Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, automatically generate references for free.

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

How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Guide & Examples

Published on 6 May 2022 by Shona McCombes .

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

Table of contents

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

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

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

Variables in hypotheses

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

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

Prevent plagiarism, run a free check.

Step 1: ask a question.

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

Step 2: Do some preliminary research

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

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

Step 3: Formulate your hypothesis

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

Step 4: Refine your hypothesis

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

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

Step 5: Phrase your hypothesis in three ways

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

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

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

Step 6. Write a null hypothesis

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

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

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

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

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

Cite this Scribbr article

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.

McCombes, S. (2022, May 06). How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 6 May 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/research-methods/hypothesis-writing/

Is this article helpful?

Shona McCombes

Shona McCombes

Other students also liked, operationalisation | a guide with examples, pros & cons, what is a conceptual framework | tips & examples, a quick guide to experimental design | 5 steps & examples.

Enago Academy

How to Develop a Good Research Hypothesis

' src=

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.

' src=

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

Thanks a lot for your valuable guidance.

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

Useful piece!

This is awesome.Wow.

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

Nicely explained

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

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

clear and concise. thanks.

So Good so Amazing

Good to learn

Thanks a lot for explaining to my level of understanding

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

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

Rate this article Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

Enago Academy's Most Popular Articles

Content Analysis vs Thematic Analysis: What's the difference?

  • Reporting Research

Choosing the Right Analytical Approach: Thematic analysis vs. content analysis for data interpretation

In research, choosing the right approach to understand data is crucial for deriving meaningful insights.…

Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Study Design

Comparing Cross Sectional and Longitudinal Studies: 5 steps for choosing the right approach

The process of choosing the right research design can put ourselves at the crossroads of…

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

  • Industry News

COPE Forum Discussion Highlights Challenges and Urges Clarity in Institutional Authorship Standards

The COPE forum discussion held in December 2023 initiated with a fundamental question — is…

Networking in Academic Conferences

  • Career Corner

Unlocking the Power of Networking in Academic Conferences

Embarking on your first academic conference experience? Fear not, we got you covered! Academic conferences…

Research recommendation

Research Recommendations – Guiding policy-makers for evidence-based decision making

Research recommendations play a crucial role in guiding scholars and researchers toward fruitful avenues of…

Choosing the Right Analytical Approach: Thematic analysis vs. content analysis for…

Comparing Cross Sectional and Longitudinal Studies: 5 steps for choosing the right…

How to Design Effective Research Questionnaires for Robust Findings

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

Sign-up to read more

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

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

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

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

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

As a researcher, what do you consider most when choosing an image manipulation detector?

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

blog image

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.

For further information, you can check out our reverent blog or contact our professionals to avail amazing writing services. Paper perk experts tailor assignments to reflect your unique voice and perspectives. Our professionals make sure to stick around till your satisfaction. So what are you waiting for? Pick your required service and order away!

Order Original Papers & Essays

Your First Custom Paper Sample is on Us!

timely deliveries

Timely Deliveries

premium quality

No Plagiarism & AI

unlimited revisions

100% Refund

Try Our Free Paper Writing Service

Related blogs.

blog-img

Connections with Writers and support

safe service

Privacy and Confidentiality Guarantee

quality-score

Average Quality Score

  • How it works

researchprospect post subheader

How to Write a Hypothesis – Steps & Tips

Published by Alaxendra Bets at August 14th, 2021 , Revised On October 26, 2023

What is a Research Hypothesis?

You can test a research statement with the help of experimental or theoretical research, known as a hypothesis.

If you want to find out the similarities, differences, and relationships between variables, you must write a testable hypothesis before compiling the data, performing analysis, and generating results to complete.

The data analysis and findings will help you test the hypothesis and see whether it is true or false. Here is all you need to know about how to write a hypothesis for a  dissertation .

Research Hypothesis Definition

Not sure what the meaning of the research hypothesis is?

A research hypothesis predicts an answer to the research question  based on existing theoretical knowledge or experimental data.

Some studies may have multiple hypothesis statements depending on the research question(s).  A research hypothesis must be based on formulas, facts, and theories. It should be testable by data analysis, observations, experiments, or other scientific methodologies that can refute or support the statement.

Variables in Hypothesis

Developing a hypothesis is easy. Most research studies have two or more variables in the hypothesis, particularly studies involving correlational and experimental research. The researcher can control or change the independent variable(s) while measuring and observing the independent variable(s).

“How long a student sleeps affects test scores.”

In the above statement, the dependent variable is the test score, while the independent variable is the length of time spent in sleep. Developing a hypothesis will be easy if you know your research’s dependent and independent variables.

Once you have developed a thesis statement, questions such as how to write a hypothesis for the dissertation and how to test a research hypothesis become pretty straightforward.

Looking for dissertation help?

Researchprospect to the rescue then.

We have expert writers on our team who are skilled at helping students with quantitative dissertations across a variety of STEM disciplines. Guaranteeing 100% satisfaction!

dissertation help

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write a Hypothesis

Here are the steps involved in how to write a hypothesis for a dissertation.

Step 1: Start with a Research Question

  • Begin by asking a specific question about a topic of interest.
  • This question should be clear, concise, and researchable.

Example: Does exposure to sunlight affect plant growth?

Step 2: Do Preliminary Research

  • Before formulating a hypothesis, conduct background research to understand existing knowledge on the topic.
  • Familiarise yourself with prior studies, theories, or observations related to the research question.

