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## A Beginner’s Guide to Hypothesis Testing in Business

- 30 Mar 2021

Becoming a more data-driven decision-maker can bring several benefits to your organization, enabling you to identify new opportunities to pursue and threats to abate. Rather than allowing subjective thinking to guide your business strategy, backing your decisions with data can empower your company to become more innovative and, ultimately, profitable.

If you’re new to data-driven decision-making, you might be wondering how data translates into business strategy. The answer lies in generating a hypothesis and verifying or rejecting it based on what various forms of data tell you.

Below is a look at hypothesis testing and the role it plays in helping businesses become more data-driven.

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## What Is Hypothesis Testing?

To understand what hypothesis testing is, it’s important first to understand what a hypothesis is.

A hypothesis or hypothesis statement seeks to explain why something has happened, or what might happen, under certain conditions. It can also be used to understand how different variables relate to each other. Hypotheses are often written as if-then statements; for example, “If this happens, then this will happen.”

Hypothesis testing , then, is a statistical means of testing an assumption stated in a hypothesis. While the specific methodology leveraged depends on the nature of the hypothesis and data available, hypothesis testing typically uses sample data to extrapolate insights about a larger population.

## Hypothesis Testing in Business

When it comes to data-driven decision-making, there’s a certain amount of risk that can mislead a professional. This could be due to flawed thinking or observations, incomplete or inaccurate data , or the presence of unknown variables. The danger in this is that, if major strategic decisions are made based on flawed insights, it can lead to wasted resources, missed opportunities, and catastrophic outcomes.

The real value of hypothesis testing in business is that it allows professionals to test their theories and assumptions before putting them into action. This essentially allows an organization to verify its analysis is correct before committing resources to implement a broader strategy.

As one example, consider a company that wishes to launch a new marketing campaign to revitalize sales during a slow period. Doing so could be an incredibly expensive endeavor, depending on the campaign’s size and complexity. The company, therefore, may wish to test the campaign on a smaller scale to understand how it will perform.

In this example, the hypothesis that’s being tested would fall along the lines of: “If the company launches a new marketing campaign, then it will translate into an increase in sales.” It may even be possible to quantify how much of a lift in sales the company expects to see from the effort. Pending the results of the pilot campaign, the business would then know whether it makes sense to roll it out more broadly.

Related: 9 Fundamental Data Science Skills for Business Professionals

## Key Considerations for Hypothesis Testing

1. alternative hypothesis and null hypothesis.

In hypothesis testing, the hypothesis that’s being tested is known as the alternative hypothesis . Often, it’s expressed as a correlation or statistical relationship between variables. The null hypothesis , on the other hand, is a statement that’s meant to show there’s no statistical relationship between variables being tested. It’s typically the exact opposite of whatever is stated in the alternative hypothesis.

For example, consider a company’s leadership team who historically and reliably sees $12 million in monthly revenue. They want to understand if reducing the price of their services will attract more customers and, in turn, increase revenue.

In this case, the alternative hypothesis may take the form of a statement such as: “If we reduce the price of our flagship service by five percent, then we’ll see an increase in sales and realize revenues greater than $12 million in the next month.”

The null hypothesis, on the other hand, would indicate that revenues wouldn’t increase from the base of $12 million, or might even decrease.

## 2. Significance Level and P-Value

Statistically speaking, if you were to run the same scenario 100 times, you’d likely receive somewhat different results each time. If you were to plot these results in a distribution plot, you’d see the most likely outcome is at the tallest point in the graph, with less likely outcomes falling to the right and left of that point.

With this in mind, imagine you’ve completed your hypothesis test and have your results, which indicate there may be a correlation between the variables you were testing. To understand your results' significance, you’ll need to identify a p-value for the test, which helps note how confident you are in the test results.

In statistics, the p-value depicts the probability that, assuming the null hypothesis is correct, you might still observe results that are at least as extreme as the results of your hypothesis test. The smaller the p-value, the more likely the alternative hypothesis is correct, and the greater the significance of your results.

## 3. One-Sided vs. Two-Sided Testing

When it’s time to test your hypothesis, it’s important to leverage the correct testing method. The two most common hypothesis testing methods are one-sided and two-sided tests , or one-tailed and two-tailed tests, respectively.

Typically, you’d leverage a one-sided test when you have a strong conviction about the direction of change you expect to see due to your hypothesis test. You’d leverage a two-sided test when you’re less confident in the direction of change.

## 4. Sampling

To perform hypothesis testing in the first place, you need to collect a sample of data to be analyzed. Depending on the question you’re seeking to answer or investigate, you might collect samples through surveys, observational studies, or experiments.

A survey involves asking a series of questions to a random population sample and recording self-reported responses.

Observational studies involve a researcher observing a sample population and collecting data as it occurs naturally, without intervention.

Finally, an experiment involves dividing a sample into multiple groups, one of which acts as the control group. For each non-control group, the variable being studied is manipulated to determine how the data collected differs from that of the control group.

## Learning How to Perform Hypothesis Testing

Hypothesis testing is a complex process involving different moving pieces that can allow an organization to effectively leverage its data and inform strategic decisions.

If you’re interested in better understanding hypothesis testing and the role it can play within your organization, one option is to complete a course that focuses on the process. Doing so can lay the statistical and analytical foundation you need to succeed.

Are you interested in improving your data literacy? Download our Beginner’s Guide to Data & Analytics to learn how you can leverage the power of data for professional and organizational success.

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## The Craft of Writing a Strong Hypothesis

## Table of Contents

Writing a hypothesis is one of the essential elements of a scientific research paper. It needs to be to the point, clearly communicating what your research is trying to accomplish. A blurry, drawn-out, or complexly-structured hypothesis can confuse your readers. Or worse, the editor and peer reviewers.

A captivating hypothesis is not too intricate. This blog will take you through the process so that, by the end of it, you have a better idea of how to convey your research paper's intent in just one sentence.

## What is a Hypothesis?

The first step in your scientific endeavor, a hypothesis, is a strong, concise statement that forms the basis of your research. It is not the same as a thesis statement , which is a brief summary of your research paper.

The sole purpose of a hypothesis is to predict your paper's findings, data, and conclusion. It comes from a place of curiosity and intuition . When you write a hypothesis, you're essentially making an educated guess based on scientific prejudices and evidence, which is further proven or disproven through the scientific method.

The reason for undertaking research is to observe a specific phenomenon. A hypothesis, therefore, lays out what the said phenomenon is. And it does so through two variables, an independent and dependent variable.

The independent variable is the cause behind the observation, while the dependent variable is the effect of the cause. A good example of this is “mixing red and blue forms purple.” In this hypothesis, mixing red and blue is the independent variable as you're combining the two colors at your own will. The formation of purple is the dependent variable as, in this case, it is conditional to the independent variable.

## Different Types of Hypotheses

Types of hypotheses

Some would stand by the notion that there are only two types of hypotheses: a Null hypothesis and an Alternative hypothesis. While that may have some truth to it, it would be better to fully distinguish the most common forms as these terms come up so often, which might leave you out of context.

