envisaging the ethical implications of the hypotheses should be considered both by authors and journal editors during the writing and publishing process.

INTRODUCTION

We live in times of digitization that radically changes scientific research, reporting, and publishing strategies. Researchers all over the world are overwhelmed with processing large volumes of information and searching through numerous online platforms, all of which make the whole process of scholarly analysis and synthesis complex and sophisticated.

Current research activities are diversifying to combine scientific observations with analysis of facts recorded by scholars from various professional backgrounds. 1 Citation analyses and networking on social media are also becoming essential for shaping research and publishing strategies globally. 2 Learning specifics of increasingly interdisciplinary research studies and acquiring information facilitation skills aid researchers in formulating innovative ideas and predicting developments in interrelated scientific fields.

Arguably, researchers are currently offered more opportunities than in the past for generating new ideas by performing their routine laboratory activities, observing individual cases and unusual developments, and critically analyzing published scientific facts. What they need at the start of their research is to formulate a scientific hypothesis that revisits conventional theories, real-world processes, and related evidence to propose new studies and test ideas in an ethical way. 3 Such a hypothesis can be of most benefit if published in an ethical journal with wide visibility and exposure to relevant online databases and promotion platforms.

Although hypotheses are crucially important for the scientific progress, only few highly skilled researchers formulate and eventually publish their innovative ideas per se . Understandably, in an increasingly competitive research environment, most authors would prefer to prioritize their ideas by discussing and conducting tests in their own laboratories or clinical departments, and publishing research reports afterwards. However, there are instances when simple observations and research studies in a single center are not capable of explaining and testing new groundbreaking ideas. Formulating hypothesis articles first and calling for multicenter and interdisciplinary research can be a solution in such instances, potentially launching influential scientific directions, if not academic disciplines.

The aim of this article is to overview the importance and implications of infrequently published scientific hypotheses that may open new avenues of thinking and research.

Despite the seemingly established views on innovative ideas and hypotheses as essential research tools, no structured definition exists to tag the term and systematically track related articles. In 1973, the Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) of the U.S. National Library of Medicine introduced “Research Design” as a structured keyword that referred to the importance of collecting data and properly testing hypotheses, and indirectly linked the term to ethics, methods and standards, among many other subheadings.

One of the experts in the field defines “hypothesis” as a well-argued analysis of available evidence to provide a realistic (scientific) explanation of existing facts, fill gaps in public understanding of sophisticated processes, and propose a new theory or a test. 4 A hypothesis can be proven wrong partially or entirely. However, even such an erroneous hypothesis may influence progress in science by initiating professional debates that help generate more realistic ideas. The main ethical requirement for hypothesis authors is to be honest about the limitations of their suggestions. 5

EXAMPLES OF INFLUENTIAL SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESES

Daily routine in a research laboratory may lead to groundbreaking discoveries provided the daily accounts are comprehensively analyzed and reproduced by peers. The discovery of penicillin by Sir Alexander Fleming (1928) can be viewed as a prime example of such discoveries that introduced therapies to treat staphylococcal and streptococcal infections and modulate blood coagulation. 6 , 7 Penicillin got worldwide recognition due to the inventor's seminal works published by highly prestigious and widely visible British journals, effective ‘real-world’ antibiotic therapy of pneumonia and wounds during World War II, and euphoric media coverage. 8 In 1945, Fleming, Florey and Chain got a much deserved Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that led to the mass production of the wonder drug in the U.S. and ‘real-world practice’ that tested the use of penicillin. What remained globally unnoticed is that Zinaida Yermolyeva, the outstanding Soviet microbiologist, created the Soviet penicillin, which turned out to be more effective than the Anglo-American penicillin and entered mass production in 1943; that year marked the turning of the tide of the Great Patriotic War. 9 One of the reasons of the widely unnoticed discovery of Zinaida Yermolyeva is that her works were published exclusively by local Russian (Soviet) journals.

The past decades have been marked by an unprecedented growth of multicenter and global research studies involving hundreds and thousands of human subjects. This trend is shaped by an increasing number of reports on clinical trials and large cohort studies that create a strong evidence base for practice recommendations. Mega-studies may help generate and test large-scale hypotheses aiming to solve health issues globally. Properly designed epidemiological studies, for example, may introduce clarity to the hygiene hypothesis that was originally proposed by David Strachan in 1989. 10 David Strachan studied the epidemiology of hay fever in a cohort of 17,414 British children and concluded that declining family size and improved personal hygiene had reduced the chances of cross infections in families, resulting in epidemics of atopic disease in post-industrial Britain. Over the past four decades, several related hypotheses have been proposed to expand the potential role of symbiotic microorganisms and parasites in the development of human physiological immune responses early in life and protection from allergic and autoimmune diseases later on. 11 , 12 Given the popularity and the scientific importance of the hygiene hypothesis, it was introduced as a MeSH term in 2012. 13

Hypotheses can be proposed based on an analysis of recorded historic events that resulted in mass migrations and spreading of certain genetic diseases. As a prime example, familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), the prototype periodic fever syndrome, is believed to spread from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean region and all over Europe due to migrations and religious prosecutions millennia ago. 14 Genetic mutations spearing mild clinical forms of FMF are hypothesized to emerge and persist in the Mediterranean region as protective factors against more serious infectious diseases, particularly tuberculosis, historically common in that part of the world. 15 The speculations over the advantages of carrying the MEditerranean FeVer (MEFV) gene are further strengthened by recorded low mortality rates from tuberculosis among FMF patients of different nationalities living in Tunisia in the first half of the 20th century. 16

Diagnostic hypotheses shedding light on peculiarities of diseases throughout the history of mankind can be formulated using artefacts, particularly historic paintings. 17 Such paintings may reveal joint deformities and disfigurements due to rheumatic diseases in individual subjects. A series of paintings with similar signs of pathological conditions interpreted in a historic context may uncover mysteries of epidemics of certain diseases, which is the case with Ruben's paintings depicting signs of rheumatic hands and making some doctors to believe that rheumatoid arthritis was common in Europe in the 16th and 17th century. 18

WRITING SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESES

There are author instructions of a few journals that specifically guide how to structure, format, and make submissions categorized as hypotheses attractive. One of the examples is presented by Med Hypotheses , the flagship journal in its field with more than four decades of publishing and influencing hypothesis authors globally. However, such guidance is not based on widely discussed, implemented, and approved reporting standards, which are becoming mandatory for all scholarly journals.

Generating new ideas and scientific hypotheses is a sophisticated task since not all researchers and authors are skilled to plan, conduct, and interpret various research studies. Some experience with formulating focused research questions and strong working hypotheses of original research studies is definitely helpful for advancing critical appraisal skills. However, aspiring authors of scientific hypotheses may need something different, which is more related to discerning scientific facts, pooling homogenous data from primary research works, and synthesizing new information in a systematic way by analyzing similar sets of articles. To some extent, this activity is reminiscent of writing narrative and systematic reviews. As in the case of reviews, scientific hypotheses need to be formulated on the basis of comprehensive search strategies to retrieve all available studies on the topics of interest and then synthesize new information selectively referring to the most relevant items. One of the main differences between scientific hypothesis and review articles relates to the volume of supportive literature sources ( Table 1 ). In fact, hypothesis is usually formulated by referring to a few scientific facts or compelling evidence derived from a handful of literature sources. 19 By contrast, reviews require analyses of a large number of published documents retrieved from several well-organized and evidence-based databases in accordance with predefined search strategies. 20 , 21 , 22

The format of hypotheses, especially the implications part, may vary widely across disciplines. Clinicians may limit their suggestions to the clinical manifestations of diseases, outcomes, and management strategies. Basic and laboratory scientists analysing genetic, molecular, and biochemical mechanisms may need to view beyond the frames of their narrow fields and predict social and population-based implications of the proposed ideas. 23

Advanced writing skills are essential for presenting an interesting theoretical article which appeals to the global readership. Merely listing opposing facts and ideas, without proper interpretation and analysis, may distract the experienced readers. The essence of a great hypothesis is a story behind the scientific facts and evidence-based data.

ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS

The authors of hypotheses substantiate their arguments by referring to and discerning rational points from published articles that might be overlooked by others. Their arguments may contradict the established theories and practices, and pose global ethical issues, particularly when more or less efficient medical technologies and public health interventions are devalued. The ethical issues may arise primarily because of the careless references to articles with low priorities, inadequate and apparently unethical methodologies, and concealed reporting of negative results. 24 , 25

Misinterpretation and misunderstanding of the published ideas and scientific hypotheses may complicate the issue further. For example, Alexander Fleming, whose innovative ideas of penicillin use to kill susceptible bacteria saved millions of lives, warned of the consequences of uncontrolled prescription of the drug. The issue of antibiotic resistance had emerged within the first ten years of penicillin use on a global scale due to the overprescription that affected the efficacy of antibiotic therapies, with undesirable consequences for millions. 26

The misunderstanding of the hygiene hypothesis that primarily aimed to shed light on the role of the microbiome in allergic and autoimmune diseases resulted in decline of public confidence in hygiene with dire societal implications, forcing some experts to abandon the original idea. 27 , 28 Although that hypothesis is unrelated to the issue of vaccinations, the public misunderstanding has resulted in decline of vaccinations at a time of upsurge of old and new infections.