Step 3: Define Variables

  • Independent Variable (IV): The factor that you change or manipulate in an experiment.
  • Dependent Variable (DV): The factor that you measure.

Example: IV: Amount of sunlight exposure (e.g., 2 hours/day, 4 hours/day, 8 hours/day) DV: Plant growth (e.g., height in centimetres)

Step 4: Formulate the Hypothesis

  • A hypothesis is a statement that predicts the relationship between variables.
  • It is often written as an “if-then” statement.

Example: If plants receive more sunlight, then they will grow taller.

Step 5: Ensure it is Testable

A good hypothesis is empirically testable. This means you should be able to design an experiment or observation to test its validity.

Example: You can set up an experiment where plants are exposed to varying amounts of sunlight and then measure their growth over a period of time.

Step 6: Consider Potential Confounding Variables

  • Confounding variables are factors other than the independent variable that might affect the outcome.
  • It is important to identify these to ensure that they do not skew your results.

Example: Soil quality, water frequency, or type of plant can all affect growth. Consider keeping these constant in your experiment.

Step 7: Write the Null Hypothesis

  • The null hypothesis is a statement that there is no effect or no relationship between the variables.
  • It is what you aim to disprove or reject through your research.

Example: There is no difference in plant growth regardless of the amount of sunlight exposure.

Step 8: Test your Hypothesis

Design an experiment or conduct observations to test your hypothesis.

Example: Grow three sets of plants: one set exposed to 2 hours of sunlight daily, another exposed to 4 hours, and a third exposed to 8 hours. Measure and compare their growth after a set period.

Step 9: Analyse the Results

After testing, review your data to determine if it supports your hypothesis.

Step 10: Draw Conclusions

  • Based on your findings, determine whether you can accept or reject the hypothesis.
  • Remember, even if you reject your hypothesis, it’s a valuable result. It can guide future research and refine questions.

Three Ways to Phrase a Hypothesis

Try to use “if”… and “then”… to identify the variables. The independent variable should be present in the first part of the hypothesis, while the dependent variable will form the second part of the statement. Consider understanding the below research hypothesis example to create a specific, clear, and concise research hypothesis;

If an obese lady starts attending Zomba fitness classes, her health will improve.

In academic research, you can write the predicted variable relationship directly because most research studies correlate terms.

The number of Zomba fitness classes attended by the obese lady has a positive effect on health.

If your research compares two groups, then you can develop a hypothesis statement on their differences.

An obese lady who attended most Zumba fitness classes will have better health than those who attended a few.

How to Write a Null Hypothesis

If a statistical analysis is involved in your research, then you must create a null hypothesis. If you find any relationship between the variables, then the null hypothesis will be the default position that there is no relationship between them. H0 is the symbol for the null hypothesis, while the hypothesis is represented as H1. The null hypothesis will also answer your question, “How to test the research hypothesis in the dissertation.”

H0: The number of Zumba fitness classes attended by the obese lady does not affect her health.

H1: The number of Zumba fitness classes attended by obese lady positively affects health.

Also see:  Your Dissertation in Education

Hypothesis Examples

Research Question: Does the amount of sunlight a plant receives affect its growth? Hypothesis: Plants that receive more sunlight will grow taller than plants that receive less sunlight.

Research Question: Do students who eat breakfast perform better in school exams than those who don’t? Hypothesis: Students who eat a morning breakfast will score higher on school exams compared to students who skip breakfast.

Research Question: Does listening to music while studying impact a student’s ability to retain information? Hypothesis 1 (Directional): Students who listen to music while studying will retain less information than those who study in silence. Hypothesis 2 (Non-directional): There will be a difference in information retention between students who listen to music while studying and those who study in silence.

How can ResearchProspect Help?

If you are unsure about how to rest a research hypothesis in a dissertation or simply unsure about how to develop a hypothesis for your research, then you can take advantage of our dissertation services which cover every tiny aspect of a dissertation project you might need help with including but not limited to setting up a hypothesis and research questions,  help with individual chapters ,  full dissertation writing ,  statistical analysis , and much more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 5 rules for writing a good hypothesis.

  • Clear Statement: State a clear relationship between variables.
  • Testable: Ensure it can be investigated and measured.
  • Specific: Avoid vague terms, be precise in predictions.
  • Falsifiable: Design to allow potential disproof.
  • Relevant: Address research question and align with existing knowledge.

What is a hypothesis in simple words?

A hypothesis is an educated guess or prediction about something that can be tested. It is a statement that suggests a possible explanation for an event or phenomenon based on prior knowledge or observation. Scientists use hypotheses as a starting point for experiments to discover if they are true or false.

What is the hypothesis and examples?

A hypothesis is a testable prediction or explanation for an observation or phenomenon. For example, if plants are given sunlight, then they will grow. In this case, the hypothesis suggests that sunlight has a positive effect on plant growth. It can be tested by experimenting with plants in varying light conditions.

What is the hypothesis in research definition?

A hypothesis in research is a clear, testable statement predicting the possible outcome of a study based on prior knowledge and observation. It serves as the foundation for conducting experiments or investigations. Researchers test the validity of the hypothesis to draw conclusions and advance knowledge in a particular field.

Why is it called a hypothesis?

The term “hypothesis” originates from the Greek word “hypothesis,” which means “base” or “foundation.” It’s used to describe a foundational statement or proposition that can be tested. In scientific contexts, it denotes a tentative explanation for a phenomenon, serving as a starting point for investigation or experimentation.