Apart from Null and Alternative, there are Complex, Simple, Directional, Non-Directional, Statistical, and Associative and casual hypotheses. They don't necessarily have to be exclusive, as one hypothesis can tick many boxes, but knowing the distinctions between them will make it easier for you to construct your own.

## 1. Null hypothesis

A null hypothesis proposes no relationship between two variables. Denoted by H 0 , it is a negative statement like “Attending physiotherapy sessions does not affect athletes' on-field performance.” Here, the author claims physiotherapy sessions have no effect on on-field performances. Even if there is, it's only a coincidence.

## 2. Alternative hypothesis

Considered to be the opposite of a null hypothesis, an alternative hypothesis is donated as H1 or Ha. It explicitly states that the dependent variable affects the independent variable. A good alternative hypothesis example is “Attending physiotherapy sessions improves athletes' on-field performance.” or “Water evaporates at 100 °C. ” The alternative hypothesis further branches into directional and non-directional.

- Directional hypothesis: A hypothesis that states the result would be either positive or negative is called directional hypothesis. It accompanies H1 with either the ‘<' or ‘>' sign.
- Non-directional hypothesis: A non-directional hypothesis only claims an effect on the dependent variable. It does not clarify whether the result would be positive or negative. The sign for a non-directional hypothesis is ‘≠.'

## 3. Simple hypothesis

A simple hypothesis is a statement made to reflect the relation between exactly two variables. One independent and one dependent. Consider the example, “Smoking is a prominent cause of lung cancer." The dependent variable, lung cancer, is dependent on the independent variable, smoking.

## 4. Complex hypothesis

In contrast to a simple hypothesis, a complex hypothesis implies the relationship between multiple independent and dependent variables. For instance, “Individuals who eat more fruits tend to have higher immunity, lesser cholesterol, and high metabolism.” The independent variable is eating more fruits, while the dependent variables are higher immunity, lesser cholesterol, and high metabolism.

## 5. Associative and casual hypothesis

Associative and casual hypotheses don't exhibit how many variables there will be. They define the relationship between the variables. In an associative hypothesis, changing any one variable, dependent or independent, affects others. In a casual hypothesis, the independent variable directly affects the dependent.

## 6. Empirical hypothesis

Also referred to as the working hypothesis, an empirical hypothesis claims a theory's validation via experiments and observation. This way, the statement appears justifiable and different from a wild guess.

Say, the hypothesis is “Women who take iron tablets face a lesser risk of anemia than those who take vitamin B12.” This is an example of an empirical hypothesis where the researcher the statement after assessing a group of women who take iron tablets and charting the findings.

## 7. Statistical hypothesis

The point of a statistical hypothesis is to test an already existing hypothesis by studying a population sample. Hypothesis like “44% of the Indian population belong in the age group of 22-27.” leverage evidence to prove or disprove a particular statement.

## Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis

Writing a hypothesis is essential as it can make or break your research for you. That includes your chances of getting published in a journal. So when you're designing one, keep an eye out for these pointers:

- A research hypothesis has to be simple yet clear to look justifiable enough.
- It has to be testable — your research would be rendered pointless if too far-fetched into reality or limited by technology.
- It has to be precise about the results —what you are trying to do and achieve through it should come out in your hypothesis.
- A research hypothesis should be self-explanatory, leaving no doubt in the reader's mind.
- If you are developing a relational hypothesis, you need to include the variables and establish an appropriate relationship among them.
- A hypothesis must keep and reflect the scope for further investigations and experiments.

## Separating a Hypothesis from a Prediction

Outside of academia, hypothesis and prediction are often used interchangeably. In research writing, this is not only confusing but also incorrect. And although a hypothesis and prediction are guesses at their core, there are many differences between them.

A hypothesis is an educated guess or even a testable prediction validated through research. It aims to analyze the gathered evidence and facts to define a relationship between variables and put forth a logical explanation behind the nature of events.

Predictions are assumptions or expected outcomes made without any backing evidence. They are more fictionally inclined regardless of where they originate from.

For this reason, a hypothesis holds much more weight than a prediction. It sticks to the scientific method rather than pure guesswork. "Planets revolve around the Sun." is an example of a hypothesis as it is previous knowledge and observed trends. Additionally, we can test it through the scientific method.

Whereas "COVID-19 will be eradicated by 2030." is a prediction. Even though it results from past trends, we can't prove or disprove it. So, the only way this gets validated is to wait and watch if COVID-19 cases end by 2030.

## Finally, How to Write a Hypothesis

Quick tips on writing a hypothesis

## 1. Be clear about your research question

A hypothesis should instantly address the research question or the problem statement. To do so, you need to ask a question. Understand the constraints of your undertaken research topic and then formulate a simple and topic-centric problem. Only after that can you develop a hypothesis and further test for evidence.

## 2. Carry out a recce

Once you have your research's foundation laid out, it would be best to conduct preliminary research. Go through previous theories, academic papers, data, and experiments before you start curating your research hypothesis. It will give you an idea of your hypothesis's viability or originality.

Making use of references from relevant research papers helps draft a good research hypothesis. SciSpace Discover offers a repository of over 270 million research papers to browse through and gain a deeper understanding of related studies on a particular topic. Additionally, you can use SciSpace Copilot , your AI research assistant, for reading any lengthy research paper and getting a more summarized context of it. A hypothesis can be formed after evaluating many such summarized research papers. Copilot also offers explanations for theories and equations, explains paper in simplified version, allows you to highlight any text in the paper or clip math equations and tables and provides a deeper, clear understanding of what is being said. This can improve the hypothesis by helping you identify potential research gaps.

## 3. Create a 3-dimensional hypothesis

Variables are an essential part of any reasonable hypothesis. So, identify your independent and dependent variable(s) and form a correlation between them. The ideal way to do this is to write the hypothetical assumption in the ‘if-then' form. If you use this form, make sure that you state the predefined relationship between the variables.

In another way, you can choose to present your hypothesis as a comparison between two variables. Here, you must specify the difference you expect to observe in the results.

## 4. Write the first draft

Now that everything is in place, it's time to write your hypothesis. For starters, create the first draft. In this version, write what you expect to find from your research.

Clearly separate your independent and dependent variables and the link between them. Don't fixate on syntax at this stage. The goal is to ensure your hypothesis addresses the issue.

## 5. Proof your hypothesis

After preparing the first draft of your hypothesis, you need to inspect it thoroughly. It should tick all the boxes, like being concise, straightforward, relevant, and accurate. Your final hypothesis has to be well-structured as well.

Research projects are an exciting and crucial part of being a scholar. And once you have your research question, you need a great hypothesis to begin conducting research. Thus, knowing how to write a hypothesis is very important.

Now that you have a firmer grasp on what a good hypothesis constitutes, the different kinds there are, and what process to follow, you will find it much easier to write your hypothesis, which ultimately helps your research.

Now it's easier than ever to streamline your research workflow with SciSpace Discover . Its integrated, comprehensive end-to-end platform for research allows scholars to easily discover, write and publish their research and fosters collaboration.

It includes everything you need, including a repository of over 270 million research papers across disciplines, SEO-optimized summaries and public profiles to show your expertise and experience.