A number of ethical issues are posed by the denial of the viral (human immunodeficiency viruses; HIV) hypothesis of acquired Immune deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) by Peter Duesberg, who overviewed the links between illicit recreational drugs and antiretroviral therapies with AIDS and refuted the etiological role of HIV. 29 That controversial hypothesis was rejected by several journals, but was eventually published without external peer review at Med Hypotheses in 2010. The publication itself raised concerns of the unconventional editorial policy of the journal, causing major perturbations and more scrutinized publishing policies by journals processing hypotheses.

WHERE TO PUBLISH HYPOTHESES

Although scientific authors are currently well informed and equipped with search tools to draft evidence-based hypotheses, there are still limited quality publication outlets calling for related articles. The journal editors may be hesitant to publish articles that do not adhere to any research reporting guidelines and open gates for harsh criticism of unconventional and untested ideas. Occasionally, the editors opting for open-access publishing and upgrading their ethics regulations launch a section to selectively publish scientific hypotheses attractive to the experienced readers. 30 However, the absence of approved standards for this article type, particularly no mandate for outlining potential ethical implications, may lead to publication of potentially harmful ideas in an attractive format.

A suggestion of simultaneously publishing multiple or alternative hypotheses to balance the reader views and feedback is a potential solution for the mainstream scholarly journals. 31 However, that option alone is hardly applicable to emerging journals with unconventional quality checks and peer review, accumulating papers with multiple rejections by established journals.

A large group of experts view hypotheses with improbable and controversial ideas publishable after formal editorial (in-house) checks to preserve the authors' genuine ideas and avoid conservative amendments imposed by external peer reviewers. 32 That approach may be acceptable for established publishers with large teams of experienced editors. However, the same approach can lead to dire consequences if employed by nonselective start-up, open-access journals processing all types of articles and primarily accepting those with charged publication fees. 33 In fact, pseudoscientific ideas arguing Newton's and Einstein's seminal works or those denying climate change that are hardly testable have already found their niche in substandard electronic journals with soft or nonexistent peer review. 34

CITATIONS AND SOCIAL MEDIA ATTENTION

The available preliminary evidence points to the attractiveness of hypothesis articles for readers, particularly those from research-intensive countries who actively download related documents. 35 However, citations of such articles are disproportionately low. Only a small proportion of top-downloaded hypotheses (13%) in the highly prestigious Med Hypotheses receive on average 5 citations per article within a two-year window. 36

With the exception of a few historic papers, the vast majority of hypotheses attract relatively small number of citations in a long term. 36 Plausible explanations are that these articles often contain a single or only a few citable points and that suggested research studies to test hypotheses are rarely conducted and reported, limiting chances of citing and crediting authors of genuine research ideas.

A snapshot analysis of citation activity of hypothesis articles may reveal interest of the global scientific community towards their implications across various disciplines and countries. As a prime example, Strachan's hygiene hypothesis, published in 1989, 10 is still attracting numerous citations on Scopus, the largest bibliographic database. As of August 28, 2019, the number of the linked citations in the database is 3,201. Of the citing articles, 160 are cited at least 160 times ( h -index of this research topic = 160). The first three citations are recorded in 1992 and followed by a rapid annual increase in citation activity and a peak of 212 in 2015 ( Fig. 1 ). The top 5 sources of the citations are Clin Exp Allergy (n = 136), J Allergy Clin Immunol (n = 119), Allergy (n = 81), Pediatr Allergy Immunol (n = 69), and PLOS One (n = 44). The top 5 citing authors are leading experts in pediatrics and allergology Erika von Mutius (Munich, Germany, number of publications with the index citation = 30), Erika Isolauri (Turku, Finland, n = 27), Patrick G Holt (Subiaco, Australia, n = 25), David P. Strachan (London, UK, n = 23), and Bengt Björksten (Stockholm, Sweden, n = 22). The U.S. is the leading country in terms of citation activity with 809 related documents, followed by the UK (n = 494), Germany (n = 314), Australia (n = 211), and the Netherlands (n = 177). The largest proportion of citing documents are articles (n = 1,726, 54%), followed by reviews (n = 950, 29.7%), and book chapters (n = 213, 6.7%). The main subject areas of the citing items are medicine (n = 2,581, 51.7%), immunology and microbiology (n = 1,179, 23.6%), and biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology (n = 415, 8.3%).

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Interestingly, a recent analysis of 111 publications related to Strachan's hygiene hypothesis, stating that the lack of exposure to infections in early life increases the risk of rhinitis, revealed a selection bias of 5,551 citations on Web of Science. 37 The articles supportive of the hypothesis were cited more than nonsupportive ones (odds ratio adjusted for study design, 2.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.6–3.1). A similar conclusion pointing to a citation bias distorting bibliometrics of hypotheses was reached by an earlier analysis of a citation network linked to the idea that β-amyloid, which is involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease, is produced by skeletal muscle of patients with inclusion body myositis. 38 The results of both studies are in line with the notion that ‘positive’ citations are more frequent in the field of biomedicine than ‘negative’ ones, and that citations to articles with proven hypotheses are too common. 39

Social media channels are playing an increasingly active role in the generation and evaluation of scientific hypotheses. In fact, publicly discussing research questions on platforms of news outlets, such as Reddit, may shape hypotheses on health-related issues of global importance, such as obesity. 40 Analyzing Twitter comments, researchers may reveal both potentially valuable ideas and unfounded claims that surround groundbreaking research ideas. 41 Social media activities, however, are unevenly distributed across different research topics, journals and countries, and these are not always objective professional reflections of the breakthroughs in science. 2 , 42

Scientific hypotheses are essential for progress in science and advances in healthcare. Innovative ideas should be based on a critical overview of related scientific facts and evidence-based data, often overlooked by others. To generate realistic hypothetical theories, the authors should comprehensively analyze the literature and suggest relevant and ethically sound design for future studies. They should also consider their hypotheses in the context of research and publication ethics norms acceptable for their target journals. The journal editors aiming to diversify their portfolio by maintaining and introducing hypotheses section are in a position to upgrade guidelines for related articles by pointing to general and specific analyses of the subject, preferred study designs to test hypotheses, and ethical implications. The latter is closely related to specifics of hypotheses. For example, editorial recommendations to outline benefits and risks of a new laboratory test or therapy may result in a more balanced article and minimize associated risks afterwards.

Not all scientific hypotheses have immediate positive effects. Some, if not most, are never tested in properly designed research studies and never cited in credible and indexed publication outlets. Hypotheses in specialized scientific fields, particularly those hardly understandable for nonexperts, lose their attractiveness for increasingly interdisciplinary audience. The authors' honest analysis of the benefits and limitations of their hypotheses and concerted efforts of all stakeholders in science communication to initiate public discussion on widely visible platforms and social media may reveal rational points and caveats of the new ideas.

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

Author Contributions:

  • Conceptualization: Gasparyan AY, Yessirkepov M, Kitas GD.
  • Methodology: Gasparyan AY, Mukanova U, Ayvazyan L.
  • Writing - original draft: Gasparyan AY, Ayvazyan L, Yessirkepov M.
  • Writing - review & editing: Gasparyan AY, Yessirkepov M, Mukanova U, Kitas GD.

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how-to-write-a-hypothesis

How to Write a Hypothesis: The Ultimate Guide with Examples

how-to-write-a-hypothesis

Hypotheses aren’t about science, experiments, and creating new theories only. While students in science classes formulate a hypothesis every second day, others from non-science fields may find it challenging to write it for an essay or a research paper.

This article is here to reveal the nature of hypothesis writing and help you learn how to write a hypothesis for essays, reports, studies, and any paper type you may need to compose.

We’ve researched all the guides, invited  our top writers  to answer all the FAQs students have on hypothesis writing, gathered hypothesis examples, and put first things first.

Yes, we are ready to make it loud and clear with our essay maker !

Table of Contents:

  • Hypothesis vs. prediction
  • Theory vs. hypothesis
  • Hypothesis characteristics
  • Thesis statement vs. hypothesis in an essay
  • Main hypothesis sources
  • 7 types of hypotheses you may need to write
  • Ask a question
  • Conduct research
  • Write a null hypothesis
  • Define variables
  • State it using an if-then format
  • What is a hypothesis in a research paper?
  • How to write a hypothesis: example
  • Frequently asked questions

What is a Hypothesis?

A hypothesis is an assumption you make based on existing data and knowledge, stating your predictions about what your research will find. It’s a tentative answer to your research question; it needs to be testable so you could later support or refuse it through further experiments, observations, and any other scientific research methods.

Example of a hypothesis:

Teenagers who get sex education lessons in high school will have lower rates of unplanned pregnancy than those who did not get any sex education.

Your research question here is,  “How effective is high school sex education at reducing teen pregnancies?”  and you formulate a hypothesis to check and explain in your paper.

A hypothesis always proposes a relationship between several variables. As a rule, variables are two – independent and dependent – but it’s also possible to state more variables in your hypothesis essay, to address different aspects of your research question.

  • An independent variable  is the one you, as a researcher, can change or control.
  • A dependent variable  is the one you, as a researcher, observe and measure based on how an independent variable changes.

In the above example, we can see that an independent variable is “sex education lessons at school” (you assume it is a cause). And a dependent variable here is “lower rates of unplanned pregnancy” (you consider it’s an effect).

Please note that there’s a difference between theory and hypothesis. Also, some guides may tell you that a hypothesis equals a  thesis statement  in essay writing, though a slight difference between these two is yet in place.