You May Also Like

How to write a hypothesis for dissertation,? A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested with the help of experimental or theoretical research.

Not sure how to approach a company for your primary research study? Don’t worry. Here we have some tips for you to successfully gather primary study.

Make sure that your selected topic is intriguing, manageable, and relevant. Here are some guidelines to help understand how to find a good dissertation topic.

USEFUL LINKS

LEARNING RESOURCES

researchprospect-reviews-trust-site

COMPANY DETAILS

Research-Prospect-Writing-Service

  • How It Works

Elsevier QRcode Wechat

  • Manuscript Preparation

What is and How to Write a Good Hypothesis in Research?

  • 4 minute read
  • 310.5K views

Table of Contents

One of the most important aspects of conducting research is constructing a strong hypothesis. But what makes a hypothesis in research effective? In this article, we’ll look at the difference between a hypothesis and a research question, as well as the elements of a good hypothesis in research. We’ll also include some examples of effective hypotheses, and what pitfalls to avoid.

What is a Hypothesis in Research?

Simply put, a hypothesis is a research question that also includes the predicted or expected result of the research. Without a hypothesis, there can be no basis for a scientific or research experiment. As such, it is critical that you carefully construct your hypothesis by being deliberate and thorough, even before you set pen to paper. Unless your hypothesis is clearly and carefully constructed, any flaw can have an adverse, and even grave, effect on the quality of your experiment and its subsequent results.

Research Question vs Hypothesis

It’s easy to confuse research questions with hypotheses, and vice versa. While they’re both critical to the Scientific Method, they have very specific differences. Primarily, a research question, just like a hypothesis, is focused and concise. But a hypothesis includes a prediction based on the proposed research, and is designed to forecast the relationship of and between two (or more) variables. Research questions are open-ended, and invite debate and discussion, while hypotheses are closed, e.g. “The relationship between A and B will be C.”

A hypothesis is generally used if your research topic is fairly well established, and you are relatively certain about the relationship between the variables that will be presented in your research. Since a hypothesis is ideally suited for experimental studies, it will, by its very existence, affect the design of your experiment. The research question is typically used for new topics that have not yet been researched extensively. Here, the relationship between different variables is less known. There is no prediction made, but there may be variables explored. The research question can be casual in nature, simply trying to understand if a relationship even exists, descriptive or comparative.

How to Write Hypothesis in Research

Writing an effective hypothesis starts before you even begin to type. Like any task, preparation is key, so you start first by conducting research yourself, and reading all you can about the topic that you plan to research. From there, you’ll gain the knowledge you need to understand where your focus within the topic will lie.

Remember that a hypothesis is a prediction of the relationship that exists between two or more variables. Your job is to write a hypothesis, and design the research, to “prove” whether or not your prediction is correct. A common pitfall is to use judgments that are subjective and inappropriate for the construction of a hypothesis. It’s important to keep the focus and language of your hypothesis objective.

An effective hypothesis in research is clearly and concisely written, and any terms or definitions clarified and defined. Specific language must also be used to avoid any generalities or assumptions.

Use the following points as a checklist to evaluate the effectiveness of your research hypothesis:

  • Predicts the relationship and outcome
  • Simple and concise – avoid wordiness
  • Clear with no ambiguity or assumptions about the readers’ knowledge
  • Observable and testable results
  • Relevant and specific to the research question or problem

Research Hypothesis Example

Perhaps the best way to evaluate whether or not your hypothesis is effective is to compare it to those of your colleagues in the field. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to writing a powerful research hypothesis. As you’re reading and preparing your hypothesis, you’ll also read other hypotheses. These can help guide you on what works, and what doesn’t, when it comes to writing a strong research hypothesis.

Here are a few generic examples to get you started.

Eating an apple each day, after the age of 60, will result in a reduction of frequency of physician visits.

Budget airlines are more likely to receive more customer complaints. A budget airline is defined as an airline that offers lower fares and fewer amenities than a traditional full-service airline. (Note that the term “budget airline” is included in the hypothesis.

Workplaces that offer flexible working hours report higher levels of employee job satisfaction than workplaces with fixed hours.

Each of the above examples are specific, observable and measurable, and the statement of prediction can be verified or shown to be false by utilizing standard experimental practices. It should be noted, however, that often your hypothesis will change as your research progresses.

Language Editing Plus

Elsevier’s Language Editing Plus service can help ensure that your research hypothesis is well-designed, and articulates your research and conclusions. Our most comprehensive editing package, you can count on a thorough language review by native-English speakers who are PhDs or PhD candidates. We’ll check for effective logic and flow of your manuscript, as well as document formatting for your chosen journal, reference checks, and much more.

Systematic Literature Review or Literature Review

  • Research Process

Systematic Literature Review or Literature Review?

What is a Problem Statement

What is a Problem Statement? [with examples]

You may also like.

impactful introduction section

Make Hook, Line, and Sinker: The Art of Crafting Engaging Introductions

Limitations of a Research

Can Describing Study Limitations Improve the Quality of Your Paper?