If you found these tips on writing a research hypothesis useful, head over to our blog on Statistical Hypothesis Testing to learn about the top researchers, papers, and institutions in this domain.

## Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. what is the definition of hypothesis.

According to the Oxford dictionary, a hypothesis is defined as “An idea or explanation of something that is based on a few known facts, but that has not yet been proved to be true or correct”.

## 2. What is an example of hypothesis?

The hypothesis is a statement that proposes a relationship between two or more variables. An example: "If we increase the number of new users who join our platform by 25%, then we will see an increase in revenue."

## 3. What is an example of null hypothesis?

A null hypothesis is a statement that there is no relationship between two variables. The null hypothesis is written as H0. The null hypothesis states that there is no effect. For example, if you're studying whether or not a particular type of exercise increases strength, your null hypothesis will be "there is no difference in strength between people who exercise and people who don't."

## 4. What are the types of research?

• Fundamental research

• Applied research

• Qualitative research

• Quantitative research

• Mixed research

• Exploratory research

• Longitudinal research

• Cross-sectional research

• Field research

• Laboratory research

• Fixed research

• Flexible research

• Action research

• Policy research

• Classification research

• Comparative research

• Causal research

• Inductive research

• Deductive research

## 5. How to write a hypothesis?

• Your hypothesis should be able to predict the relationship and outcome.

• Avoid wordiness by keeping it simple and brief.

• Your hypothesis should contain observable and testable outcomes.

• Your hypothesis should be relevant to the research question.

## 6. What are the 2 types of hypothesis?

• Null hypotheses are used to test the claim that "there is no difference between two groups of data".

• Alternative hypotheses test the claim that "there is a difference between two data groups".

## 7. Difference between research question and research hypothesis?

A research question is a broad, open-ended question you will try to answer through your research. A hypothesis is a statement based on prior research or theory that you expect to be true due to your study. Example - Research question: What are the factors that influence the adoption of the new technology? Research hypothesis: There is a positive relationship between age, education and income level with the adoption of the new technology.

## 8. What is plural for hypothesis?

The plural of hypothesis is hypotheses. Here's an example of how it would be used in a statement, "Numerous well-considered hypotheses are presented in this part, and they are supported by tables and figures that are well-illustrated."

## 9. What is the red queen hypothesis?

The red queen hypothesis in evolutionary biology states that species must constantly evolve to avoid extinction because if they don't, they will be outcompeted by other species that are evolving. Leigh Van Valen first proposed it in 1973; since then, it has been tested and substantiated many times.

## 10. Who is known as the father of null hypothesis?

The father of the null hypothesis is Sir Ronald Fisher. He published a paper in 1925 that introduced the concept of null hypothesis testing, and he was also the first to use the term itself.

## 11. When to reject null hypothesis?

You need to find a significant difference between your two populations to reject the null hypothesis. You can determine that by running statistical tests such as an independent sample t-test or a dependent sample t-test. You should reject the null hypothesis if the p-value is less than 0.05.

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- > Statistics

## What is Hypothesis Testing? Types and Methods

- Soumyaa Rawat
- Jul 23, 2021

## Hypothesis Testing

Hypothesis testing is the act of testing a hypothesis or a supposition in relation to a statistical parameter. Analysts implement hypothesis testing in order to test if a hypothesis is plausible or not.

In data science and statistics , hypothesis testing is an important step as it involves the verification of an assumption that could help develop a statistical parameter. For instance, a researcher establishes a hypothesis assuming that the average of all odd numbers is an even number.

In order to find the plausibility of this hypothesis, the researcher will have to test the hypothesis using hypothesis testing methods. Unlike a hypothesis that is ‘supposed’ to stand true on the basis of little or no evidence, hypothesis testing is required to have plausible evidence in order to establish that a statistical hypothesis is true.

Perhaps this is where statistics play an important role. A number of components are involved in this process. But before understanding the process involved in hypothesis testing in research methodology, we shall first understand the types of hypotheses that are involved in the process. Let us get started!

## Types of Hypotheses

In data sampling, different types of hypothesis are involved in finding whether the tested samples test positive for a hypothesis or not. In this segment, we shall discover the different types of hypotheses and understand the role they play in hypothesis testing.

## Alternative Hypothesis

Alternative Hypothesis (H1) or the research hypothesis states that there is a relationship between two variables (where one variable affects the other). The alternative hypothesis is the main driving force for hypothesis testing.

It implies that the two variables are related to each other and the relationship that exists between them is not due to chance or coincidence.

When the process of hypothesis testing is carried out, the alternative hypothesis is the main subject of the testing process. The analyst intends to test the alternative hypothesis and verifies its plausibility.

## Null Hypothesis

The Null Hypothesis (H0) aims to nullify the alternative hypothesis by implying that there exists no relation between two variables in statistics. It states that the effect of one variable on the other is solely due to chance and no empirical cause lies behind it.

The null hypothesis is established alongside the alternative hypothesis and is recognized as important as the latter. In hypothesis testing, the null hypothesis has a major role to play as it influences the testing against the alternative hypothesis.

(Must read: What is ANOVA test? )

## Non-Directional Hypothesis

The Non-directional hypothesis states that the relation between two variables has no direction.

Simply put, it asserts that there exists a relation between two variables, but does not recognize the direction of effect, whether variable A affects variable B or vice versa.

## Directional Hypothesis

The Directional hypothesis, on the other hand, asserts the direction of effect of the relationship that exists between two variables.

Herein, the hypothesis clearly states that variable A affects variable B, or vice versa.

## Statistical Hypothesis

A statistical hypothesis is a hypothesis that can be verified to be plausible on the basis of statistics.

By using data sampling and statistical knowledge, one can determine the plausibility of a statistical hypothesis and find out if it stands true or not.

(Related blog: z-test vs t-test )

## Performing Hypothesis Testing

Now that we have understood the types of hypotheses and the role they play in hypothesis testing, let us now move on to understand the process in a better manner.

In hypothesis testing, a researcher is first required to establish two hypotheses - alternative hypothesis and null hypothesis in order to begin with the procedure.

To establish these two hypotheses, one is required to study data samples, find a plausible pattern among the samples, and pen down a statistical hypothesis that they wish to test.

A random population of samples can be drawn, to begin with hypothesis testing. Among the two hypotheses, alternative and null, only one can be verified to be true. Perhaps the presence of both hypotheses is required to make the process successful.

At the end of the hypothesis testing procedure, either of the hypotheses will be rejected and the other one will be supported. Even though one of the two hypotheses turns out to be true, no hypothesis can ever be verified 100%.

(Read also: Types of data sampling techniques )

Therefore, a hypothesis can only be supported based on the statistical samples and verified data. Here is a step-by-step guide for hypothesis testing.

## Establish the hypotheses

First things first, one is required to establish two hypotheses - alternative and null, that will set the foundation for hypothesis testing.

These hypotheses initiate the testing process that involves the researcher working on data samples in order to either support the alternative hypothesis or the null hypothesis.

## Generate a testing plan

Once the hypotheses have been formulated, it is now time to generate a testing plan. A testing plan or an analysis plan involves the accumulation of data samples, determining which statistic is to be considered and laying out the sample size.

All these factors are very important while one is working on hypothesis testing.

