Definition, Importance and Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis
What is a Hypothesis?
The simpler meaning of hypothesis is an educated guess that is developed for a study. If I am asked to define hypotheses in an easy manner then I find it as a tentative supposition that is used to explain facts. Most often, scientific methods like observation, investigation and experimentation are adopted to test such propositions. However, it is also a fact that hypothesis might be correct as well as wrong when proven through investigation and can be accepted, rejected or verified after its scrutiny.
Hypothesis generate in a way that scientists or researchers carry out experiments or studies regarding any problem or phenomenon after they identify an issue or feel that some facts need to be explored further. Then they declare what actually happens during their course of study- how something occurs and produces further implications. The purpose of such activity is to draw solutions to a problem. Various hypotheses can be generated in this way to a single problem in order to identify its effects and to draw out solutions further. For example, the chances of childhood obesity increases with the increase in junk food intake or another hypothesis to childhood obesity could be like this; the chances of childhood obesity increase with the increase in sugar intake or fried food intake. So, this is a simple example how an issue can further be explored with different hypotheses.
As far as scientific hypotheses are concerned, it is obvious that most of them are written as “if” and “then” showing a relation between cause and effect. In this regard, hypothesis statement examples involve,
- If a pregnant woman goes for iron intake daily then there will be a healthy baby and less possibility of a birth with anemia
- If a person decreases sugar intake in diet then he/ she will not develop tooth cavities
Importance of a Hypothesis in Research
In various qualitative as well as quantitative studies, hypothesis is developed to talk about the research problem or to address any phenomenon. It aims to encourage critical approach. It enables the researcher to develop a specific direction as well as better understanding about the subject matter of the study. It further assists in the careful and focused analysis of data collected. There are different types of hypotheses. The two that are more basic involve those used in scientific researches and the other one in sociological studies. In scientific researches, hypotheses are developed keeping in view the experimentation and observation drawn from the past. Such hypotheses are tested according to the current theories. Science fair projects involve these forms of hypotheses. For example, if water temperature rises then sugar/ salt will be dissolved at higher rate.
On the other hand, working hypotheses are based on the widely accepted suppositions in order to carry out further research. For example, if I start the consumption of more vegetables and fruits then I will prone to faster weight loss or if I start adding pesticides to the growth of my plants then these will grow safer.
Aims to Write a Good Hypothesis
In any form of experimentation or research, the fundamental aim to write a hypothesis is to explain the right track and emphasis of the study. It not only involves the purpose of the study but also highlights the variables to carry out undergo research.
What are Independent and Dependent Variables in a Hypothesis?
Writing a research hypotheses requires some tricky aspects that need to be tackled carefully. Remember, a good hypotheses always involves a dependent variable and an independent variable. It can also be said that one variable always affect the other variable. Let me define independent and dependent variables, first.
Independent variable is the one whose deviation does not depend on the other variable whereas; a dependent variable is one whose variations depend on the other variable. The value of a dependent variable changes with the change in independent variable. Here are some good examples to make the concept clear for the readers.
- If government and institutions involve public participation at large then the government and institutions would be more efficient, democratic and responsive as compared to the government owned institutions. In this example the independent variable is the public participation whereas the qualities owned by the government are dependent variable because these are the effect of public participation.
- Increase amount of water and sunlight will escalate rice production. In this hypothesis water and sunlight are independent variables whereas escalated rice production is dependent variable because increase in growth of rice depends on the amount of independent variables given.
- If a criminal under 18 learns a skill in juvenile jail then he will be less likely to go for another crime when released. In this hypothesis, learning a skill is an independent variable whereas its effect to have less probability of crime in later stages is dependent variable.
Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis
Formulating a hypothesis is a tricky deal. Remember there are various points that turn a proposition or supposition into a well written and researchable hypothesis. For example, a good hypothesis is always logical and affirmative. It is based on proper verification with clear, yet precise, statement offering balanced relationship between independent and dependent variables. It should be a guess for an observation, phenomenon or a problem that can be tested via research or experimentation following previous findings as well. The clarity of a good hypothesis could be judged according to previous studies, if required. Cause and effect factor is also considered while writing a good hypothesis. It simply means that the hypothesis needs to propose that something will happen if something else is done. Sample hypothesis in this regard,
- Children who are emotionally abused by their elders are more inclined to develop frustrated behaviors and feeling of rejection than children who are not
- Kindergarten children who are praised and rewarded while collaborating with the instructor tend to be more prone to learning than their non-rewarded peers
In a nutshell, it is observed that one variable is supposed to affect the other variable in a well written hypothesis.