Guide to Crafting Impactful Sentences

A Guide to Crafting Shorter, Impactful Sentences in Academic Writing

Write an Excellent Discussion in Your Manuscript

6 Steps to Write an Excellent Discussion in Your Manuscript

How to Write Clear Civil Engineering Papers

How to Write Clear and Crisp Civil Engineering Papers? Here are 5 Key Tips to Consider

Writing an Impactful Paper

The Clear Path to An Impactful Paper: ②

Essentials of Writing to Communicate Research in Medicine

The Essentials of Writing to Communicate Research in Medicine

There are some recognizable elements and patterns often used for framing engaging sentences in English. Find here the sentence patterns in Academic Writing

Changing Lines: Sentence Patterns in Academic Writing

Input your search keywords and press Enter.

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

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

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

Introduction

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

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

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

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

What is the simple definition of a hypothesis?

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

What is the hypothesis for in research?

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

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

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

What is an example of a hypothesis?

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

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

What makes a good hypothesis?

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

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

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

Null hypothesis

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

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

Alternative hypothesis

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

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

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

Simple hypothesis

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

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

Complex hypothesis

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

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

Directional hypothesis

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

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

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

Statistical hypothesis

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

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

Empirical hypothesis

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

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

Causal hypothesis

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

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

Associative hypothesis

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

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

Relational hypothesis

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

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

Logical hypothesis

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

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

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

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

Get started with a free trial and see how ATLAS.ti can make the most of your data.

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

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

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

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

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

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

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

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

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

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

Literature review

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

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

Research methods

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

Preliminary research

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

Data analysis

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

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

Turn data into evidence for insights with ATLAS.ti

Powerful analysis for your research paper or presentation is at your fingertips starting with a free trial.

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

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, PhD., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years of experience 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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

  • Privacy Policy

Research Method

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

What is a Hypothesis – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

Table of Contents

What is a Hypothesis

Definition:

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

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

Types of Hypothesis

Types of Hypothesis are as follows:

Research Hypothesis

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

Null Hypothesis

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

Alternative Hypothesis

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

Directional Hypothesis

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

Non-directional Hypothesis

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

Statistical Hypothesis

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

Composite Hypothesis

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

Empirical Hypothesis

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

Simple Hypothesis

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

Complex Hypothesis

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

Applications of Hypothesis

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

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

How to write a Hypothesis

Here are the steps to follow when writing a hypothesis:

Identify the Research Question

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

Conduct a Literature Review

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

Determine the Variables

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

Formulate the Hypothesis

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

Write the Null Hypothesis

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

Refine the Hypothesis

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

Examples of Hypothesis

Here are a few examples of hypotheses in different fields:

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

Purpose of Hypothesis

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

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

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

When to use Hypothesis

Here are some common situations in which hypotheses are used:

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

Characteristics of Hypothesis

Here are some common characteristics of a hypothesis:

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

Advantages of Hypothesis

Hypotheses have several advantages in scientific research and experimentation:

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

Limitations of Hypothesis

Some Limitations of the Hypothesis are as follows:

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

About the author

' src=

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

You may also like

Data collection

Data Collection – Methods Types and Examples

Delimitations

Delimitations in Research – Types, Examples and...

Research Process

Research Process – Steps, Examples and Tips

Research Design

Research Design – Types, Methods and Examples

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Institutional Review Board – Application Sample...

Evaluating Research

Evaluating Research – Process, Examples and...

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Therapy Center
  • When To See a Therapist
  • Types of Therapy
  • Best Online Therapy
  • Best Couples Therapy
  • Best Family Therapy
  • Managing Stress
  • Sleep and Dreaming
  • Understanding Emotions
  • Self-Improvement
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Student Resources
  • Personality Types
  • Guided Meditations
  • Verywell Mind Insights
  • 2024 Verywell Mind 25
  • Mental Health in the Classroom
  • Editorial Process
  • Meet Our Review Board
  • Crisis Support

How to Write a Great Hypothesis

Hypothesis Definition, Format, Examples, and Tips

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

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

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.

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

Verywell / Alex Dos Diaz

  • The Scientific Method

Hypothesis Format

Falsifiability of a hypothesis.

  • Operationalization

Hypothesis Types

Hypotheses examples.

  • Collecting Data

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

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

At a Glance

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

The Hypothesis in the Scientific Method

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elements of a Good Hypothesis

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

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

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

How to Formulate a Good Hypothesis

To form a hypothesis, you should take these steps:

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

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

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

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

The Importance of Operational Definitions

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

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

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

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

Replicability

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

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

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

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

Hypothesis Checklist

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

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

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

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

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

A few examples of simple hypotheses:

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

Examples of a complex hypothesis include:

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

Examples of a null hypothesis include:

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

Examples of an alternative hypothesis:

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

Collecting Data on Your Hypothesis

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

Descriptive Research Methods

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

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

Experimental Research Methods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get science-backed answers as you write with Paperpal's Research feature

How to Write a Hypothesis? Types and Examples 

how to write a hypothesis for research

All research studies involve the use of the scientific method, which is a mathematical and experimental technique used to conduct experiments by developing and testing a hypothesis or a prediction about an outcome. Simply put, a hypothesis is a suggested solution to a problem. It includes elements that are expressed in terms of relationships with each other to explain a condition or an assumption that hasn’t been verified using facts. 1 The typical steps in a scientific method include developing such a hypothesis, testing it through various methods, and then modifying it based on the outcomes of the experiments.  

A research hypothesis can be defined as a specific, testable prediction about the anticipated results of a study. 2 Hypotheses help guide the research process and supplement the aim of the study. After several rounds of testing, hypotheses can help develop scientific theories. 3 Hypotheses are often written as if-then statements. 