More on that below.

Hypothesis vs. Prediction

hypothesis-vs-prediction

Given they both are a kind of guess, many people get a hypothesis and a prediction confused. But while a difference is slight, it’s yet critical:

  • A hypothesis  explains  why something happens based on  scientific methods  (testing, experiments, data analysis, etc.).
  • A prediction  suggests  that something will happen based on  observations .

You write a hypothesis using a statement with variables, while a prediction consists of “if-then” schemes stating about future happenings.

We can also say that a prediction is something you expect to happen if your hypothesis statement is true.

Theory vs. Hypothesis

hypothesis-vs-theory

  • A hypothesis states a  suggested  explanation of a phenomenon, which you’ll later support or refuse through testing and other scientific methods.
  • A theory is an  already tested , well-substantiated explanation backed by evidence.

You write a hypothesis using a statement with variables, while a theory represents a phenomenon that is already widely accepted and supported by data.

Examples of theories include Einstein’s theory of relativity, the Big Bang theory, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and many others.

For your hypothesis to become a theory, you need to test all the aspects under various circumstances and prove it with well-substantiated facts. You can also use theories to make predictions about something unexplained and then turn those predictions into hypotheses to test and support (or refuse).

It’s worth noting that testings don’t stop once a hypothesis becomes a theory: Science is ongoing, and any theory can become disproved one day.

Hypothesis Characteristics

And now it’s high time to reveal the characteristics of your statement to become a reasonable hypothesis.

They are five:

  • A cause-effect relationship between variables . When writing a hypothesis, make sure your one variable causes another one to change (or not change.) There should always be a cause-effect relationship between them.
  • Testable nature.  Formulate a hypothesis that you can  test  to support or refuse. You should be able to conduct experiments and control your thesis when working on it.
  • Precise and accurate variables.  Your hypothesis’s independent and dependent variables need to be specific and clear for the audience to understand.
  • Explained in simple language.   Research papers  and academic writing, in general, are often challenging to understand for an average reader, so do your best to write a hypothesis so there would be no confusion or ambiguity.
  • Ethical.  We can test many things, but there’s always a question about  what  we should test or make a subject to experiments. Avoid questionable or taboo topics when thinking about your hypothesis outline.

Thesis Statement vs. Hypothesis in an Essay

When looking for information on writing a hypothesis essay, you can find guides telling that it’s the same with writing a thesis statement for your  argumentative essay . This notion is not entirely true, and there’s still a slight difference between these two:

hypothesis-vs-thesis-statement

  • A thesis statement is a sentence or two in your essay introduction that summarizes a central claim you’ll  discuss and prove  in the essay body. You’ll use arguments, evidence, and examples for that. 
  • A hypothesis is a one-sentence prediction based on the relationships between reliables that you’ll  test   and then  prove or disprove  in the essay body. You’ll use experiments, observation, and quantitative research for that.

Writing a research study should have a thesis statement; if your research intends to prove/disprove something, it will also contain a hypothesis statement.

Feel free to try our  online thesis statement generator  to get a better idea of writing strong thesis statements for your essays.

Main Hypothesis Sources

Once they ask you to write a hypothesis essay, it would be great to have some sources for inspiration at hand, wouldn’t it?

Where to go for  creative ideas ? Where to research hypothesis and come up with new statements for your essay? What sources do science students use?

The primary hypothesis sources are four:

  • Scientific theories that already exist
  • Some general patterns affecting our thinking process
  • Analogies between different phenomena we observe
  • The previous knowledge and observations from studies and our experience

Depending on the niche and type of hypothesis you need to cover, you’ll use corresponding sources for research and further hypothesis  outline .

Below you’ll learn what types of hypotheses exist and how to write a hypothesis statement so it would sound scientific.

7 Types of Hypotheses You May Need to Write

So many sources, so many hypothesis classifications they offer. Some specify eight, ten, and even 13  types of hypotheses, depending on the factors like the number of variables you use and the experiment stage you’re in. Some insist that only two significant kinds of hypotheses exist: alternative and null; others call them directional and non-directional hypotheses, respectively.

Let’s put things straight and explain the types of hypotheses you may need to write in essays . They are seven, with examples for you to get a better idea of “who is who,” as they say.

types-of-hypothesis

1) Simple hypothesis

It’s the most common type of hypothesis to use in college papers, predicting the direct relationship between two variables in your experiment: a single dependent and a single independent one.

How to write a simple hypothesis? Use an “if-then” format.

For example:

  • Everyday smoking leads to lung cancer.  ( If  you smoke every day,  then  you’ll get lung cancer.)
  • Covering wounds with a bandage heals with fewer scars.  ( If  you bandage an injury,  then  it will heal with less scarring.)

2) Complex hypothesis

This one also predicts the relationship between variables but has more than two dependent and independent variables to check for supporting or refusing.

  • Overweight people who eat junk food have higher chances of getting excessive cholesterol and heart disease.  (Two independent variables are  extra weight  and  junk food consumption ; two dependent variables are  heart disease  and  high cholesterol level .)
  • The higher illiteracy in a society, the higher is poverty and crime rate.  (One independent variable is higher  illiteracy , and two dependent variables are higher  poverty  and higher  crime rate .)

3) Null hypothesis

How to write a null hypothesis? It’s the default position stating there’s no relationship between variables, i.e., there will be no difference in the experiment’s results. 

Scientists use null hypotheses to disapprove or reaffirm given statements.

  • A person’s productivity doesn’t suffer from getting six instead of eight hours of sleep.
  • All daisies are equal in the number of their petals.
  • Sex education in high school doesn’t affect unplanned pregnancy rates.

4) Alternative hypothesis

When searching for information on how to write a hypothesis online, you might see queries like “how to write a null and alternative hypothesis.” That’s because alternative hypothesis statements come in place when someone tries to  disprove  a null hypothesis, so these two go hand in hand.

In other words, an alternative hypothesis  directly contradicts  a null one.

Also, an alternative hypothesis is one you may want to develop when the experiment on your initial statement doesn’t bring any result.

  • H0 (a null hypothesis): Light color does not affect plant growth.
  • H1 (an alternative hypothesis): Light color affects plant growth.
  • H0: Cats have no preference for food based on shape.
  • H1: Cats prefer round kibbles to other food shapes.

5) Logical hypothesis

This one is a hypothesis you can verify logically, though there’s little to no substantial evidence for it. Here you use reasoning and logical connections instead of proven facts, statistics, or background research.

Logical hypotheses remain assumptions until you put them to the test and support/refuse them after experiments.

  • Dogs won’t survive without water.  (Here, you make an assumption based on the fact humans can’t live without water, so dogs, as mammals, won’t do that, either.)
  • Creatures from Mars won’t breathe in the Earth’s atmosphere.  (Here, you assume that they won’t because we humans can’t breathe on Mars.)

6) Empirical hypothesis

In plain English, it’s a currently-tested hypothesis that can yet be changed or adjusted according to the results of experiments. It’s a working hypothesis that’s yet to confirm or refuse:

Empirical hypotheses are those going through tests, trials, or errors via observation and experiments right now and can be changed later around the independent variables. As a rule, it’s the opposite of a logical hypothesis.

  • Women taking vitamin E grow hair faster than those taking vitamin K.
  • Mushrooms grow faster at 22 degrees Celsius than 27 degrees Celsius.

7) Statistical hypothesis

This one is a hypothesis you can test and verify statistically based on data and quantitative research methods.

How to write a statistical hypothesis?

Statistical hypotheses have quantifiable variables and are usually about the nature of a population. It comes in handy when it’s impossible to test or survey every single person in a group. To write such a hypothesis, you’ll need to state the data about your topic using a portion of people.

  • 35% of the poor in the USA are illiterate.
  • 60% of people talking on the phone while driving have been in at least one car accident.
  • 56% of marriages end in divorce.

How to Write a Hypothesis: 5 Steps

First and foremost, it’s worth mentioning that hypothesis writing is the third step of the scientific method scholars, researchers, and science students use to test theories, answer questions, and solve problems.

The steps are six, and they are as follows:

scientific-research-method

  • Observation:  Decide on an issue to solve or a phenomenon to explain. 
  • Question:  Develop a research question you’d like to check.
  • Hypothesis (we are here!):  Formulate a hypothesis that answers your question and that you can test.
  • Prediction:  Determine the experiment’s outcome based on your hypothesis.
  • Test:  Do your experiments to test your prediction.
  • Analyze:  Review the results to see if your hypothesis was correct. If it wasn’t, you could revise it by formulating another one and going through the whole process again.

In academic writing, hypotheses come as something relating to thesis statements: It’s a sentence or two summarizing a central claim you’ll discuss and prove in your essay.

It stands to reason that hypothesis writing is more common for STEM disciplines like math, chemistry, biology, physics, or economics. Here’s how to craft it, step by step:

1) Ask a Question

This stage is about choosing an  argumentative topic for your essay . Except as assigned by a teacher or a thesis tutor, you can start with an issue of your interest, so your curiosity and questions on it come naturally.

Why is it the way it is?

Why does it happen the way it goes?

What causes this factor you see around?

Your question needs to be  clear ,  specific , and  manageable  so you can research it, test it, and analyze the results. Also, ensure it’s not too broad so you can focus on its particular aspect to formulate your hypothesis.

For example:   How does eating apples affect human dental health?

