The hypothesis is one of the most important steps of psychological research. Hypothesis refers to an assumption or the temporary statement made by the researcher before the execution of the experiment, regarding the possible outcome of that experiment. A hypothesis can be tested through various scientific and statistical tools. It is a logical guess based on previous knowledge and investigations related to the problem under investigation. In this article, we’ll learn about the significance of the hypothesis, the sources of the hypothesis, and the various examples of the hypothesis.
Sources of Hypothesis
The formulation of a good hypothesis is not an easy task. One needs to take care of the various crucial steps to get an accurate hypothesis. The hypothesis formulation demands both the creativity of the researcher and his/her years of experience. The researcher needs to use critical thinking to avoid committing any errors such as choosing the wrong hypothesis. Although the hypothesis is considered the first step before further investigations such as data collection for the experiment, the hypothesis formulation also requires some amount of data collection. The data collection for the hypothesis formulation refers to the review of literature related to the concerned topic, and understanding of the previous research on the related topic. Following are some of the main sources of the hypothesis that may help the researcher to formulate a good hypothesis.
- Reviewing the similar studies and literature related to a similar problem.
- Examining the available data concerned with the problem.
- Discussing the problem with the colleagues, or the professional researchers about the problem under investigation.
- Thorough research and investigation by conducting field interviews or surveys on the people that are directly concerned with the problem under investigation.
- Sometimes ‘institution’ of the well known and experienced researcher is also considered as a good source of the hypothesis formulation.
Real Life Hypothesis Examples
1. Null Hypothesis and Alternative Hypothesis Examples
Every research problem-solving procedure begins with the formulation of the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. The alternative hypothesis assumes the existence of the relationship between the variables under study, while the null hypothesis denies the relationship between the variables under study. Following are examples of the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis based on the research problem.
Research Problem: What is the benefit of eating an apple daily on your health?
Alternative Hypothesis: Eating an apple daily reduces the chances of visiting the doctor.
Null Hypothesis: Eating an apple daily does not impact the frequency of visiting the doctor.
Research Problem: What is the impact of spending a lot of time on mobiles on the attention span of teenagers.
Alternative Problem: Spending time on the mobiles and attention span have a negative correlation.
Null Hypothesis: There does not exist any correlation between the use of mobile by teenagers on their attention span.
Research Problem: What is the impact of providing flexible working hours to the employees on the job satisfaction level.
Alternative Hypothesis: Employees who get the option of flexible working hours have better job satisfaction than the employees who don’t get the option of flexible working hours.
Null Hypothesis: There is no association between providing flexible working hours and job satisfaction.
2. Simple Hypothesis Examples
The hypothesis that includes only one independent variable (predictor variable) and one dependent variable (outcome variable) is termed the simple hypothesis. For example, the children are more likely to get clinical depression if their parents had also suffered from the clinical depression. Here, the independent variable is the parents suffering from clinical depression and the dependent or the outcome variable is the clinical depression observed in their child/children. Other examples of the simple hypothesis are given below,
- If the management provides the official snack breaks to the employees, the employees are less likely to take the off-site breaks. Here, providing snack breaks is the independent variable and the employees are less likely to take the off-site break is the dependent variable.
- The students who took eight hours of sleep before the exam will perform better in the exams than the students who do not take eight hours of sleep. Here, taking eight hours of sleep for the exam is the independent variable and performing better in the exam is the dependent variable.
3. Complex Hypothesis Examples
If the hypothesis includes more than one independent (predictor variable) or more than one dependent variable (outcome variable) it is known as the complex hypothesis. For example, clinical depression in children is associated with a family clinical depression history and a stressful and hectic lifestyle. In this case, there are two independent variables, i.e., family history of clinical depression and hectic and stressful lifestyle, and one dependent variable, i.e., clinical depression. Following are some more examples of the complex hypothesis,
- If your gym trainers recommend you add more green vegetables, nuts and fruits to your diet as it will result in better stamina and immunity. It’s an example of a complex hypothesis because here are the three independent variables, i.e., nuts, green vegetables and fruits in your diets and two dependent variables, i.e., improvement in ‘stamina’ and the ‘immunity.’