Here are two hypothesis examples: 

Dandelions growing in nitrogen-rich soils for two weeks develop larger leaves than those in nitrogen-poor soils because nitrogen stimulates vegetative growth. 4  

If a company offers flexible work hours, then their employees will be happier at work. 5  

Table of Contents

  • What is a hypothesis? 
  • Types of hypotheses 
  • Characteristics of a hypothesis 
  • Functions of a hypothesis 
  • How to write a hypothesis 
  • Hypothesis examples 
  • Frequently asked questions 

What is a hypothesis?

Figure 1. Steps in research design

A hypothesis expresses an expected relationship between variables in a study and is developed before conducting any research. Hypotheses are not opinions but rather are expected relationships based on facts and observations. They help support scientific research and expand existing knowledge. An incorrectly formulated hypothesis can affect the entire experiment leading to errors in the results so it’s important to know how to formulate a hypothesis and develop it carefully.

A few sources of a hypothesis include observations from prior studies, current research and experiences, competitors, scientific theories, and general conditions that can influence people. Figure 1 depicts the different steps in a research design and shows where exactly in the process a hypothesis is developed. 4  

There are seven different types of hypotheses—simple, complex, directional, nondirectional, associative and causal, null, and alternative. 

Types of hypotheses

The seven types of hypotheses are listed below: 5 , 6,7  

  • Simple : Predicts the relationship between a single dependent variable and a single independent variable. 

Example: Exercising in the morning every day will increase your productivity.  

  • Complex : Predicts the relationship between two or more variables. 

Example: Spending three hours or more on social media daily will negatively affect children’s mental health and productivity, more than that of adults.  

  • Directional : Specifies the expected direction to be followed and uses terms like increase, decrease, positive, negative, more, or less. 

Example: The inclusion of intervention X decreases infant mortality compared to the original treatment.  

  • Non-directional : Does not predict the exact direction, nature, or magnitude of the relationship between two variables but rather states the existence of a relationship. This hypothesis may be used when there is no underlying theory or if findings contradict prior research. 

Example: Cats and dogs differ in the amount of affection they express.  

  • Associative and causal : An associative hypothesis suggests an interdependency between variables, that is, how a change in one variable changes the other.  

Example: There is a positive association between physical activity levels and overall health.  

A causal hypothesis, on the other hand, expresses a cause-and-effect association between variables. 

Example: Long-term alcohol use causes liver damage.  

  • Null : Claims that the original hypothesis is false by showing that there is no relationship between the variables. 

Example: Sleep duration does not have any effect on productivity.  

  • Alternative : States the opposite of the null hypothesis, that is, a relationship exists between two variables. 

Example: Sleep duration affects productivity.  

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

Characteristics of a hypothesis

So, what makes a good hypothesis? Here are some important characteristics of a hypothesis. 8,9  

  • Testable : You must be able to test the hypothesis using scientific methods to either accept or reject the prediction. 
  • Falsifiable : It should be possible to collect data that reject rather than support the hypothesis. 
  • Logical : Hypotheses shouldn’t be a random guess but rather should be based on previous theories, observations, prior research, and logical reasoning. 
  • Positive : The hypothesis statement about the existence of an association should be positive, that is, it should not suggest that an association does not exist. Therefore, the language used and knowing how to phrase a hypothesis is very important. 
  • Clear and accurate : The language used should be easily comprehensible and use correct terminology. 
  • Relevant : The hypothesis should be relevant and specific to the research question. 
  • Structure : Should include all the elements that make a good hypothesis: variables, relationship, and outcome. 

Functions of a hypothesis

The following list mentions some important functions of a hypothesis: 1  

  • Maintains the direction and progress of the research. 
  • Expresses the important assumptions underlying the proposition in a single statement. 
  • Establishes a suitable context for researchers to begin their investigation and for readers who are referring to the final report. 
  • Provides an explanation for the occurrence of a specific phenomenon. 
  • Ensures selection of appropriate and accurate facts necessary and relevant to the research subject. 

To summarize, a hypothesis provides the conceptual elements that complete the known data, conceptual relationships that systematize unordered elements, and conceptual meanings and interpretations that explain the unknown phenomena. 1  

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

How to write a hypothesis

Listed below are the main steps explaining how to write a hypothesis. 2,4,5  

  • Make an observation and identify variables : Observe the subject in question and try to recognize a pattern or a relationship between the variables involved. This step provides essential background information to begin your research.  

For example, if you notice that an office’s vending machine frequently runs out of a specific snack, you may predict that more people in the office choose that snack over another. 

  • Identify the main research question : After identifying a subject and recognizing a pattern, the next step is to ask a question that your hypothesis will answer.  

For example, after observing employees’ break times at work, you could ask “why do more employees take breaks in the morning rather than in the afternoon?” 

  • Conduct some preliminary research to ensure originality and novelty : Your initial answer, which is your hypothesis, to the question is based on some pre-existing information about the subject. However, to ensure that your hypothesis has not been asked before or that it has been asked but rejected by other researchers you would need to gather additional information.  

For example, based on your observations you might state a hypothesis that employees work more efficiently when the air conditioning in the office is set at a lower temperature. However, during your preliminary research you find that this hypothesis was proven incorrect by a prior study. 