2) Conduct Research

Now you’ll need to check and collect some information on your question to understand if it’s possible to formulate a research hypothesis. It’s so-called initial research to find an answer to your question.

This stage is not about proving or disproving your hypothesis. Here you’ll collect facts, theories, past studies, and any other information that will help prove or disprove it so that you can make an apparent assumption: Based on the gathered information, you’ll be able to make a logical guess.

Depending on your question, this initial research can  take some time  from you. You may need to read a few books on the topic, find and compare some scientific materials, etc. Or, it may be enough to perform a quick web search to find the answer.

3) Write a Null Hypothesis

To ease the process of hypothesis writing, start with a null hypothesis. As you already know, it’s the default position stating no relationship between variables. (And that’s why it’s so easy to formulate.)

So, take your initial question and write it as a negative statement. In our example with eating apples and dental health, the null hypothesis would sound like that:

Eating apples do not affect a human’s dental health.

(Which means your teeth condition will be the same, whether you eat apples or not.)

4) Define Variables

And now, for your hypothesis to become testable so you can do experiments, make predictions, and analyze the results, think of dependent and independent variables for it.

As you already know, independent variables are the factors you, as a researcher, can control during experiments to check the hypothesis. 

Example:   Eating one apple a day will positively affect a human’s dental health.

“One apple” is the independent variable, and “dental health” is the dependent variable here.

You’ll come up with variables based on your initial research. With some facts and studies already in place, you can predict how your experiment may go and what its results may be. Use this knowledge to shape variables into a clear and concise hypothesis.

And remember:

The way you’ll frame a hypothesis into one sentence depends on a few factors: the type of your project and the type of hypothesis you want to use. 

Simple hypotheses are most common for student research papers , so we use them as examples here. With that in mind, the final stage of hypothesis writing comes:

5) State It Using an If-Then Format

To formulate a hypothesis the best way possible, try framing it with an “if-then” format. Like this:

If a human eats one apple per day, then he gets healthier teeth.

This format becomes tricky when working with complex hypotheses with multiple variables, but it’s reliable when expressing the cause-and-effect relationship. 

The “if-then” format allows you to refine a hypothesis and ensure its final version:

  • is clear, specific, and testable;
  • has relevant variables;
  • identifies the relationship between variables;
  • suggests a predicted result of the experiment.

Another way to check if you’ve shaped a hypothesis properly is using the “PICOT” model, best explained via  visual examples . According to this model, a hypothesis should have five components:

P –  population: the specific group or individual of your research

I –  interest: the primary concern of your study

C –  comparison: the leading alternative group

O –  outcome: the expected result

T – time: the length of your experimen t

hypothesis-example

Always write a hypothesis in  the present tense  because it refers to research that’s currently being conducted.

What is a Hypothesis in a Research Paper?

A hypothesis in a research paper is a statement demonstrating a prediction you believe may happen based on research, evidence, and experimentation.

Often used and associated with science, hypotheses are assumptions (or guesses) for researchers and scholars to prove or disprove via tests and experiments. And they later write a hypothesis essay to analyze and report the experiments’ results to the scientific community.

When writing a hypothesis for a research paper, you should still describe an experiment to prove or disprove it. However, hypothesis essays don’t necessarily have to be on STEM disciplines and tests taken in a lab:

  • You can  write a book critique  and state a hypothesis on its or its author’s impact on literature. 
  • Or, your hypothesis essay can be about how demographics change a country’s language.
  • Or, you’ll  write an autobiography  with a focus on the hypothesis that one particular event influenced your further deeds. 

In such essays, you won’t spend hours in labs to prove that your hypothesis is true; you’ll do that through research, arguments, data, interviews, or previous studies.

Is a thesis statement a hypothesis?

As we already mentioned, there’s a slight difference between these two. While  thesis statements  in essays are about  summarizing  a central claim you’ll discuss,  hypotheses  are about  predictions  or  assumptions  you’ll prove (or disprove) in the essay body.

You don’t have to prove that your hypothesis is correct. The point is to research, test, and experiment to see if you’re right. Even if your hypothesis appears incorrect in  conclusion , it doesn’t mean the quality of your essay is poor.

How to Write a Hypothesis: Example

And now, let’s go to even more hypothesis examples for you to understand the nature of this writing better.

example-of-a-hypothesis

Here goes another example of a hypothesis:

statistical-hypothesis-examples

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a hypothesis in an essay.

A hypothesis in an essay is a statement demonstrating a prediction you believe may happen based on research, evidence, and experimentation. As a rule, it predicts the relationship between a few variables; and you can prove or disprove it by the end of your tests and experiments on it.

How long is a hypothesis?

A hypothesis is one-sentence long. It should be clear, direct, and testable through experimentation, predicting a possible outcome.

How to write a hypothesis statement?

First of all, you need to state a problem you’re trying to solve, do some initial research on it to learn the background and predict an outcome, and then think of both dependent and independent variables for your hypothesis. For that, research or brainstorm ideas for your stated problem’s solution. Finally, write your hypothesis as an “if-then” statement, using your variables.

How to write a null hypothesis?

A null hypothesis is the default position stating no relationship between variables. To write it, you need to assume an experiment has no effect regardless of variables; use denying. 

For example, you want to learn whether teens are better at math than adults. In this case, your null hypothesis will be, “ Age does not affect math ability.”

How to write an alternative hypothesis?

An alternative hypothesis directly contradicts   a null one, trying to disprove it. To write it, you need to assume there’s enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis; but never state your claim is already proven true or false.

In contrast with a null hypothesis, typically marked as H0, an alternative one gets an H1 mark. For example:

H0: If I put Mentos into a Coke bottle, there will be no reaction.

H1: If I put Mentos into a Coke bottle, there will be a big explosion.

How to write a simple hypothesis?

A simple hypothesis is the most common one to use in college papers. It predicts the direct relationship between two variables — one dependent and one independent, — so write a simple hypothesis with an “if-then” format.

For example: 

If a postpartum woman has low hemoglobin, then she gets higher risk of infection.

A statistical hypothesis claims the value of a single population characteristic or relationship between several population characteristics. To write it, you first need to specify null and alternative hypotheses, set the significance level, calculate the statistics, and draw a conclusion. Ensure that your variables are quantifiable. For example: 

A population mean is equal to 10.

How to write a hypothesis for a lab report?

To write a hypothesis for a lab report, you should state the issue, predict its outcome based on tests and experiments, define the variables, and formulate a hypothesis as an if-then statement. For example:

If one puts Mentos in a bottle with Coke, there will be an explosion.

How to write a hypothesis for a research paper?

  • Decide on a question/problem you want to check/solve.
  • Conduct initial research to collect as much background information and observation about your topic as you can.
  • Evaluate this information to assume possible causes and possible explanations.
  • Define variables you’ll use to confirm or disprove your hypothesis through experimentation.
  • Write down a one-sentence hypothesis using the present tense.

Now that you know how to write a hypothesis, it’s high time to give it a try:

  • Address your curiosity.
  • Ask questions.
  • Conduct some initial research.
  • Come up with a type of hypothesis that fits your expectations most.

Think of variables for your hypothesis, and ensure it’s clear, concise, and measurable (testable). Then write it in the present tense — and you’ve got it!

Any questions left? Don’t hesitate to write in the comments (yes, we read them and reply!) or ask  Bid4Papers writers  directly!

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The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey

How to Write a Hypothesis for an Essay

Hana LaRock

How to Start a Critique Paper

Whether you're writing a scientific paper or an essay for your literature class, the premise of your essay may be to form a hypothesis to construct your piece around. A hypothesis is a statement that demonstrates a prediction that you think will happen based off of well-researched evidence or experimentation. Though it sounds somewhat straightforward, coming up with the appropriate hypothesis for a paper can actually be a rather difficult task, and writing that hypothesis so that it aligns with the rest of your essay can also be challenging.

A Hypothesis for an Experiment vs. a Hypothesis for a Paper

Typically, a hypothesis connects directly with a scientific experiment. After conducting some brief research and making subtle observations, students in science classes usually write a hypothesis and test it out with an experiment. Perhaps they submit lab notes with their hypothesis but not much else. However, a hypothesis can actually be much longer when it's for an essay.

When you write a hypothesis for a paper, you should still be doing an experiment to prove that your hypothesis is true. However, it doesn't necessarily have to link to something completely scientific, and the experiment does not always need to be in a lab. Your hypothesis could be about an author's impact on literature, how demographics are changing the language of a country or how parents should expose their children to more peanut butter. To prove that a hypothesis like that is true, you won't be doing it with a Bunson burner and a flask. You'll be doing it through research, interviews and solid data that can support your point.

How to Decide on a Hypothesis

To decide on your hypothesis, your teacher may give you a topic or ask that you find one that you're interested in. The first step, then, is to do some research. Your goal is to find something that must be testable, yet you are able to prove even before testing it.

A hypothesis, therefore, should be an educated guess that essentially states, "If I (do this), then (this) will happen." It should show your ability to predict the relationship between two or more variables. Likewise, even though your guess is educated and likely to prove your hypothesis, your hypothesis should also be something that can be proven false. Some things you can do to help decide your hypothesis are:

  • Conduct observations
  • Evaluate observations closely.
  • Look for a potential problem.
  • Think of explanations of why that problem exists.
  • See if you can prove and disprove your explanation.

