Hypothesis in Research

A hypothesis is a tentative proposition relating to certain phenomenon, which the researcher wants to verify when required. It is untested conclusion which researcher wants to verify. It can be derived from literature review, experience or opinion from expert, etc. It provides the direction for research and also define the scope of the research. It is developed when operationalization of concept is done and variable of research is defined.  It brings clarity, Specific and related to research problem. The hypothesis has ability to bring direction and focus on the study. The hypothesis also helps the what types of data can be collected in the research.

If the researcher wants to infer something about the total population from which the sample was taken, statistical methods are used to make inference. We may say that, while a hypothesis is useful, it is not always necessary. Many a time, the researcher is interested in collecting and analyzing the data indicating the main characteristics without a hypothesis.

In one research more than one hypothesis is used as per the necessity of research problem and objectives. And the hypothesis is also having ability to modify the existing theory. The hypothesis must be written in simple and specific word so that it provides clear direction for research. It also has capacity for the verification and expression linking the variable use for research. If research state the hypothesis of “average marks of boys are less than that of girls of same class” then it is the clear and specific hypothesis which is express using the two variable of girls marks and boys’ marks to compere.

Sources of hypothesis

Hypothesis can be derived from many sources. The major sources of hypothesis formulation are

  • Theory: Theory on the subject can act as a source of hypothesis. We start of from a general premise and then formulate hypothesis.
  • Observation: Peoples’ behaviour is observed. In this method we use observed behavior to infer the attitudes. This is the indirect method of attitude measurement. Direct observation is used to get insights into research behaviour and other related issues.
  • Past experience: Here researcher goes by past experience to formulate the Hypothesis
  • Case studies: Case studies published can be used as a source for hypothesis. Normally this is done before the launch of a product to find customer taste and Preferences.
  • Similarity: This could be with respect to similarity in activities of human beings.

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