  • Develop a general statement : After your preliminary research has confirmed the originality of your proposed answer, draft a general statement that includes all variables, subjects, and predicted outcome. The statement could be if/then or declarative.  
  • Finalize the hypothesis statement : Use the PICOT model, which clarifies how to word a hypothesis effectively, when finalizing the statement. This model lists the important components required to write a hypothesis. 

P opulation: The specific group or individual who is the main subject of the research 

I nterest: The main concern of the study/research question 

C omparison: The main alternative group 

O utcome: The expected results  

T ime: Duration of the experiment 

Once you’ve finalized your hypothesis statement you would need to conduct experiments to test whether the hypothesis is true or false. 

Hypothesis examples

The following table provides examples of different types of hypotheses. 10 ,11  

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

Key takeaways  

Here’s a summary of all the key points discussed in this article about how to write a hypothesis. 

  • A hypothesis is an assumption about an association between variables made based on limited evidence, which should be tested. 
  • A hypothesis has four parts—the research question, independent variable, dependent variable, and the proposed relationship between the variables.   
  • The statement should be clear, concise, testable, logical, and falsifiable. 
  • There are seven types of hypotheses—simple, complex, directional, non-directional, associative and causal, null, and alternative. 
  • A hypothesis provides a focus and direction for the research to progress. 
  • A hypothesis plays an important role in the scientific method by helping to create an appropriate experimental design. 

Frequently asked questions

Hypotheses and research questions have different objectives and structure. The following table lists some major differences between the two. 9  

Here are a few examples to differentiate between a research question and hypothesis. 

Yes, here’s a simple checklist to help you gauge the effectiveness of your hypothesis. 9   1. When writing a hypothesis statement, check if it:  2. Predicts the relationship between the stated variables and the expected outcome.  3. Uses simple and concise language and is not wordy.  4. Does not assume readers’ knowledge about the subject.  5. Has observable, falsifiable, and testable results. 

As mentioned earlier in this article, a hypothesis is an assumption or prediction about an association between variables based on observations and simple evidence. These statements are usually generic. Research objectives, on the other hand, are more specific and dictated by hypotheses. The same hypothesis can be tested using different methods and the research objectives could be different in each case.     For example, Louis Pasteur observed that food lasts longer at higher altitudes, reasoned that it could be because the air at higher altitudes is cleaner (with fewer or no germs), and tested the hypothesis by exposing food to air cleaned in the laboratory. 12 Thus, a hypothesis is predictive—if the reasoning is correct, X will lead to Y—and research objectives are developed to test these predictions. 

Null hypothesis testing is a method to decide between two assumptions or predictions between variables (null and alternative hypotheses) in a statistical relationship in a sample. The null hypothesis, denoted as H 0 , claims that no relationship exists between variables in a population and any relationship in the sample reflects a sampling error or occurrence by chance. The alternative hypothesis, denoted as H 1 , claims that there is a relationship in the population. In every study, researchers need to decide whether the relationship in a sample occurred by chance or reflects a relationship in the population. This is done by hypothesis testing using the following steps: 13   1. Assume that the null hypothesis is true.  2. Determine how likely the sample relationship would be if the null hypothesis were true. This probability is called the p value.  3. If the sample relationship would be extremely unlikely, reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis. If the relationship would not be unlikely, accept the null hypothesis. 

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

To summarize, researchers should know how to write a good hypothesis to ensure that their research progresses in the required direction. A hypothesis is a testable prediction about any behavior or relationship between variables, usually based on facts and observation, and states an expected outcome.  

We hope this article has provided you with essential insight into the different types of hypotheses and their functions so that you can use them appropriately in your next research project. 

References  

  • Dalen, DVV. The function of hypotheses in research. Proquest website. Accessed April 8, 2024. https://www.proquest.com/docview/1437933010?pq-origsite=gscholar&fromopenview=true&sourcetype=Scholarly%20Journals&imgSeq=1  
  • McLeod S. Research hypothesis in psychology: Types & examples. SimplyPsychology website. Updated December 13, 2023. Accessed April 9, 2024. https://www.simplypsychology.org/what-is-a-hypotheses.html  
  • Scientific method. Britannica website. Updated March 14, 2024. Accessed April 9, 2024. https://www.britannica.com/science/scientific-method  
  • The hypothesis in science writing. Accessed April 10, 2024. https://berks.psu.edu/sites/berks/files/campus/HypothesisHandout_Final.pdf  
  • How to develop a hypothesis (with elements, types, and examples). Indeed.com website. Updated February 3, 2023. Accessed April 10, 2024. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-write-a-hypothesis  
  • Types of research hypotheses. Excelsior online writing lab. Accessed April 11, 2024. https://owl.excelsior.edu/research/research-hypotheses/types-of-research-hypotheses/  
  • What is a research hypothesis: how to write it, types, and examples. Researcher.life website. Published February 8, 2023. Accessed April 11, 2024. https://researcher.life/blog/article/how-to-write-a-research-hypothesis-definition-types-examples/  
  • Developing a hypothesis. Pressbooks website. Accessed April 12, 2024. https://opentext.wsu.edu/carriecuttler/chapter/developing-a-hypothesis/  
  • What is and how to write a good hypothesis in research. Elsevier author services website. Accessed April 12, 2024. https://scientific-publishing.webshop.elsevier.com/manuscript-preparation/what-how-write-good-hypothesis-research/  
  • How to write a great hypothesis. Verywellmind website. Updated March 12, 2023. Accessed April 13, 2024. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-hypothesis-2795239  
  • 15 Hypothesis examples. Helpfulprofessor.com Published September 8, 2023. Accessed March 14, 2024. https://helpfulprofessor.com/hypothesis-examples/ 
  • Editage insights. What is the interconnectivity between research objectives and hypothesis? Published February 24, 2021. Accessed April 13, 2024. https://www.editage.com/insights/what-is-the-interconnectivity-between-research-objectives-and-hypothesis  
  • Understanding null hypothesis testing. BCCampus open publishing. Accessed April 16, 2024. https://opentextbc.ca/researchmethods/chapter/understanding-null-hypothesis-testing/#:~:text=In%20null%20hypothesis%20testing%2C%20this,said%20to%20be%20statistically%20significant  