Writing Your Hypothesis

Once you've decided on what you think you want your hypothesis to be, you want to make sure it fits the general hypothesis structure, "If (I do this), then (this) will happen." If you can fit your hypothesis into that, then you're that much closer to being able to write it. It's always a good idea to look at some examples so that you know whether or not you're on the right track:

"As children become more dependent on electronics, their attention spans will decrease."

"As more traditional jobs become automated, people will need to find more creative ways to make money."

These are strong hypotheses because they can be tested, explained and proved to be true, but they can also be proven false, which is essential to any hypothesis you write.

"As pollution levels increase, it is inevitable that more people will die of cancer that's directly related to the pollutants."

"Girls who grow up with older brothers will be more likely to marry over the age of 30."

These are okay hypotheses, but there are a few problems with them. They are either too vague, too specific or too generalized, which makes them difficult to prove. Also, using terms like, "more likely" isn't definite, and therefore, hard to prove as well. The writer is not directly linking one variable to another. These hypotheses also cannot necessarily be falsified, simply because there's not enough of a solid statement to prove them wrong or right the first place.

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Hana LaRock is a freelance content writer from New York, currently living in Mexico. Before becoming a writer, Hana worked as a teacher for several years in the U.S. and around the world. She has her teaching certification in Elementary Education and Special Education, as well as a TESOL certification. Please visit her website, www.hanalarockwriting.com, to learn more.

Research Hypothesis In Psychology: Types, & Examples

Saul Mcleod, PhD

Editor-in-Chief for Simply Psychology

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

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

Learn about our Editorial Process

Olivia Guy-Evans, MSc

Associate Editor for Simply Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MSc Psychology of Education

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

On This Page:

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

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

Some key points about hypotheses:

  • A hypothesis expresses an expected pattern or relationship. It connects the variables under investigation.
  • It is stated in clear, precise terms before any data collection or analysis occurs. This makes the hypothesis testable.
  • A hypothesis must be falsifiable. It should be possible, even if unlikely in practice, to collect data that disconfirms rather than supports the hypothesis.
  • Hypotheses guide research. Scientists design studies to explicitly evaluate hypotheses about how nature works.
  • For a hypothesis to be valid, it must be testable against empirical evidence. The evidence can then confirm or disprove the testable predictions.
  • Hypotheses are informed by background knowledge and observation, but go beyond what is already known to propose an explanation of how or why something occurs.
Predictions typically arise from a thorough knowledge of the research literature, curiosity about real-world problems or implications, and integrating this to advance theory. They build on existing literature while providing new insight.

Types of Research Hypotheses

Alternative hypothesis.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Null Hypothesis

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

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

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

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

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

Nondirectional Hypothesis

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

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

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

Directional Hypothesis

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

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

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

hypothesis

Falsifiability

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

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

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

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

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

Can a Hypothesis be Proven?

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

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

In science, hypotheses can realistically only be supported with some degree of confidence, not proven. The process of science is to incrementally accumulate evidence for and against hypothesized relationships in an ongoing pursuit of better models and explanations that best fit the empirical data. But hypotheses remain open to revision and rejection if that is where the evidence leads.
  • Disproving a hypothesis is definitive. Solid disconfirmatory evidence will falsify a hypothesis and require altering or discarding it based on the evidence.
  • However, confirming evidence is always open to revision. Other explanations may account for the same results, and additional or contradictory evidence may emerge over time.

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

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

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

How to Write a Hypothesis

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

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

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

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

More Examples

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

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How To Write A Research Paper

How To Write A Hypothesis

Nova A.

How to Write a Hypothesis for a Research Paper

Published on: Aug 5, 2021

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

How to Write a Hypothesis

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Imagine spending hours conducting experiments, only to realize that your hypothesis is unclear or poorly constructed.

This can lead to wasted time, resources, and a lack of meaningful results.

Fortunately, by mastering the art of hypothesis writing, you can ensure that your research paper is focused and structured. 

This comprehensive guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions and examples to write a hypothesis effectively.

By the end of this guide, you will have all the knowledge to write hypotheses that drive impactful scientific research.

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What is a Hypothesis?

A hypothesis is a tentative explanation or prediction that can be tested through scientific investigation. 

It is like a roadmap that guides researchers in their quest for answers. By formulating a hypothesis, researchers make educated guesses about the relationship between variables or phenomena.

Think of a hypothesis as a detective's hunch. Just like a detective forms a theory about a crime based on evidence, a researcher develops a hypothesis based on existing knowledge and observations. 

Now that we have a basic understanding of what a hypothesis is, let's delve into the process of writing one effectively.

Variables in Hypothesis

In hypotheses, variables play a crucial role as they represent the factors that are being studied and tested. 

Let's explore two types of variables commonly found in hypotheses:

1. Independent Variable: This variable is manipulated or controlled by the researcher. It is the factor believed to have an effect on the dependent variable. Here's an example:

Hypothesis: "Increasing study time (independent variable) leads to improved test scores (dependent variable) in students."

In this hypothesis, the independent variable is the study time, which the researcher can manipulate to observe its impact on the test scores.

2. Dependent Variable: This variable is the outcome or response that is measured or observed as a result of the changes in the independent variable. Here's an example:

Hypothesis: "Exposure to sunlight (independent variable) affects plant growth (dependent variable)."

In this hypothesis, the dependent variable is plant growth, which is expected to be influenced by the independent variable, sunlight exposure. The researcher measures or observes the changes in plant growth based on the different levels of sunlight exposure.

Hypothesis vs. Prediction

The difference between a hypothesis and prediction is slight, but it's critical to understand. 

Hypotheses are a great way to explain why something happens based on scientific methods. A prediction is a statement that says something will happen based on what has been observed.

A hypothesis is a statement with variables. A prediction is a statement that says what will happen in the future.

Theory vs. Hypothesis

The theory and hypothesis have some differences between them.

  • A hypothesis is the explanation of a phenomenon that will support through scientific methods. 
  • A theory is a well-substantiated and already tested explanation backed by evidence.  

To turn a hypothesis into a theory, you need to test it in different situations and with strong evidence. Theories can also be used to make predictions about something that is not understood. Once you have predictions, you can turn them into hypotheses that can be tested.

7 Types of Hypotheses (with Examples)

Hypotheses come in various forms, depending on the nature of the research and the relationship between variables. 

Here are seven common types of hypotheses along with examples:

  • Simple Hypothesis: A straightforward statement about the expected relationship between variables.

Example: "Increasing fertilizer dosage will lead to higher crop yields."

  • Complex Hypothesis: A hypothesis that suggests a more intricate relationship between multiple variables.

Example: "The interaction of genetic factors and environmental stressors contributes to the development of certain mental disorders."

  • Directional Hypothesis: A hypothesis that predicts the specific direction of the relationship between variables.

Example: "As temperature decreases, the viscosity of the liquid will increase."

  • Non-Directional Hypothesis: A hypothesis that suggests a relationship between variables without specifying the direction.

Example: "There is a correlation between caffeine consumption and anxiety levels."

  • Null Hypothesis: A hypothesis that assumes no significant relationship between variables.

Example: "There is no difference in exam performance between students who study in silence and students who listen to music."

  • Alternative Hypothesis: A hypothesis that contradicts or offers an alternative explanation to the null hypothesis.

Example: "There is a significant difference in weight loss between individuals following a low-carb diet and those following a low-fat diet."

  • Associative Hypothesis: A hypothesis that suggests a relationship between variables without implying causality.

Example: "There is a correlation between exercise frequency and cardiovascular health."

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H2- Developing a Hypothesis (with an Example)

Developing a hypothesis is a crucial step in scientific research, as it sets the foundation for designing experiments and testing theories. 

Let's explore the step-by-step process of developing a hypothesis, using the example of studying the effects of exercise on sleep quality.

Step 1. Ask a Question

To begin, ask a specific question that focuses on the relationship between variables. In our example, the question could be: "Does regular exercise have a positive impact on sleep quality?"

 Step 2. Do Some Preliminary Research

Before formulating your hypothesis, conduct preliminary research to gather existing knowledge on the topic. 

Review scientific studies, articles, and relevant literature to understand the current understanding of exercise and its potential effects on sleep quality. This research will provide a foundation for formulating your hypothesis.

Step 3. Formulate Your Hypothesis

Based on your question and preliminary research, formulate a hypothesis that predicts the expected relationship between variables. In our example, the hypothesis could be: 

"Regular exercise has a positive influence on sleep quality, resulting in improved sleep duration and reduced sleep disturbances."

Step 4. Refine Your Hypothesis

Refine your hypothesis by making it more specific and testable. Specify the variables involved and the anticipated outcomes in clear terms. For instance: 

"Engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week, will lead to an increase in total sleep time and a decrease in the frequency of sleep disruptions."

Step 5. Phrase Your Hypothesis in Three Ways

To ensure comprehensiveness, phrase your hypothesis in three different ways: as a simple statement, as a positive correlation, and as a negative correlation. This will cover different perspectives and potential outcomes. 

Using our example:

  • Simple Statement: "Regular exercise positively affects sleep quality."
  • Positive Correlation: "As the frequency of regular exercise increases, sleep quality improves."
  • Negative Correlation: "A lack of regular exercise is associated with poorer sleep quality."

Step 6. Write a Null Hypothesis

In addition to the main hypothesis, it is important to write a null hypothesis. The null hypothesis assumes that there is no significant relationship between the variables being studied. 