## Analyze data samples

As soon as a testing plan is ready, it is time to move on to the analysis part. Analysis of data samples involves configuring statistical values of samples, drawing them together, and deriving a pattern out of these samples.

While analyzing the data samples, a researcher needs to determine a set of things -

Significance Level - The level of significance in hypothesis testing indicates if a statistical result could have significance if the null hypothesis stands to be true.

Testing Method - The testing method involves a type of sampling-distribution and a test statistic that leads to hypothesis testing. There are a number of testing methods that can assist in the analysis of data samples.

Test statistic - Test statistic is a numerical summary of a data set that can be used to perform hypothesis testing.

P-value - The P-value interpretation is the probability of finding a sample statistic to be as extreme as the test statistic, indicating the plausibility of the null hypothesis.

## Infer the results

The analysis of data samples leads to the inference of results that establishes whether the alternative hypothesis stands true or not. When the P-value is less than the significance level, the null hypothesis is rejected and the alternative hypothesis turns out to be plausible.

## Methods of Hypothesis Testing

As we have already looked into different aspects of hypothesis testing, we shall now look into the different methods of hypothesis testing. All in all, there are 2 most common types of hypothesis testing methods. They are as follows -

## Frequentist Hypothesis Testing

The frequentist hypothesis or the traditional approach to hypothesis testing is a hypothesis testing method that aims on making assumptions by considering current data.

The supposed truths and assumptions are based on the current data and a set of 2 hypotheses are formulated. A very popular subtype of the frequentist approach is the Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST).

The NHST approach (involving the null and alternative hypothesis) has been one of the most sought-after methods of hypothesis testing in the field of statistics ever since its inception in the mid-1950s.

## Bayesian Hypothesis Testing

A much unconventional and modern method of hypothesis testing, the Bayesian Hypothesis Testing claims to test a particular hypothesis in accordance with the past data samples, known as prior probability, and current data that lead to the plausibility of a hypothesis.

The result obtained indicates the posterior probability of the hypothesis. In this method, the researcher relies on ‘prior probability and posterior probability’ to conduct hypothesis testing on hand.

On the basis of this prior probability, the Bayesian approach tests a hypothesis to be true or false. The Bayes factor, a major component of this method, indicates the likelihood ratio among the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.

The Bayes factor is the indicator of the plausibility of either of the two hypotheses that are established for hypothesis testing.

(Also read - Introduction to Bayesian Statistics )

To conclude, hypothesis testing, a way to verify the plausibility of a supposed assumption can be done through different methods - the Bayesian approach or the Frequentist approach.

Although the Bayesian approach relies on the prior probability of data samples, the frequentist approach assumes without a probability. A number of elements involved in hypothesis testing are - significance level, p-level, test statistic, and method of hypothesis testing.

(Also read: Introduction to probability distributions )

A significant way to determine whether a hypothesis stands true or not is to verify the data samples and identify the plausible hypothesis among the null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis.

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“A fact is a simple statement that everyone believes. It is innocent, unless found guilty. A hypothesis is a novel suggestion that no one wants to believe. It is guilty until found effective.”

– Edward Teller, Nuclear Physicist

During my first brainstorming meeting on my first project at McKinsey, this very serious partner, who had a PhD in Physics, looked at me and said, “So, Joe, what are your main hypotheses.” I looked back at him, perplexed, and said, “Ummm, my what?” I was used to people simply asking, “what are your best ideas, opinions, thoughts, etc.” Over time, I began to understand the importance of hypotheses and how it plays an important role in McKinsey’s problem solving of separating ideas and opinions from facts.

## What is a Hypothesis?

“Hypothesis” is probably one of the top 5 words used by McKinsey consultants. And, being hypothesis-driven was required to have any success at McKinsey. A hypothesis is an idea or theory, often based on limited data, which is typically the beginning of a thread of further investigation to prove, disprove or improve the hypothesis through facts and empirical data.

The first step in being hypothesis-driven is to focus on the highest potential ideas and theories of how to solve a problem or realize an opportunity.

Let’s go over an example of being hypothesis-driven.

Let’s say you own a website, and you brainstorm ten ideas to improve web traffic, but you don’t have the budget to execute all ten ideas. The first step in being hypothesis-driven is to prioritize the ten ideas based on how much impact you hypothesize they will create.

The second step in being hypothesis-driven is to apply the scientific method to your hypotheses by creating the fact base to prove or disprove your hypothesis, which then allows you to turn your hypothesis into fact and knowledge. Running with our example, you could prove or disprove your hypothesis on the ideas you think will drive the most impact by executing:

1. An analysis of previous research and the performance of the different ideas 2. A survey where customers rank order the ideas 3. An actual test of the ten ideas to create a fact base on click-through rates and cost

While there are many other ways to validate the hypothesis on your prioritization , I find most people do not take this critical step in validating a hypothesis. Instead, they apply bad logic to many important decisions . An idea pops into their head, and then somehow it just becomes a fact.

One of my favorite lousy logic moments was a CEO who stated,

“I’ve never heard our customers talk about price, so the price doesn’t matter with our products , and I’ve decided we’re going to raise prices.”

Luckily, his management team was able to do a survey to dig deeper into the hypothesis that customers weren’t price-sensitive. Well, of course, they were and through the survey, they built a fantastic fact base that proved and disproved many other important hypotheses.

## Why is being hypothesis-driven so important?

Imagine if medicine never actually used the scientific method. We would probably still be living in a world of lobotomies and bleeding people. Many organizations are still stuck in the dark ages, having built a house of cards on opinions disguised as facts, because they don’t prove or disprove their hypotheses. Decisions made on top of decisions, made on top of opinions, steer organizations clear of reality and the facts necessary to objectively evolve their strategic understanding and knowledge. I’ve seen too many leadership teams led solely by gut and opinion. The problem with intuition and gut is if you don’t ever prove or disprove if your gut is right or wrong, you’re never going to improve your intuition. There is a reason why being hypothesis-driven is the cornerstone of problem solving at McKinsey and every other top strategy consulting firm.

## How do you become hypothesis-driven?

Most people are idea-driven, and constantly have hypotheses on how the world works and what they or their organization should do to improve. Though, there is often a fatal flaw in that many people turn their hypotheses into false facts, without actually finding or creating the facts to prove or disprove their hypotheses. These people aren’t hypothesis-driven; they are gut-driven.

The conversation typically goes something like “doing this discount promotion will increase our profits” or “our customers need to have this feature” or “morale is in the toilet because we don’t pay well, so we need to increase pay.” These should all be hypotheses that need the appropriate fact base, but instead, they become false facts, often leading to unintended results and consequences. In each of these cases, to become hypothesis-driven necessitates a different framing.

• Instead of “doing this discount promotion will increase our profits,” a hypothesis-driven approach is to ask “what are the best marketing ideas to increase our profits?” and then conduct a marketing experiment to see which ideas increase profits the most.

• Instead of “our customers need to have this feature,” ask the question, “what features would our customers value most?” And, then conduct a simple survey having customers rank order the features based on value to them.

