How to Build a Strong Hypothesis for Your Dissertation

A hypothesis is a testable statement on which scientific research focus. Suppose you wish to investigate a relationship between two or more variables. In that case, you must construct hypotheses before you begin your experiment or data collection.

13.10.2022

How to Build a Strong Hypothesis for Your Dissertation

Building a solid hypothesis

A hypothesis is a testable statement on which scientific research focus. Suppose you wish to investigate a relationship between two or more variables. In that case, you must construct hypotheses before you begin your experiment or data collection. “Daily cheese eating results in much less osteoporosis in older women” can be a hypothesis.

Definition of a hypothesis

A hypothesis is not beyond a prediction about what your study hopes to discover. Therefore, it should tentatively address your research question requiring additional testing. However, many research projects may need several hypotheses to answer different aspects of your research question. A hypothesis is more than a guess; it may be considered “an educated guess.” It is because it highly depends on existing theories and knowledge. Moreover, as it must be testable, you can readily uphold or repudiate it with scientific research methodologies, including experiments, surveys, and statistical data analyses.

What are the variables in the hypotheses?

What hypotheses suggest are relationships between two or more variables. In any research, you have two variables: independent and dependent. An independent variable is what the researcher controls or modifies. In contrast, a dependent variable is what the researcher observes and measures. Suppose you have a hypothesis stating that “eating chocolate results in a higher level of happiness.’’ In this case, the independent variable is eating chocolate, which is the hypothesized cause. However, the level of happiness is the dependent variable, which is the assumed effect.

Building a hypothesis

Stage 1: Inquiring about a question

The first step in hypothesis building is penning a research question you wish to address. The question must have several traits, including being focused, specific, and investigable within the boundaries of your project. “Does internet access imply a higher score in exams?” can be a legitimate research question.

Stage 2: Conducting preliminary research

The background information about the topic relates to your initial answer to the question. Perusing previous research and theories will assist you in forming educated assumptions about what your research hopes to find. On some occasions, you may have to confront more complicated paradigms. Hence, building a conceptual framework is of utmost importance at this stage to specify the variables you will investigate and predict to find relationships between them.

Stage 3: Formulating your hypothesis

Now that you have covered the first two steps, you must have a rough idea of what you presume to find. You may declare that “high-speed internet access will result in higher scores in the exam.” Therefore, it is time you wrote your initial answer to the question explicitly and precisely.

Stage 4: Polishing your hypothesis

Securing that your hypothesis is specific and testable is highly crucial. To this end, the hypothesis should include the following:

  • The pertinent variables.

  • The definite group being researched.

  • The expected outcome of the experiment.

Many ways exist to state a hypothesis. Nonetheless, the terms you will use must have explicit definitions.

Stage 5: Stating your hypothesis

The first part of the sentence must state the independent variable. In contrast, the second part discloses the dependent variable. Academic research mainly focuses on correlations or effects. Then, you openly declare the predicted relationship between variables. Suppose you wish to compare two groups. In that case, the hypothesis can depict what difference you assume to find between them.

Stage 6: Penning a null hypothesis

Assume that your research includes statistical hypothesis testing. Then, you will have to pen a null hypothesis. The null hypothesis always states that no association exists between the variables. Stated differently, no treatment effect is present. We write the null hypothesis as H0. However, the alternative hypothesis is defined as H1 or Ha.

H0: The number of hours spent on the internet for an online class by first-year university students has no effect on their exam scores.

 H1: The number of hours spent on the internet for an online class by first-year university students positively affects their exam scores.

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Hypothesis for dissertations and theses

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