In our example, the null hypothesis could be: 

"There is no significant association between regular exercise and sleep quality."

By following these steps, you can develop a well-structured and testable hypothesis that serves as a guiding framework for your scientific research. 

What Makes a Good Hypothesis? 5 Key Elements

Crafting a good hypothesis is essential for conducting effective scientific research. A well-formed hypothesis sets the stage for meaningful experiments. 

Here are some key characteristics that make a hypothesis strong:

1. Testable and Specific

A good hypothesis should be testable through observation or experimentation. It should be formulated in a way that allows researchers to gather data and evidence to support or refute it. 

2. Grounded in Existing Knowledge

A strong hypothesis is built upon a foundation of existing knowledge and understanding of the topic. By connecting your hypothesis to previous findings, you ensure that your research contributes to the broader scientific knowledge.

3. Falsifiable

A good hypothesis must be falsifiable, meaning that it can be proven false if it is indeed false. This principle is important because it allows for rigorous testing and prevents researchers from making claims that are impossible to verify or disprove. 

4. Clearly Defines Variables

A well-formulated hypothesis clearly identifies the variables involved in the research. It specifies the independent variable and the dependent variable. 

5. Supported by Logic and Reasoning

A good hypothesis is logical and based on sound reasoning. It should be supported by  evidence and a plausible rationale. 

The hypothesis should be grounded in a solid understanding of cause-and-effect relationships and theories.

Hypothesis Examples 

Here are a few more examples for you to look at and get a better understanding!

How to Write a Hypothesis in Research

Research Question: "Does exposure to violent video games increase aggressive behavior in adolescents?"

Hypothesis 1: "Adolescents who are exposed to violent video games will display higher levels of aggressive behavior compared to those who are not exposed."

Hypothesis 2: "There is a positive correlation between the amount of time spent playing violent video games and the level of aggressive behavior exhibited by adolescents."

How to Write a Hypothesis for a Lab Report:

Lab Experiment: Testing the effect of different fertilizers on plant growth.

Hypothesis 1: "Plants treated with fertilizer A will exhibit greater growth in terms of height and leaf count compared to plants treated with fertilizer B."

Hypothesis 2: "There is a significant difference in the growth rate of plants when exposed to different types of fertilizers."

How to Write a Hypothesis in a Report:

Report Topic: Investigating the impact of social media usage on self-esteem.

Hypothesis 1: "Individuals who spend more time on social media will report lower levels of self-esteem compared to those who spend less time on social media."

Hypothesis 2: "There is an inverse relationship between the frequency of social media use and self-esteem levels among individuals."

How to Write a Hypothesis for a Research Paper:

 Research Paper Topic: Examining the effect of mindfulness meditation on stress reduction.

Hypothesis 1: "Participating in regular mindfulness meditation practice will result in a significant decrease in perceived stress levels among participants."

Hypothesis 2: "There is a positive association between the frequency of mindfulness meditation practice and the reduction of stress levels in individuals."

How to Write a Hypothesis for Qualitative Research:

Qualitative Research Topic: Exploring the experiences of first-time mothers during the postpartum period.

Hypothesis 1: "First-time mothers will report feelings of increased anxiety and stress during the early weeks of the postpartum period."

Hypothesis 2: "There will be a common theme of adjustment challenges among first-time mothers in their narratives about the postpartum experience."

In conclusion, a well-crafted hypothesis sets the stage for designing experiments, collecting data, and drawing meaningful conclusions. 

By following the steps of formulating a hypothesis, researchers can ensure that their investigations are grounded in solid reasoning. AI essay writing tools can be a great help in getting ideas.

However, If you need assistance with essay writing, consider leveraging the services of CollegeEssay.org. Our team of experienced writers is dedicated to delivering high-quality, customized essays that meet your requirements and deadlines. 

Don't hesitate to visit CollegeEssay.org and benefit from our professional essay writing service . Contact us today and say goodbye to your academic paper-writing worries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 required parts of a hypothesis.

The three main parts of the hypothesis are: 

  • Problem 
  • Proposed solution 
  • Result 

What are 5 characteristics of a good hypothesis?

The main five characteristics of a good hypothesis are: 

  • Clarity 
  • Relevant to problem 
  • Consistency 
  • Specific 
  • Testability 

What should not be characteristic of a hypothesis?

Complexity should not be a good characteristic of a hypothesis. 

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Literacy Ideas

HOW TO WRITE A HYPOTHESIS

How to write a Hypothesis

Writing a hypothesis

Frequently, when we hear the word ‘hypothesis’, we immediately think of an investigation in the form of a science experiment. This is not surprising, as science is the subject area where we are usually first introduced to the term.

However, the term hypothesis also applies to investigations and research in many diverse areas and branches of learning, leaving us wondering how to write a hypothesis in statistics and how to write a hypothesis in sociology alongside how to write a hypothesis in a lab report.

We can find hypotheses at work in areas as wide-ranging as history, psychology, technology, engineering, literature, design, and economics. With such a vast array of uses, hypothesis writing is an essential skill for our students to develop.

What Is a Hypothesis?

how to write a hypothesis | Hypothesis definition | HOW TO WRITE A HYPOTHESIS | literacyideas.com

A hypothesis is a proposed or predicted answer to a question. The purpose of writing a hypothesis is to follow it up by testing that answer. This test can take the form of an investigation, experiment, or writing a research paper that will ideally prove or disprove the hypothesis’s prediction.

Despite this element of the unknown, a hypothesis is not the same thing as a guess. Though the hypothesis writer typically has some uncertainty, the creation of the hypothesis is generally based on some background knowledge and research of the topic. The writer believes in the likelihood of a specific outcome, but further investigation will be required to validate or falsify the claim made in their hypothesis.

In this regard, a hypothesis is more along the lines of an ‘educated guess’ that has been based on observation and/or background knowledge.

A hypothesis should:

  • Make a prediction
  • Provide reasons for that prediction
  • Specifies a relationship between two or more variables
  • Be testable
  • Be falsifiable
  • Be expressed simply and concisely
  • Serves as the starting point for an investigation, an experiment, or another form of testing

A COMPLETE TEACHING UNIT ON WRITING PROCEDURAL TEXTS

how to write a hypothesis | procedural text writing unit 1 | HOW TO WRITE A HYPOTHESIS | literacyideas.com

This HUGE BUNDLE  offers 97 PAGES of hands-on, printable, and digital media resources. Your students will be WRITING procedures with STRUCTURE, INSIGHT AND KNOWLEDGE like never before.

Hypothesis Examples for Students and Teachers

If students listen to classical music while studying, they will retain more information.

Mold growth is affected by the level of moisture in the air.

Students who sleep for longer at night retain more information at school.

Employees who work more than 40 hours per week show higher instances of clinical depression.

Time spent on social media is negatively correlated to the length of the average attention span.

People who spend time exercising regularly are less likely to develop a cardiovascular illness.

If people are shorter, then they are more likely to live longer.

What are Variables in a Hypothesis?

Variables are an essential aspect of any hypothesis. But what exactly do we mean by this term?

Variables are changeable factors or characteristics that may affect the outcome of an investigation. Things like age, weight, the height of participants, length of time, the difficulty of reading material, etc., could all be considered variables.

Usually, an investigation or experiment will focus on how different variables affect each other. So, it is vital to define the variables clearly if you are to measure the effect they have on each other accurately.

There are three main types of variables to consider in a hypothesis. These are:

  • Independent Variables
  • Dependent Variables

The Independent Variable

The independent variable is unaffected by any of the other variables in the hypothesis. We can think of the independent variable as the assumed cause .

The Dependent Variable

The dependent variable is affected by the other variables in the hypothesis. It is what is being tested or measured. We can think of the dependent variable as the assumed effect .

For example, let’s investigate the correlation between test scores across different age groups. The age groups will be the independent variable, and the test scores will be the dependent variable .

Now that we know what variables are let’s look at how they work in the various types of hypotheses.

Types of Hypotheses

There are many different types of hypotheses, and it is helpful to know the most common of these if the student selects the most suitable tool for their specific job.

The most frequently used types of hypotheses are:

The Simple Hypothesis

The complex hypothesis, the empirical hypothesis, the null hypothesis, the directional hypothesis, the non-directional hypothesis.

This straightforward hypothesis type predicts the relationship between an independent and dependent variable.

Example: Eating too much sugar causes weight gain.

This type of hypothesis is based on the relationship between multiple independent and/or dependent variables.

Example: Overeating sugar causes weight gain and poor cardiovascular health.

Also called a working hypothesis, an empirical hypothesis is tested through observation and experimentation. An empirical hypothesis is produced through investigation and trial and error. As a result, the empirical hypothesis may change its independent variables in the process.

Example: Exposure to sunlight helps lettuces grow faster.

This hypothesis states that there is no significant or meaningful relationship between specific variables.

Example: Exposure to sunlight does not affect the rate of a plant’s growth.

This type of hypothesis predicts the direction of an effect between variables, i.e., positive or negative.

Example: A high-quality education will result in a greater number of career opportunities.

Similar to the directional hypothesis, this type of hypothesis predicts the nature of the effect but not the direction that effect will go in.

Example: A high-quality education will affect the number of available career opportunities.

