A hypothesis It is an idea that arises to explain a certain phenomenon or situation and that is tried to prove or reject through experimentation or other methods. For instance: School dropout is the product of bad public policies.
The hypothesis is one of the first steps of the scientific method and is the axis on which the entire investigative process is directed. After investigating, the researcher asks questions and then develops a hypothesis that is understood as the possible explanation for the questions posed.
The hypotheses are formulated based on data or information available to the scientist after an exhaustive investigation that allows him to suppose relationships between variables. These hypotheses are then verified or refuted from the data produced by experimentation.
In addition, hypotheses are formulated by individuals on a day-to-day basis to suppose or give an estimated or indicative answer about something. That is, any conjecture is known as a hypothesis (regardless of whether the verification was investigative or experimental), since any statement made on the basis of a situation for which there are no certainties is a hypothetical statement. Then this hypothesis can be verified by direct observation or on the basis of information obtained or experimentation.
Characteristics of the hypothesis
Some characteristics of the hypotheses are:
- They are unverified statements. Information is missing or experimentation is necessary.
- They can be proven or disproved. They will be verified to the extent that the foregoing is fulfilled. Within scientific research, a hypothesis will become scientific knowledge if it can be generalized to all times and places.
- They are made from information or data obtained. Hypotheses are posed and formulated once the variables have been observed and analyzed and a possible conclusion is reached.
- They are formulated in a positive and simple way. Hypotheses are simple statements that relate variables or establish causes and consequences.
- They establish a possible relationship between two elements. Hypotheses can also explain something that happens to one item from something that happens to another.
- Be credible. The sequence of experiments or hypothesis testing cannot produce a relationship that is not actually true.
- Cover a portion of the universe. The hypotheses must be specific and objective.
- Be verifiable. Hypotheses can be tested or rejected by direct observation (in the case of hypotheses that lack scientific backing) or by experimentation.
Types of research hypotheses
Research hypotheses are those that study two or more variables and are usually supported by scientific research. They may be:
- Causal hypotheses. When the variables have a causal relationship with each other. For instance: The egg did not cook because the water was cold.
- Relational hypothesis. When the variables have some kind of relationship with each other. For instance: California’s climate is warmer than Oregon.
- Descriptive hypotheses. When they describe a variable or situation. For instance: The students of this institution are all men.
- Null hypotheses. When they do not suppose any relationship between the variables studied. For instance: There is no relationship between the winds this morning and the rain at noon.
Steps to make a scientific hypothesis
- Define the topic in detail. For this you must gather information and research on the topic of interest.
- Develop an investigative question. The information gathered will raise a question or question to be solved.
- Investigate possible answers to the question. In this step, all variables must be taken into account and the idea that is the most probable explanation must be chosen.
- Formulate the hypothesis. The hypothesis must be established and its scope determined in order to then be able to submit it to an analysis or experimentation that determines the validity or not of the hypothesis presented.
Examples of scientific hypotheses
- Tobacco use in the early teenage years is four times more harmful than in adulthood.
- The societies with the least social conflict are, at the same time, the societies with the greatest tendency to suicide and depression.
- Within this organization, women’s wages are below those of men.
- Today’s cars use 20% more energy than they did twenty years ago.
- The most stable political systems are those with the toughest and most rigid rulers.
- These sudden changes in temperature are the product of global warming.
- Women over 40 have better eating behaviors than men of the same age.
- The consumption of 1 liter of water daily improves the heart rate.
- A reduction in subsidies will generate an economic contraction of 4%.
- A body totally or partially submerged in a static fluid will be pushed with a force equal to the weight of the volume of fluid displaced by said object.
Examples of general and everyday hypotheses
- Many guitarists are good, but he will surely win the award.
- When the level of social unrest increases, their political propaganda will no longer work.
- If I put in a lot of effort, I will be able to buy a new car.
- The player who left the game on a stretcher must have been injured.
- The lawyer is convinced of the innocence of his client.
- The bus is delayed, there must have been an accident on the avenue.
- Due to the rain, surely many people do not attend the concert today.
- We believe that you are insolvent, so we cannot lend you more money.
- The tree must have fallen in last night’s storm.
- I think the teacher will not come today because she is very punctual and has not arrived yet.