• Instead of “morale is in the toilet because we don’t pay well, so we need to increase pay,” conduct a survey asking, “what is the level of morale?” what are potential issues affecting morale?” and what are the best ideas to improve morale?”

Beyond, watching out for just following your gut, here are some of the other best practices in being hypothesis-driven:

## Listen to Your Intuition

Your mind has taken the collision of your experiences and everything you’ve learned over the years to create your intuition, which are those ideas that pop into your head and those hunches that come from your gut. Your intuition is your wellspring of hypotheses. So listen to your intuition, build hypotheses from it, and then prove or disprove those hypotheses, which will, in turn, improve your intuition. Intuition without feedback will over time typically evolve into poor intuition, which leads to poor judgment, thinking, and decisions.

## Constantly Be Curious

I’m always curious about cause and effect. At Sports Authority, I had a hypothesis that customers that received service and assistance as they shopped, were worth more than customers who didn’t receive assistance from an associate. We figured out how to prove or disprove this hypothesis by tying surveys to transactional data of customers, and we found the hypothesis was true, which led us to a broad initiative around improving service. The key is you have to be always curious about what you think does or will drive value, create hypotheses and then prove or disprove those hypotheses.

## Validate Hypotheses

You need to validate and prove or disprove hypotheses. Don’t just chalk up an idea as fact. In most cases, you’re going to have to create a fact base utilizing logic, observation, testing (see the section on Experimentation ), surveys, and analysis.

## Be a Learning Organization

The foundation of learning organizations is the testing of and learning from hypotheses. I remember my first strategy internship at Mercer Management Consulting when I spent a good part of the summer combing through the results, findings, and insights of thousands of experiments that a banking client had conducted. It was fascinating to see the vastness and depth of their collective knowledge base. And, in today’s world of knowledge portals, it is so easy to disseminate, learn from, and build upon the knowledge created by companies.

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## What Is A Research (Scientific) Hypothesis? A plain-language explainer + examples

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Reviewed By: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | June 2020

If you’re new to the world of research, or it’s your first time writing a dissertation or thesis, you’re probably noticing that the words “research hypothesis” and “scientific hypothesis” are used quite a bit, and you’re wondering what they mean in a research context .

“Hypothesis” is one of those words that people use loosely, thinking they understand what it means. However, it has a very specific meaning within academic research. So, it’s important to understand the exact meaning before you start hypothesizing.

## Research Hypothesis 101

- What is a hypothesis ?
- What is a research hypothesis (scientific hypothesis)?
- Requirements for a research hypothesis
- Definition of a research hypothesis
- The null hypothesis

## What is a hypothesis?

Let’s start with the general definition of a hypothesis (not a research hypothesis or scientific hypothesis), according to the Cambridge Dictionary:

Hypothesis: an idea or explanation for something that is based on known facts but has not yet been proved.

In other words, it’s a statement that provides an explanation for why or how something works, based on facts (or some reasonable assumptions), but that has not yet been specifically tested . For example, a hypothesis might look something like this:

Hypothesis: sleep impacts academic performance.

This statement predicts that academic performance will be influenced by the amount and/or quality of sleep a student engages in – sounds reasonable, right? It’s based on reasonable assumptions , underpinned by what we currently know about sleep and health (from the existing literature). So, loosely speaking, we could call it a hypothesis, at least by the dictionary definition.

But that’s not good enough…

Unfortunately, that’s not quite sophisticated enough to describe a research hypothesis (also sometimes called a scientific hypothesis), and it wouldn’t be acceptable in a dissertation, thesis or research paper. In the world of academic research, a statement needs a few more criteria to constitute a true research hypothesis .

## What is a research hypothesis?

A research hypothesis (also called a scientific hypothesis) is a statement about the expected outcome of a study (for example, a dissertation or thesis). To constitute a quality hypothesis, the statement needs to have three attributes – specificity , clarity and testability .

Let’s take a look at these more closely.

## Need a helping hand?

## Hypothesis Essential #1: Specificity & Clarity

A good research hypothesis needs to be extremely clear and articulate about both what’ s being assessed (who or what variables are involved ) and the expected outcome (for example, a difference between groups, a relationship between variables, etc.).

Let’s stick with our sleepy students example and look at how this statement could be more specific and clear.

Hypothesis: Students who sleep at least 8 hours per night will, on average, achieve higher grades in standardised tests than students who sleep less than 8 hours a night.

As you can see, the statement is very specific as it identifies the variables involved (sleep hours and test grades), the parties involved (two groups of students), as well as the predicted relationship type (a positive relationship). There’s no ambiguity or uncertainty about who or what is involved in the statement, and the expected outcome is clear.

Contrast that to the original hypothesis we looked at – “Sleep impacts academic performance” – and you can see the difference. “Sleep” and “academic performance” are both comparatively vague , and there’s no indication of what the expected relationship direction is (more sleep or less sleep). As you can see, specificity and clarity are key.

## Hypothesis Essential #2: Testability (Provability)

A statement must be testable to qualify as a research hypothesis. In other words, there needs to be a way to prove (or disprove) the statement. If it’s not testable, it’s not a hypothesis – simple as that.

For example, consider the hypothesis we mentioned earlier:

Hypothesis: Students who sleep at least 8 hours per night will, on average, achieve higher grades in standardised tests than students who sleep less than 8 hours a night.

We could test this statement by undertaking a quantitative study involving two groups of students, one that gets 8 or more hours of sleep per night for a fixed period, and one that gets less. We could then compare the standardised test results for both groups to see if there’s a statistically significant difference.

Again, if you compare this to the original hypothesis we looked at – “Sleep impacts academic performance” – you can see that it would be quite difficult to test that statement, primarily because it isn’t specific enough. How much sleep? By who? What type of academic performance?

So, remember the mantra – if you can’t test it, it’s not a hypothesis 🙂

## Defining A Research Hypothesis

You’re still with us? Great! Let’s recap and pin down a clear definition of a hypothesis.

A research hypothesis (or scientific hypothesis) is a statement about an expected relationship between variables, or explanation of an occurrence, that is clear, specific and testable.

So, when you write up hypotheses for your dissertation or thesis, make sure that they meet all these criteria. If you do, you’ll not only have rock-solid hypotheses but you’ll also ensure a clear focus for your entire research project.

## What about the null hypothesis?

You may have also heard the terms null hypothesis , alternative hypothesis, or H-zero thrown around. At a simple level, the null hypothesis is the counter-proposal to the original hypothesis.

For example, if the hypothesis predicts that there is a relationship between two variables (for example, sleep and academic performance), the null hypothesis would predict that there is no relationship between those variables.

At a more technical level, the null hypothesis proposes that no statistical significance exists in a set of given observations and that any differences are due to chance alone.

And there you have it – hypotheses in a nutshell.

If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you. If you need hands-on help developing and testing your hypotheses, consider our private coaching service , where we hold your hand through the research journey.

## Psst… there’s more (for free)

This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project.

## You Might Also Like:

## 12 Comments

Very useful information. I benefit more from getting more information in this regard.

Very great insight,educative and informative. Please give meet deep critics on many research data of public international Law like human rights, environment, natural resources, law of the sea etc

In a book I read a distinction is made between null, research, and alternative hypothesis. As far as I understand, alternative and research hypotheses are the same. Can you please elaborate? Best Afshin

This is a self explanatory, easy going site. I will recommend this to my friends and colleagues.