How to Write a Hypothesis : A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

  • Ask a Question

The starting point for any hypothesis is asking a question. This is often called the research question . The research question is the student’s jumping-off point to developing their hypothesis. This question should be specific and answerable. The hypothesis will be the point where the research question is transformed into a declarative statement.

Ideally, the questions the students develop should be relational, i.e., they should look at how two or more variables relate to each other as described above. For example, what effect does sunlight have on the growth rate of lettuce?

  • Research the Question

The research is an essential part of the process of developing a hypothesis. Students will need to examine the ideas and studies that are out there on the topic already. By examining the literature already out there on their topic, they can begin to refine their questions on the subject and begin to form predictions based on their studies.

Remember, a hypothesis can be defined as an ‘educated’ guess. This is the part of the process where the student educates themself on the subject before making their ‘guess.’

  • Define Your Variables

By now, your students should be ready to form their preliminary hypotheses. To do this, they should first focus on defining their independent and dependent variables. Now may be an excellent opportunity to remind students that the independent variables are the only variables that they have complete control over, while dependent variables are what is tested or measured.

  • Develop Your Preliminary Hypotheses

With variables defined, students can now work on a draft of their hypothesis. To do this, they can begin by examining their variables and the available data and then making a statement about the relationship between these variables. Students must brainstorm and reflect on what they expect to happen in their investigation before making a prediction upon which to base their hypothesis. It’s worth noting, too, that hypotheses are typically, though not exclusively, written in the present tense.

Students revisit the different types of hypotheses described earlier in this article. Students select three types of hypotheses and frame their preliminary hypotheses according to each criteria. Which works best? Which type is the least suitable for the student’s hypothesis?

  • Finalize the Phrasing

By now, students will have made a decision on which type of hypothesis suits their needs best, and it will now be time to finalize the wording of their hypotheses. There are various ways that students can choose to frame their hypothesis, but below, we will examine the three most common ways.

The If/Then Phrasing

This is the most common type of hypothesis and perhaps the easiest to write for students. It follows a simple ‘ If x, then y ’ formula that makes a prediction that forms the basis of a subsequent investigation.

If I eat more calories, then I will gain weight.

Correlation Phrasing

Another way to phrase a hypothesis is to focus on the correlation between the variables. This typically takes the form of a statement that defines that relationship positively or negatively.

The more calories that are eaten beyond the daily recommended requirements, the greater the weight gain will be.

Comparison Phrasing

This form of phrasing is applicable when comparing two groups and focuses on the differences that the investigation is expected to reveal between those two groups.

Those who eat more calories will gain more weight than those who eat fewer calories.

Questions to ask during this process include:

  • What tense is the hypothesis written in?
  • Does the hypothesis contain both independent and dependent variables?
  • Is the hypothesis framed using the if/then, correlation, or comparison framework (or other similar suitable structure)?
  • Is the hypothesis worded clearly and concisely?
  • Does the hypothesis make a prediction?
  • Is the prediction specific?
  • Is the hypothesis testable?
  • Gather Data to Support/Disprove Your Hypothesis

If the purpose of a hypothesis is to provide a reason to pursue an investigation, then the student will need to gather related information together to fuel that investigation.

While, by definition, a hypothesis leans towards a specific outcome, the student shouldn’t worry if their investigations or experiments ultimately disprove their hypothesis. The hypothesis is the starting point; the destination is not preordained. This is the very essence of the scientific method. Students should trust the results of their investigation to speak for themselves. Either way, the outcome is valuable information.

TOP 10 TIPS FOR WRITING A STRONG HYPOTHESIS

  • Begin by asking a clear and compelling question. Your hypothesis is a response to the inquiry you are eager to explore.
  • Keep it simple and straightforward. Avoid using complex phrases or making multiple predictions in one hypothesis.
  • Use the right format. A strong hypothesis is often written in the form of an “if-then” statement.
  • Ensure that your hypothesis is testable. Your hypothesis should be something that can be verified through experimentation or observation.
  • Stay objective. Your hypothesis should be based on facts and evidence, not personal opinions or prejudices.
  • Examine different possibilities. Don’t limit yourself to just one hypothesis. Consider alternative explanations for your observations.
  • Stay open to the possibility of being wrong. Your hypothesis is just a prediction, and it may not always be correct.
  • Search for evidence to support your hypothesis. Investigate existing literature and gather data that supports your hypothesis.
  • Make sure that your hypothesis is pertinent. Your hypothesis should be relevant to the question you are trying to investigate.
  • Revise your hypothesis as necessary. If new evidence arises that contradicts your hypothesis, you may need to adjust it accordingly.

HYPOTHESIS TEACHING STRATEGIES AND ACTIVITIES

When teaching young scientists and writers, it’s essential to remember that the process of formulating a hypothesis is not always straightforward. It’s easy to make mistakes along the way, but with a bit of guidance, you can ensure your students avoid some of the most common pitfalls like these.

  • Don’t let your students be too vague. Remind them that when formulating a hypothesis, it’s essential to be specific and avoid using overly general language. Make sure their hypothesis is clear and easy to understand.
  • Being swayed by personal biases will impact their hypothesis negatively. It’s important to stay objective when formulating a hypothesis, so avoid letting personal biases or opinions get in the way.
  • Not starting with a clear question is the number one stumbling block for students, so before forming a hypothesis, you need to reinforce the need for a clear understanding of the question they’re trying to answer. Start with a question that is specific and relevant.

Hypothesis Warmup Activity: First, organize students into small working groups of four or five. Then, set each group to collect a list of hypotheses. They can find these by searching on the Internet or finding examples in textbooks . When students have gathered together a suitable list of hypotheses, have them identify the independent and dependent variables in each case. They can underline each of these in different colors.

It may be helpful for students to examine each hypothesis to identify the ‘cause’ elements and the ‘effect’ elements. When students have finished, they can present their findings to the class.

Task 1: Set your students the task of coming up with an investigation-worthy question on a topic that interests them. This activity works particularly well for groups.

Task 2: Students search for existing information and theories on their topic on the Internet or in the library. They should take notes where necessary and begin to form an assumption or prediction based on their reading and research that they can investigate further.

Task 3: When working with a talking partner, can students identify which of their partner’s independent and dependent variables? If not, then one partner will need to revisit the definitions for the two types of variables as outlined earlier.

Task 4: Organize students into smaller groups and task them with presenting their hypotheses to each other. Students can then provide feedback before the final wording of each hypothesis is finalized.

Procedural Writing Unit

Perhaps due to their short length, learning how to create a well-written hypothesis is not typically afforded much time in the curriculum.

However, though they are brief in length, they are complex enough to warrant focused learning and practice in class, particularly given their importance across many curriculum areas.

Learning how to write a hypothesis works well as a standalone writing skill. It can also form part of a more comprehensive academic or scientific writing study that focuses on how to write a research question, develop a theory, etc.

As with any text type, practice improves performance. By following the processes outlined above, students will be well on their way to writing their own hypotheses competently in no time.

The content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh.  A former principal of an international school and English university lecturer with 15 years of teaching and administration experience. Shane’s latest Book, The Complete Guide to Nonfiction Writing , can be found here.  Editing and support for this article have been provided by the literacyideas team.

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

Null & Alternative Hypotheses | Definitions, Templates & Examples

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

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

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

Table of contents

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

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

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

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

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

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hypothesis essay about hypotheses

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

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

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

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

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

Examples of null hypotheses

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

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

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

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

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

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

Examples of alternative hypotheses

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

Null and alternative hypotheses are similar in some ways:

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

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

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

General template sentences

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

Does independent variable affect dependent variable ?

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

Test-specific template sentences

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

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

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

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

Methodology

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

Research bias

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

Hypothesis testing is a formal procedure for investigating our ideas about the world using statistics. It is used by scientists to test specific predictions, called hypotheses , by calculating how likely it is that a pattern or relationship between variables could have arisen by chance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hypothesis Maker Online

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

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

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

👍 What Does a Good Hypothesis Mean?

  • 🧭 Steps to Making a Good Hypothesis

🔗 References

📄 hypothesis maker: how to use it.

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

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

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

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

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

⚗️ What Is a Hypothesis in the Scientific Method?

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

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

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

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

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

Hypothesis vs. Theory

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

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

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

You should observe the stated assumption to prove its accuracy.

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

This general principle can apply to many specific cases.

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

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

🧭 6 Steps to Making a Good Hypothesis

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

Step #1: Ask Questions

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

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

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

Step #2: Do Initial Research

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

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

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

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

Step #3: Identify Your Variables

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

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

Step #4: Formulate Your Hypothesis

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

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

Step #5: Gather Relevant Data

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

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

Step #6: Record Your Findings

Finally, write down your conclusions in a research paper .

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

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

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

❓ Hypothesis Formulator FAQ

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

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

Null and Alternative Hypotheses | Definitions & Examples

Published on 5 October 2022 by Shaun Turney . Revised on 6 December 2022.

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

  • Null hypothesis (H 0 ): There’s no effect in the population .
  • Alternative hypothesis (H A ): There’s an effect in the population.

The effect is usually the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable .

Table of contents

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

The null and alternative hypotheses offer competing answers to your research question . When the research question asks “Does the independent variable affect the dependent variable?”, the null hypothesis (H 0 ) answers “No, there’s no effect in the population.” On the other hand, the alternative hypothesis (H A ) answers “Yes, there is an effect in the population.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Examples of null hypotheses

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

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

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

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

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

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

Examples of alternative hypotheses

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

Null and alternative hypotheses are similar in some ways:

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

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

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

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

Does independent variable affect dependent variable ?

