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Original research: Creating a Hypothesis

Key Books

Creating a Hypothesis

After following the initial steps, the researcher should be able to create a hypothesis that can be tested. A hypothesis is a proposed statement that is intended to explain a theory for why something happens. To create a solid hypothesis, make sure it is not listed as a question, but as a prediction statement. To create a research hypothesis there has to be both a dependent and independent variable, and an expected outcome. Independent variables are what may be changed in the experiment to create an outcome. The dependent variable is what the experiment is intended to measure based on changes made to the independent variable. Defining the expected outcome creates the predictive component of the hypothesis that can be tested. Incorporating these elements into a simple predictive statement ensures that you can determine an outcome from the experiment. Ensure that any variables are taken into consideration, and that the results from the hypothesis are measurable.

Types of Hypotheses

There are many types of hypotheses, but the seven most common are the following:

  • Simple Hypothesis - Questions the relationship between the dependent and independent variables.
  • Complex Hypothesis - Questions the effect of multiple dependent and independent variables.
  • Empirical Hypothesis - Often called a working hypothesis, this question is applied to a specific field when looking for empirical evidence.
  • Null Hypothesis - This is used to contradict the expected effect of dependent and independent variables. 
  • Alternative Hypothesis - Several hypotheses are given, but as the experiment proceeds, the alternative hypothesis is introduced to reflect the conditions of the experiment. 
  • Logical Hypothesis - These hypotheses are able to be verified using logic.
  • Statistical Hypothesis​ - A hypothesis of this type is one that can be proven using statistical analysis.

For more information about how to create a hypothesis, have a look at the Fundamentals of Research Methodology by Engwa Godwill. 

Based on the hypothesis created, the researcher will need to determine the best research design for the experiment. 

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