Very good definition. How can I cite your definition in my thesis? Thank you. Is nul hypothesis compulsory in a research?

Please what is the difference between alternate hypothesis and research hypothesis?

It is a very good explanation. However, it limits hypotheses to statistically tasteable ideas. What about for qualitative researches or other researches that involve quantitative data that don’t need statistical tests?

In qualitative research, one typically uses propositions, not hypotheses.

could you please elaborate it more

I’ve benefited greatly from these notes, thank you.

This is very helpful

well articulated ideas are presented here, thank you for being reliable sources of information

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## Hypothesis to Be Tested: Definition and 4 Steps for Testing with Example

## What Is Hypothesis Testing?

Hypothesis testing, sometimes called significance testing, is an act in statistics whereby an analyst tests an assumption regarding a population parameter. The methodology employed by the analyst depends on the nature of the data used and the reason for the analysis.

Hypothesis testing is used to assess the plausibility of a hypothesis by using sample data. Such data may come from a larger population, or from a data-generating process. The word "population" will be used for both of these cases in the following descriptions.

## Key Takeaways

- Hypothesis testing is used to assess the plausibility of a hypothesis by using sample data.
- The test provides evidence concerning the plausibility of the hypothesis, given the data.
- Statistical analysts test a hypothesis by measuring and examining a random sample of the population being analyzed.
- The four steps of hypothesis testing include stating the hypotheses, formulating an analysis plan, analyzing the sample data, and analyzing the result.

## How Hypothesis Testing Works

In hypothesis testing, an analyst tests a statistical sample, with the goal of providing evidence on the plausibility of the null hypothesis.

Statistical analysts test a hypothesis by measuring and examining a random sample of the population being analyzed. All analysts use a random population sample to test two different hypotheses: the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.

The null hypothesis is usually a hypothesis of equality between population parameters; e.g., a null hypothesis may state that the population mean return is equal to zero. The alternative hypothesis is effectively the opposite of a null hypothesis (e.g., the population mean return is not equal to zero). Thus, they are mutually exclusive , and only one can be true. However, one of the two hypotheses will always be true.

The null hypothesis is a statement about a population parameter, such as the population mean, that is assumed to be true.

## 4 Steps of Hypothesis Testing

All hypotheses are tested using a four-step process:

- The first step is for the analyst to state the hypotheses.
- The second step is to formulate an analysis plan, which outlines how the data will be evaluated.
- The third step is to carry out the plan and analyze the sample data.
- The final step is to analyze the results and either reject the null hypothesis, or state that the null hypothesis is plausible, given the data.

## Real-World Example of Hypothesis Testing

If, for example, a person wants to test that a penny has exactly a 50% chance of landing on heads, the null hypothesis would be that 50% is correct, and the alternative hypothesis would be that 50% is not correct.

Mathematically, the null hypothesis would be represented as Ho: P = 0.5. The alternative hypothesis would be denoted as "Ha" and be identical to the null hypothesis, except with the equal sign struck-through, meaning that it does not equal 50%.

A random sample of 100 coin flips is taken, and the null hypothesis is then tested. If it is found that the 100 coin flips were distributed as 40 heads and 60 tails, the analyst would assume that a penny does not have a 50% chance of landing on heads and would reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis.

If, on the other hand, there were 48 heads and 52 tails, then it is plausible that the coin could be fair and still produce such a result. In cases such as this where the null hypothesis is "accepted," the analyst states that the difference between the expected results (50 heads and 50 tails) and the observed results (48 heads and 52 tails) is "explainable by chance alone."

Some staticians attribute the first hypothesis tests to satirical writer John Arbuthnot in 1710, who studied male and female births in England after observing that in nearly every year, male births exceeded female births by a slight proportion. Arbuthnot calculated that the probability of this happening by chance was small, and therefore it was due to “divine providence.”

## What is Hypothesis Testing?

Hypothesis testing refers to a process used by analysts to assess the plausibility of a hypothesis by using sample data. In hypothesis testing, statisticians formulate two hypotheses: the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. A null hypothesis determines there is no difference between two groups or conditions, while the alternative hypothesis determines that there is a difference. Researchers evaluate the statistical significance of the test based on the probability that the null hypothesis is true.

## What are the Four Key Steps Involved in Hypothesis Testing?

Hypothesis testing begins with an analyst stating two hypotheses, with only one that can be right. The analyst then formulates an analysis plan, which outlines how the data will be evaluated. Next, they move to the testing phase and analyze the sample data. Finally, the analyst analyzes the results and either rejects the null hypothesis or states that the null hypothesis is plausible, given the data.

## What are the Benefits of Hypothesis Testing?

Hypothesis testing helps assess the accuracy of new ideas or theories by testing them against data. This allows researchers to determine whether the evidence supports their hypothesis, helping to avoid false claims and conclusions. Hypothesis testing also provides a framework for decision-making based on data rather than personal opinions or biases. By relying on statistical analysis, hypothesis testing helps to reduce the effects of chance and confounding variables, providing a robust framework for making informed conclusions.

## What are the Limitations of Hypothesis Testing?

Hypothesis testing relies exclusively on data and doesn’t provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject being studied. Additionally, the accuracy of the results depends on the quality of the available data and the statistical methods used. Inaccurate data or inappropriate hypothesis formulation may lead to incorrect conclusions or failed tests. Hypothesis testing can also lead to errors, such as analysts either accepting or rejecting a null hypothesis when they shouldn’t have. These errors may result in false conclusions or missed opportunities to identify significant patterns or relationships in the data.

## The Bottom Line

Hypothesis testing refers to a statistical process that helps researchers and/or analysts determine the reliability of a study. By using a well-formulated hypothesis and set of statistical tests, individuals or businesses can make inferences about the population that they are studying and draw conclusions based on the data presented. There are different types of hypothesis testing, each with their own set of rules and procedures. However, all hypothesis testing methods have the same four step process, which includes stating the hypotheses, formulating an analysis plan, analyzing the sample data, and analyzing the result. Hypothesis testing plays a vital part of the scientific process, helping to test assumptions and make better data-based decisions.

Sage. " Introduction to Hypothesis Testing. " Page 4.

Elder Research. " Who Invented the Null Hypothesis? "

Formplus. " Hypothesis Testing: Definition, Uses, Limitations and Examples. "

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## How to Write a Great Hypothesis

Hypothesis Format, Examples, and Tips

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk, "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.

Verywell / Alex Dos Diaz

- The Scientific Method

## Hypothesis Format

Falsifiability of a hypothesis, operational definitions, types of hypotheses, hypotheses examples.

- Collecting Data

## Frequently Asked Questions

A hypothesis is a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables. It is a specific, testable prediction about what you expect to happen in a study.

One hypothesis example would be a study designed to look at the relationship between sleep deprivation and test performance might have a hypothesis that states: "This study is designed to assess the hypothesis that sleep-deprived people will perform worse on a test than individuals who are not sleep-deprived."

This article explores how a hypothesis is used in psychology research, how to write a good hypothesis, and the different types of hypotheses you might use.