- The students who revised twice before the exam take eight hours of sleep and eat breakfast before the exam are more likely to score more in the exams than the students who don’t do the same. Here, the independent variables are taking eight hours of sleep, eating breakfast, and revision before the exam, while the dependent variable is marked scored in the exams.
4. Logical Hypothesis Examples
If there are not many pieces of evidence and studies related to the concerned problem, then the researcher can take the help of the general logic to formulate the hypothesis. The logical hypothesis is proved true through various logic. For example, if the researcher wants to prove that the animal needs water for its survival, then this can be logically verified through the logic that ‘living beings can not survive without the water.’ Following are some more examples of logical hypotheses,
- Tia is not good at maths, hence she will not choose the accounting sector as her career.
- If there is a correlation between skin cancer and ultraviolet rays, then the people who are more exposed to the ultraviolet rays are more prone to skin cancer.
- The beings belonging to the different planets can not breathe in the earth’s atmosphere.
- The creatures living in the sea use anaerobic respiration as those living outside the sea use aerobic respiration.
5. Empirical Hypothesis Examples
The empirical hypothesis comes into existence when the statement is being tested by conducting various experiments. This hypothesis is not just an idea or notion, instead, it refers to the statement that undergoes various trials and errors, and various extraneous variables can impact the result. The trials and errors provide a set of results that can be testable over time. Following are the examples of the empirical hypothesis,
- The hungry cat will quickly reach the endpoint through the maze, if food is placed at the endpoint then the cat is not hungry.
- The people who consume vitamin c have more glowing skin than the people who consume vitamin E.
- Hair growth is faster after the consumption of Vitamin E than vitamin K.
- Plants will grow faster with fertilizer X than with fertilizer Y.
6. Statistical Hypothesis Examples
The statements that can be proven true by using the various statistical tools are considered the statistical hypothesis. The researcher uses statistical data about an area or the group in the analysis of the statistical hypothesis. For example, if you study the IQ level of the women belonging to nation X, it would be practically impossible to measure the IQ level of each woman belonging to nation X. Here, statistical methods come to the rescue. The researcher can choose the sample population, i.e., women belonging to the different states or provinces of the nation X, and conduct the statistical tests on this sample population to get the average IQ of the women belonging to the nation X. Following are the examples of the statistical hypothesis.
- 30 per cent of the women belonging to the nation X are working.
- 50 per cent of the people living in the savannah are above the age of 70 years.
- 45 per cent of the poor people in the United States are uneducated.
Significance of Hypothesis
A hypothesis is very crucial in experimental research as it aims to predict any particular outcome of the experiment. Hypothesis plays an important role in guiding the researchers to focus on the concerned area of research only. However, the hypothesis is not required by all researchers. The type of research that seeks for finding facts, i.e., historical research, does not need the formulation of the hypothesis. In the historical research, the researchers look for the pieces of evidence related to the human life, the history of a particular area, or the occurrence of any event, this means that the researcher does not have a strong basis to make an assumption in these types of researches, hence hypothesis is not needed in this case. As stated by Hillway (1964)
When fact-finding alone is the aim of the study, a hypothesis is not required.”
The hypothesis may not be an important part of the descriptive or historical studies, but it is a crucial part for the experimental researchers. Following are some of the points that show the importance of formulating a hypothesis before conducting the experiment.
- Hypothesis provides a tentative statement about the outcome of the experiment that can be validated and tested. It helps the researcher to directly focus on the problem under investigation by collecting the relevant data according to the variables mentioned in the hypothesis.
- Hypothesis facilitates a direction to the experimental research. It helps the researcher in analysing what is relevant for the study and what’s not. It prevents the researcher’s time as he does not need to waste time on reviewing the irrelevant research and literature, and also prevents the researcher from collecting the irrelevant data.
- Hypothesis helps the researcher in choosing the appropriate sample, statistical tests to conduct, variables to be studied and the research methodology. The hypothesis also helps the study from being generalised as it focuses on the limited and exact problem under investigation.
- Hypothesis act as a framework for deducing the outcomes of the experiment. The researcher can easily test the different hypotheses for understanding the interaction among the various variables involved in the study. On this basis of the results obtained from the testing of various hypotheses, the researcher can formulate the final meaningful report.