Developing a Hypothesis for an Investigation

Developing a Hypothesis for an Investigation

Understanding the Hypothesis:

  • A hypothesis is a statement that proposes the answer or outcome of an investigation. It is derived from your initial observations and research.
  • It is not a random guess; rather, it is a predictive statement based on scientific principles and past work.
  • It should be focused on a specific relationship between variables.
  • The ‘null hypothesis’ simply states that there isn’t a meaningful relationship between the variables.

Developing the Hypothesis:

  • Start with a clear and specific scientific question you want to answer through your investigation.
  • Conduct a thorough literature review to understand the existing knowledge about the subject.
  • Outline the variables in your investigation. There should be a dependent variable (the one you measure or observe changing) and an independent variable (the one you manipulate to create change).
  • Develop a supposition about what you expect will happen when you manipulate the independent variable.
  • Make sure your hypothesis is testable. It should be possible to prove it true or false through the experiment.
  • Your hypothesis should be expressed in a way that it can be clearly measured.

Refining the Hypothesis:

  • Refine your hypothesis so that it is focused, concise, and nominalizes your prediction.
  • Use precise language and terms. Vague terminologies provide opportunities for misinterpretations.
  • An effective hypothesis should be useful, i.e., has significance for the field of study and has potential practical applications.
  • It should be falsifiable, meaning there should be a possible negative answer to your hypothesis.
  • Lastly, your hypothesis should tell a true story, meaning it should be logical and entail a clear idea of what is supposed to be tested.

Remember, formulating a hypothesis is just the first step towards scientific investigation. The true skill and excitement come in using smart experiments to prove or disprove it!