## The Hypothesis in the Scientific Method

In the scientific method , whether it involves research in psychology, biology, or some other area, a hypothesis represents what the researchers think will happen in an experiment. The scientific method involves the following steps:

- Forming a question
- Performing background research
- Creating a hypothesis
- Designing an experiment
- Collecting data
- Analyzing the results
- Drawing conclusions
- Communicating the results

The hypothesis is a prediction, but it involves more than a guess. Most of the time, the hypothesis begins with a question which is then explored through background research. It is only at this point that researchers begin to develop a testable hypothesis. Unless you are creating an exploratory study, your hypothesis should always explain what you expect to happen.

In a study exploring the effects of a particular drug, the hypothesis might be that researchers expect the drug to have some type of effect on the symptoms of a specific illness. In psychology, the hypothesis might focus on how a certain aspect of the environment might influence a particular behavior.

Remember, a hypothesis does not have to be correct. While the hypothesis predicts what the researchers expect to see, the goal of the research is to determine whether this guess is right or wrong. When conducting an experiment, researchers might explore a number of factors to determine which ones might contribute to the ultimate outcome.

In many cases, researchers may find that the results of an experiment do not support the original hypothesis. When writing up these results, the researchers might suggest other options that should be explored in future studies.

In many cases, researchers might draw a hypothesis from a specific theory or build on previous research. For example, prior research has shown that stress can impact the immune system. So a researcher might hypothesize: "People with high-stress levels will be more likely to contract a common cold after being exposed to the virus than people who have low-stress levels."

In other instances, researchers might look at commonly held beliefs or folk wisdom. "Birds of a feather flock together" is one example of folk wisdom that a psychologist might try to investigate. The researcher might pose a specific hypothesis that "People tend to select romantic partners who are similar to them in interests and educational level."

## Elements of a Good Hypothesis

So how do you write a good hypothesis? When trying to come up with a hypothesis for your research or experiments, ask yourself the following questions:

- Is your hypothesis based on your research on a topic?
- Can your hypothesis be tested?
- Does your hypothesis include independent and dependent variables?

Before you come up with a specific hypothesis, spend some time doing background research. Once you have completed a literature review, start thinking about potential questions you still have. Pay attention to the discussion section in the journal articles you read . Many authors will suggest questions that still need to be explored.

To form a hypothesis, you should take these steps:

- Collect as many observations about a topic or problem as you can.
- Evaluate these observations and look for possible causes of the problem.
- Create a list of possible explanations that you might want to explore.
- After you have developed some possible hypotheses, think of ways that you could confirm or disprove each hypothesis through experimentation. This is known as falsifiability.

In the scientific method , falsifiability is an important part of any valid hypothesis. In order to test a claim scientifically, it must be possible that the claim could be proven false.

Students sometimes confuse the idea of falsifiability with the idea that it means that something is false, which is not the case. What falsifiability means is that if something was false, then it is possible to demonstrate that it is false.

One of the hallmarks of pseudoscience is that it makes claims that cannot be refuted or proven false.

A variable is a factor or element that can be changed and manipulated in ways that are observable and measurable. However, the researcher must also define how the variable will be manipulated and measured in the study.

For example, a researcher might operationally define the variable " test anxiety " as the results of a self-report measure of anxiety experienced during an exam. A "study habits" variable might be defined by the amount of studying that actually occurs as measured by time.

These precise descriptions are important because many things can be measured in a number of different ways. One of the basic principles of any type of scientific research is that the results must be replicable. By clearly detailing the specifics of how the variables were measured and manipulated, other researchers can better understand the results and repeat the study if needed.

Some variables are more difficult than others to define. How would you operationally define a variable such as aggression ? For obvious ethical reasons, researchers cannot create a situation in which a person behaves aggressively toward others.

In order to measure this variable, the researcher must devise a measurement that assesses aggressive behavior without harming other people. In this situation, the researcher might utilize a simulated task to measure aggressiveness.

## Hypothesis Checklist

- Does your hypothesis focus on something that you can actually test?
- Does your hypothesis include both an independent and dependent variable?
- Can you manipulate the variables?
- Can your hypothesis be tested without violating ethical standards?

The hypothesis you use will depend on what you are investigating and hoping to find. Some of the main types of hypotheses that you might use include:

- Simple hypothesis : This type of hypothesis suggests that there is a relationship between one independent variable and one dependent variable.
- Complex hypothesis : This type of hypothesis suggests a relationship between three or more variables, such as two independent variables and a dependent variable.
- Null hypothesis : This hypothesis suggests no relationship exists between two or more variables.
- Alternative hypothesis : This hypothesis states the opposite of the null hypothesis.
- Statistical hypothesis : This hypothesis uses statistical analysis to evaluate a representative sample of the population and then generalizes the findings to the larger group.
- Logical hypothesis : This hypothesis assumes a relationship between variables without collecting data or evidence.

A hypothesis often follows a basic format of "If {this happens} then {this will happen}." One way to structure your hypothesis is to describe what will happen to the dependent variable if you change the independent variable .

The basic format might be: "If {these changes are made to a certain independent variable}, then we will observe {a change in a specific dependent variable}."

## A few examples of simple hypotheses:

- "Students who eat breakfast will perform better on a math exam than students who do not eat breakfast."
- Complex hypothesis: "Students who experience test anxiety before an English exam will get lower scores than students who do not experience test anxiety."
- "Motorists who talk on the phone while driving will be more likely to make errors on a driving course than those who do not talk on the phone."

## Examples of a complex hypothesis include:

- "People with high-sugar diets and sedentary activity levels are more likely to develop depression."
- "Younger people who are regularly exposed to green, outdoor areas have better subjective well-being than older adults who have limited exposure to green spaces."

## Examples of a null hypothesis include:

- "Children who receive a new reading intervention will have scores different than students who do not receive the intervention."
- "There will be no difference in scores on a memory recall task between children and adults."

## Examples of an alternative hypothesis:

- "Children who receive a new reading intervention will perform better than students who did not receive the intervention."
- "Adults will perform better on a memory task than children."

## Collecting Data on Your Hypothesis

Once a researcher has formed a testable hypothesis, the next step is to select a research design and start collecting data. The research method depends largely on exactly what they are studying. There are two basic types of research methods: descriptive research and experimental research.

## Descriptive Research Methods

Descriptive research such as case studies , naturalistic observations , and surveys are often used when it would be impossible or difficult to conduct an experiment . These methods are best used to describe different aspects of a behavior or psychological phenomenon.

Once a researcher has collected data using descriptive methods, a correlational study can then be used to look at how the variables are related. This type of research method might be used to investigate a hypothesis that is difficult to test experimentally.

## Experimental Research Methods

Experimental methods are used to demonstrate causal relationships between variables. In an experiment, the researcher systematically manipulates a variable of interest (known as the independent variable) and measures the effect on another variable (known as the dependent variable).

Unlike correlational studies, which can only be used to determine if there is a relationship between two variables, experimental methods can be used to determine the actual nature of the relationship—whether changes in one variable actually cause another to change.