Paperpal is a comprehensive AI writing toolkit that helps students and researchers achieve 2x the writing in half the time. It leverages 21+ years of STM experience and insights from millions of research articles to provide in-depth academic writing, language editing, and submission readiness support to help you write better, faster.  

Get accurate academic translations, rewriting support, grammar checks, vocabulary suggestions, and generative AI assistance that delivers human precision at machine speed. Try for free or upgrade to Paperpal Prime starting at US$19 a month to access premium features, including consistency, plagiarism, and 30+ submission readiness checks to help you succeed.  

Experience the future of academic writing – Sign up to Paperpal and start writing for free!  

Related Reads:

  • Empirical Research: A Comprehensive Guide for Academics 
  • How to Write a Scientific Paper in 10 Steps 
  • What is a Literature Review? How to Write It (with Examples)
  • What are Journal Guidelines on Using Generative AI Tools

Measuring Academic Success: Definition & Strategies for Excellence

What are scholarly sources and where can you find them , you may also like, how paperpal’s research feature helps you develop and..., how paperpal is enhancing academic productivity and accelerating..., how to write a successful book chapter for..., academic editing: how to self-edit academic text with..., 4 ways paperpal encourages responsible writing with ai, what are scholarly sources and where can you..., what is academic writing: tips for students, why traditional editorial process needs an upgrade, paperpal’s new ai research finder empowers authors to....

how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

1.1. From an idea to a hypothesis

You must next turn your initial thoughts into a specific question your story can answer. This helps you:

  • ! Decide what constitutes proof, and what evidence is relevant
  • ! Make work manageable by defining boundaries and goals
  • ! Communicate and ‘sell’ the idea to others
  • !  Budget time and resources more accurately
  • ! Lay the foundation for a solid story

Each story idea can generate multiple hypotheses or directions for the final story. For example, there can be two hypotheses for the water-borne disease story:

(A) Privatisation has made buying water too expensive for the poor, so they draw water from unhealthy but free sources, leading to an epidemic.

(B) Private water companies are cutting corners, and standards of water safety are falling, leading to an epidemic.

But you need to evaluate these hypotheses critically: What assumptions do they rest on, and how certain are you of their validity? Both these hypotheses rest on untested assumptions about the source of the epidemic: (A) assumes that ‘unofficial’ water supplies are at fault; (B) assumes that the water company is careless about standards. You may actually need to look at both possibilities because these hypotheses rest on a deeper question: Where did the epidemic start?

A far better hypothesis would therefore be:

(C) The recent epidemic of water-borne disease in X municipality either originated from the privatised water supply or from unofficial water sources.

This refined hypothesis allows you to go back to your story outline, and tailor an investigation  that is clearer and balanced:

(D) There has just been a major epidemic of water-borne diarrhoea in X municipality, where water is privatised. This story will try to find out how that epidemic started. Was it because people cannot afford to buy private water and are using polluted streams and wells instead? Or was it because the private water company has dropped standards of purity at its plant to cut costs? We will talk to scientists about the causes of the epidemic. We will follow members of a poor community on their daily search for water and visit the plant with an independent expert to look at their safety standards. When we have established how the disease got started, we will look at what needs to be done to prevent a recurrence.

Once you have a clearly defined hypothesis, you need to create a research plan, including

  • > finding sources
  • > developing criteria of proof
  • > deciding on methodology
  • > creating a timeline and
  • > developing a budget.

The following sections of this chapter will provide an overview of how these steps are planned. The upcoming chapters of this guide will then provide a detailed look at how each of these steps is executed.

At the end you should be able to sum up your story with a concise and punchy working headline. This may not be the headline the story ends up with, but it is a good way to help you hold on to the focus of the story. It will also help you pitching the story and may even help to think creatively about how the story can be presented by a news organisation. Of course, you should modify it as you find out more.

Your privacy settings

Manage consent preferences, embedded videos.

If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

To log in and use all the features of Khan Academy, please enable JavaScript in your browser.

Biology library

Course: biology library   >   unit 1, the scientific method.

  • Controlled experiments
  • The scientific method and experimental design

Introduction

  • Make an observation.
  • Ask a question.
  • Form a hypothesis , or testable explanation.
  • Make a prediction based on the hypothesis.
  • Test the prediction.
  • Iterate: use the results to make new hypotheses or predictions.

Scientific method example: Failure to toast

1. make an observation..

  • Observation: the toaster won't toast.

2. Ask a question.

  • Question: Why won't my toaster toast?

3. Propose a hypothesis.

  • Hypothesis: Maybe the outlet is broken.

4. Make predictions.

  • Prediction: If I plug the toaster into a different outlet, then it will toast the bread.