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

Test-specific

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cite this Scribbr article

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

Turney, S. (2022, December 06). Null and Alternative Hypotheses | Definitions & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 22 February 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/stats/null-and-alternative-hypothesis/

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Essay Contest: Nappert Prize in International Arbitration 2024

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Thanks to the generosity of Sophie Nappert (BCL’86, LLB’86), the Nappert Prize in International Arbitration is celebrating 10 years since its inauguration in 2014. The prize will be awarded by McGill University for the sixth time in 2024.

Eligibility Requirements:

The competition is open to law students, junior scholars and junior practitioners from around the world. To be eligible for the prize, the authors must:

  • be either currently enrolled in a B.C.L, LL.B., J.D., LL.M., D.C.L., or Ph.D. program (or their local equivalents), or
  • have taken their most recent law degree within the last three years; or
  • have been admitted to the practice of law for no more than three years.

Co-authored submissions are permissible, but each author must meet the eligibility criteria. (Kindly note that only one author will be flown to Montreal for the symposium.)

Previous winners of the Nappert Prize (2020 and 2022) are not eligible to submit their essays for this edition.

  • First place: CAN $4,000
  • Second place: CAN $2,000
  • Third place: CAN $1,000

Winners of all three awards will be required to present their essays at a symposium to be held at McGill University’s Faculty of Law in Autumn 2024 (the expenses of the winners for attending the symposium will be covered).

The best oralist will receive an award of CAN $1,000.

The precise date of the symposium will be announced in the coming months.

Deadline and Submission Mode:

All essays must be submitted by 30 th April 2024 11:59PM Eastern Time. Essays can be submitted using this form .

Submission Requirements:

Essays for the prize can be submitted in English, French or Spanish.

Please make sure that your essay:

  • must relate to commercial or investment arbitration;
  • must be unpublished (not yet submitted for publication) as of April 30 th ;
  • must be a maximum of 15,000 words (including footnotes);
  • must be formatted to Times New Roman Size 12 with 1.5 line spacing.
  • should use OSCOLA or any other well-established legal citation guide (e.g. McGill Red Book; Bluebook);
  • should be in MS Word format;
  • should not contain your name or other information about your identity.

Submitted essays should not contain any text generated through advanced automated tools (artificial intelligence or machine learning tools such as ChatGPT), unless specifically required because of the subject matter of the essay and cited as mentioned below. Use of AI-generated text will be considered plagiarism, and any essay containing such text will be disqualified.

If the subject matter of the essay necessitates it, any AI-generated text in the submission should be properly cited. For example, text generated using ChatGPT-3 should include a citation such as:

Chat-GPT-3. (YYYY, Month DD of query). “Text of your query.” Generated using OpenAI. https://chat.openai.com/

Material generated using other tools should follow a similar citation format.

Jurors for the 2024 will be announced in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

For more information, kindly email Ms. Tanya Oberoi at nappertprize.law [at] mcgill.ca .

Faculty of Law

Department and university information.

IMAGES

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VIDEO

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  1. How to Write a Strong Hypothesis

    Step 1. Ask a question Writing a hypothesis begins with a research question that you want to answer.

  2. How to Write a Hypothesis: Types, Steps and Examples

    Essay Writing How to Write a Hypothesis Written by Daniel Pn. July 21, 2022 11 min read Share the article Table of Contents If I [do something], then [this] will happen. This basic statement/formula should be pretty familiar to all of you as it is the starting point of almost every scientific project or paper.

  3. How to Write a Hypothesis in 6 Steps, With Examples

    A hypothesis is a statement that explains the predictions and reasoning of your research—an "educated guess" about how your scientific experiments will end. As a fundamental part of the scientific method, a good hypothesis is carefully written, but even the simplest ones can be difficult to put into words.

  4. How to Write a Strong Hypothesis

    Step 1: Ask a question Writing a hypothesis begins with a research question that you want to answer. The question should be focused, specific, and researchable within the constraints of your project. Example: Research question Do students who attend more lectures get better exam results? Step 2: Do some preliminary research

  5. How to Write a Hypothesis w/ Strong Examples

    A hypothesis is a guess about what's going to happen. In research, the hypothesis is what you the researcher expects the outcome of an experiment, a study, a test, or a program to be. It is a belief based on the evidence you have before you, the reasoning of your mind, and what prior experience tells you.

  6. How to Write a Hypothesis for an Essay: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

    1 Choose a broad category. Hypotheses are mainly used in the sciences, but you still need to narrow down the field. If your class is in organic chemistry or botany, you still need to narrow down the field even further. Choose a particular aspect of the field, such as genetics in botany. 2 Do some preliminary research in the narrowed field.

  7. How to Write a Research Hypothesis: Good & Bad Examples

    Your hypothesis is the "seed" from which your entire study grows and develops in detail. It is perhaps the most important sentence of your research paper. What is a research hypothesis? A research hypothesis is an attempt at explaining a phenomenon or the relationships between phenomena/variables in the real world.

  8. How to Write a Great Hypothesis

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  9. Research Hypothesis: Definition, Types, Examples and Quick Tips

    Sep 26, 2022 Table of Contents Writing a hypothesis is one of the essential elements of a scientific research paper. It needs to be to the point, clearly communicating what your research is trying to accomplish. A blurry, drawn-out, or complexly-structured hypothesis can confuse your readers. Or worse, the editor and peer reviewers.

  10. What is a Research Hypothesis and How to Write a Hypothesis

    Hypothesis is an assumption or an idea proposed for the sake of argument so that it can be tested. It is a precise, testable statement of what the researchers predict will be outcome of the study.

  11. How to Write a Hypothesis 101: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Step 1: Identify Your Research Question. The first step in learning how to compose a hypothesis is to clearly define your research question. This question is the central focus of your study and will help you determine the direction of your hypothesis.

  12. Scientific Hypotheses: Writing, Promoting, and Predicting Implications

    Scientific hypotheses are essential for progress in rapidly developing academic disciplines. Proposing new ideas and hypotheses require thorough analyses of evidence-based data and predictions of the implications. One of the main concerns relates to the ethical implications of the generated hypotheses. The authors may need to outline potential ...

  13. How to Write a Hypothesis: The Ultimate Guide with Examples

    A hypothesis is an assumption you make based on existing data and knowledge, stating your predictions about what your research will find. It's a tentative answer to your research question; it needs to be testable so you could later support or refuse it through further experiments, observations, and any other scientific research methods.

  14. How to Write a Hypothesis for an Essay

    Hana LaRock - Updated June 20, 2018 Whether you're writing a scientific paper or an essay for your literature class, the premise of your essay may be to form a hypothesis to construct your piece around. A hypothesis is a statement that demonstrates a prediction that you think will happen based off of well-researched evidence or experimentation.

  15. Research Hypothesis In Psychology: Types, & Examples

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

  16. How to Write a Hypothesis for a Research Paper

    Developing a hypothesis is a crucial step in scientific research, as it sets the foundation for designing experiments and testing theories. Let's explore the step-by-step process of developing a hypothesis, using the example of studying the effects of exercise on sleep quality. Step 1. Ask a Question.

  17. Hypothesis Testing

    Step 1: State your null and alternate hypothesis Step 2: Collect data Step 3: Perform a statistical test Step 4: Decide whether to reject or fail to reject your null hypothesis Step 5: Present your findings Other interesting articles Frequently asked questions about hypothesis testing Step 1: State your null and alternate hypothesis

  18. How to Write a Hypothesis in 5 Easy Steps:

    A hypothesis should: Make a prediction. Provide reasons for that prediction. Specifies a relationship between two or more variables. Be testable. Be falsifiable. Be expressed simply and concisely. Serves as the starting point for an investigation, an experiment, or another form of testing.

  19. Null & Alternative Hypotheses

    The null and alternative hypotheses offer competing answers to your research question. When the research question asks "Does the independent variable affect the dependent variable?": The null hypothesis ( H0) answers "No, there's no effect in the population.". The alternative hypothesis ( Ha) answers "Yes, there is an effect in the ...

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    Countless hypotheses have been developed and tested throughout the history of science.Several examples include the idea that living organisms develop from nonliving matter, which formed the basis of spontaneous generation, a hypothesis that ultimately was disproved (first in 1668, with the experiments of Italian physician Francesco Redi, and later in 1859, with the experiments of French ...

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

  22. Null and Alternative Hypotheses

    The null and alternative hypotheses are two competing claims that researchers weigh evidence for and against using a statistical test: Null hypothesis (H0): There's no effect in the population. Alternative hypothesis (HA): There's an effect in the population. The effect is usually the effect of the independent variable on the dependent ...

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    Hypothesis Essay. Sort By: Page 1 of 50 - About 500 essays. Decent Essays. A Rostrata Hypothesis ... It is quite imperative to state both a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis when conducting a hypothesis test because the hypotheses are mutually exclusive and if one statement is true then the other is proven as false. ...

  24. Essay Contest: Nappert Prize in International Arbitration 2024

    Use of AI-generated text will be considered plagiarism, and any essay containing such text will be disqualified. If the subject matter of the essay necessitates it, any AI-generated text in the submission should be properly cited. For example, text generated using ChatGPT-3 should include a citation such as: Chat-GPT-3. (YYYY, Month DD of query).