5. Test the predictions.

  • Test of prediction: Plug the toaster into a different outlet and try again.
  • If the toaster does toast, then the hypothesis is supported—likely correct.
  • If the toaster doesn't toast, then the hypothesis is not supported—likely wrong.

Logical possibility

Practical possibility, building a body of evidence, 6. iterate..

  • Iteration time!
  • If the hypothesis was supported, we might do additional tests to confirm it, or revise it to be more specific. For instance, we might investigate why the outlet is broken.
  • If the hypothesis was not supported, we would come up with a new hypothesis. For instance, the next hypothesis might be that there's a broken wire in the toaster.

Want to join the conversation?

  • Upvote Button navigates to signup page
  • Downvote Button navigates to signup page
  • Flag Button navigates to signup page

Incredible Answer

Literacy Ideas

HOW TO WRITE A HYPOTHESIS

' data-src=

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.

IMAGES

  1. How to Write a Hypothesis

    how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

  2. 🏷️ Formulation of hypothesis in research. How to Write a Strong

    how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

  3. 13 Different Types of Hypothesis (2024)

    how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

  4. How to Write a Strong Hypothesis in 6 Simple Steps

    how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

  5. TEP025 Writing the aims and hypotheses of your laboratory report

    how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

  6. How To Write A Hypothesis For A Research Proposal: Ultimate Guide

    how do you write a hypothesis for an investigation

VIDEO

  1. What Is A Hypothesis?

  2. Writing a hypothesis

  3. NEA Investigation: writing intro, hypothesis and methodology

  4. HOW TO WRITE THE METHODOLOGY

  5. Hypothesis #research #scientific #falsifiable

  6. Hypothesis Writing in AP Biology

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Strong Hypothesis

    4. Refine your hypothesis. You need to make sure your hypothesis is specific and testable. There are various ways of phrasing a hypothesis, but all the terms you use should have clear definitions, and the hypothesis should contain: The relevant variables; The specific group being studied; The predicted outcome of the experiment or analysis; 5.

  2. How to Write a Strong Hypothesis

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

  3. The Craft of Writing a Strong Hypothesis

    Finally, 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 ...

  4. How to Write a Hypothesis w/ Strong Examples

    How to Write a Good Hypothesis. Writing a good hypothesis is definitely a good skill to have in scientific research. But it is also one that you can definitely learn with some practice if you don't already have it. Just keep in mind that the hypothesis is what sets the stage for the entire investigation. It guides the methods and analysis.

  5. What is a Research Hypothesis: How to Write it, Types, and Examples

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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  8. How to Write a Hypothesis

    Step 8: Test your Hypothesis. Design an experiment or conduct observations to test your hypothesis. Example: Grow three sets of plants: one set exposed to 2 hours of sunlight daily, another exposed to 4 hours, and a third exposed to 8 hours. Measure and compare their growth after a set period.

  9. What is and How to Write a Good Hypothesis in Research?

    An effective hypothesis in research is clearly and concisely written, and any terms or definitions clarified and defined. Specific language must also be used to avoid any generalities or assumptions. Use the following points as a checklist to evaluate the effectiveness of your research hypothesis: Predicts the relationship and outcome.

  10. How to Write a Hypothesis

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

  11. 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.

  12. What is a Hypothesis

    Definition: Hypothesis is an educated guess or proposed explanation for a phenomenon, based on some initial observations or data. It is a tentative statement that can be tested and potentially proven or disproven through further investigation and experimentation. Hypothesis is often used in scientific research to guide the design of experiments ...

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

    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.

  14. Hypothesis: Definition, Examples, and Types

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

  15. How to Write a Hypothesis? Types and Examples

    How to write a hypothesis. Listed below are the main steps explaining how to write a hypothesis. 2,4,5 . Make an observation and identify variables: Observe the subject in question and try to recognize a pattern or a relationship between the variables involved. This step provides essential background information to begin your research.

  16. PDF Step 6 Writing Your Hypotheses

    In writing a hypothesis(es), it is important to remember the purpose and role of the hypothesis in research. A well stated hypothesis demonstrates to others that you as the research have a good understanding of the literature. A hypothesis provides a framework and direction for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting and reporting data.

  17. 1.1. From an idea to a hypothesis

    From an idea to a hypothesis. 1.1. From an idea to a hypothesis. You must next turn your initial thoughts into a specific question your story can answer. This helps you: Decide what constitutes proof, and what evidence is relevant. Make work manageable by defining boundaries and goals. Communicate and 'sell' the idea to others.

  18. The scientific method (article)

    At the core of biology and other sciences lies a problem-solving approach called the scientific method. The scientific method has five basic steps, plus one feedback step: Make an observation. Ask a question. Form a hypothesis, or testable explanation. Make a prediction based on the hypothesis. Test the prediction.

  19. 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.

  20. Aim and Hypothesis

    Task: Write a hypothesis for each of the following investigation on the answer sheet. Investigation 1 "Sarah took ten identical iron nails and place them in a container. She painted half of the nails and left the rest unpainted. She then put the container of nails outside for a month. She recorded that the unpainted nails started to rust within ...

  21. Writing a hypothesis and prediction

    Hypothesis 1. Prediction 1. Sunlight is necessary for seeds to grow. Seeds grown in bags wrapped in aluminium foil will make shorter plants than seeds grown in bags not wrapped in foil as they can ...

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

    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.