## A Word From Verywell

The hypothesis is a critical part of any scientific exploration. It represents what researchers expect to find in a study or experiment. In situations where the hypothesis is unsupported by the research, the research still has value. Such research helps us better understand how different aspects of the natural world relate to one another. It also helps us develop new hypotheses that can then be tested in the future.

Some examples of how to write a hypothesis include:

- "Staying up late will lead to worse test performance the next day."
- "People who consume one apple each day will visit the doctor fewer times each year."
- "Breaking study sessions up into three 20-minute sessions will lead to better test results than a single 60-minute study session."

The four parts of a hypothesis are:

- The research question
- The independent variable (IV)
- The dependent variable (DV)
- The proposed relationship between the IV and DV

Castillo M. The scientific method: a need for something better? . AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2013;34(9):1669-71. doi:10.3174/ajnr.A3401

Nevid J. Psychology: Concepts and Applications. Wadworth, 2013.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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## Hypothesis Testing | A Step-by-Step Guide with Easy Examples

Published on November 8, 2019 by Rebecca Bevans . Revised on June 22, 2023.

Hypothesis testing is a formal procedure for investigating our ideas about the world using statistics . It is most often used by scientists to test specific predictions, called hypotheses, that arise from theories.

There are 5 main steps in hypothesis testing:

- State your research hypothesis as a null hypothesis and alternate hypothesis (H o ) and (H a or H 1 ).
- Collect data in a way designed to test the hypothesis.
- Perform an appropriate statistical test .
- Decide whether to reject or fail to reject your null hypothesis.
- Present the findings in your results and discussion section.

Though the specific details might vary, the procedure you will use when testing a hypothesis will always follow some version of these steps.

## Table of contents

Step 1: state your null and alternate hypothesis, step 2: collect data, step 3: perform a statistical test, step 4: decide whether to reject or fail to reject your null hypothesis, step 5: present your findings, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about hypothesis testing.

After developing your initial research hypothesis (the prediction that you want to investigate), it is important to restate it as a null (H o ) and alternate (H a ) hypothesis so that you can test it mathematically.

The alternate hypothesis is usually your initial hypothesis that predicts a relationship between variables. The null hypothesis is a prediction of no relationship between the variables you are interested in.

- H 0 : Men are, on average, not taller than women. H a : Men are, on average, taller than women.

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For a statistical test to be valid , it is important to perform sampling and collect data in a way that is designed to test your hypothesis. If your data are not representative, then you cannot make statistical inferences about the population you are interested in.

There are a variety of statistical tests available, but they are all based on the comparison of within-group variance (how spread out the data is within a category) versus between-group variance (how different the categories are from one another).

If the between-group variance is large enough that there is little or no overlap between groups, then your statistical test will reflect that by showing a low p -value . This means it is unlikely that the differences between these groups came about by chance.

Alternatively, if there is high within-group variance and low between-group variance, then your statistical test will reflect that with a high p -value. This means it is likely that any difference you measure between groups is due to chance.

Your choice of statistical test will be based on the type of variables and the level of measurement of your collected data .

- an estimate of the difference in average height between the two groups.
- a p -value showing how likely you are to see this difference if the null hypothesis of no difference is true.

Based on the outcome of your statistical test, you will have to decide whether to reject or fail to reject your null hypothesis.

In most cases you will use the p -value generated by your statistical test to guide your decision. And in most cases, your predetermined level of significance for rejecting the null hypothesis will be 0.05 – that is, when there is a less than 5% chance that you would see these results if the null hypothesis were true.

In some cases, researchers choose a more conservative level of significance, such as 0.01 (1%). This minimizes the risk of incorrectly rejecting the null hypothesis ( Type I error ).

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The results of hypothesis testing will be presented in the results and discussion sections of your research paper , dissertation or thesis .

In the results section you should give a brief summary of the data and a summary of the results of your statistical test (for example, the estimated difference between group means and associated p -value). In the discussion , you can discuss whether your initial hypothesis was supported by your results or not.

In the formal language of hypothesis testing, we talk about rejecting or failing to reject the null hypothesis. You will probably be asked to do this in your statistics assignments.

However, when presenting research results in academic papers we rarely talk this way. Instead, we go back to our alternate hypothesis (in this case, the hypothesis that men are on average taller than women) and state whether the result of our test did or did not support the alternate hypothesis.

If your null hypothesis was rejected, this result is interpreted as “supported the alternate hypothesis.”

These are superficial differences; you can see that they mean the same thing.

You might notice that we don’t say that we reject or fail to reject the alternate hypothesis . This is because hypothesis testing is not designed to prove or disprove anything. It is only designed to test whether a pattern we measure could have arisen spuriously, or by chance.

If we reject the null hypothesis based on our research (i.e., we find that it is unlikely that the pattern arose by chance), then we can say our test lends support to our hypothesis . But if the pattern does not pass our decision rule, meaning that it could have arisen by chance, then we say the test is inconsistent with our hypothesis .

If you want to know more about statistics , methodology , or research bias , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

- Normal distribution
- Descriptive statistics
- Measures of central tendency
- Correlation coefficient

Methodology

- Cluster sampling
- Stratified sampling
- Types of interviews
- Cohort study
- Thematic analysis

Research bias

- Implicit bias
- Cognitive bias
- Survivorship bias
- Availability heuristic
- Nonresponse bias
- Regression to the mean

Hypothesis testing is a formal procedure for investigating our ideas about the world using statistics. It is used by scientists to test specific predictions, called hypotheses , by calculating how likely it is that a pattern or relationship between variables could have arisen by chance.

A hypothesis states your predictions about what your research will find. It is a tentative answer to your research question that has not yet been tested. For some research projects, you might have to write several hypotheses that address different aspects of your research question.

A hypothesis is not just a guess — it should be based on existing theories and knowledge. It also has to be testable, which means you can support or refute it through scientific research methods (such as experiments, observations and statistical analysis of data).

Null and alternative hypotheses are used in statistical hypothesis testing . The null hypothesis of a test always predicts no effect or no relationship between variables, while the alternative hypothesis states your research prediction of an effect or relationship.

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## Hypothesis Testing in Business Analytics – A Beginner’s Guide

Introduction

Organizations must understand how their decisions can impact the business in this data-driven age. Hypothesis testing enables organizations to analyze and examine their decisions’ causes and effects before making important management decisions. Based on research by the Harvard Business School Online, prior to making any decision, organizations like to explore the advantages of hypothesis testing and the investigation of decisions in a proper “laboratory” setting. By performing such tests, organizations can be more confident with their decisions. Read on to learn all about hypothesis testing , o ne of the essential concepts in Business Analytics.

What Is Hypothesis Testing?

To learn about hypothesis testing, it is crucial that you first understand what the term hypothesis is.

A hypothesis statement or hypothesis tries to explain why something happened or what may happen under specific conditions. A hypothesis can also help understand how various variables are connected to each other. These are generally compiled as if-then statements; for example, “If something specific were to happen, then a specific condition will come true and vice versa.” Thus, the hypothesis is an arithmetical method of testing a hypothesis or an assumption that has been stated in the hypothesis.

Turning into a decision-maker who is driven by data can add several advantages to an organization, such as allowing one to recognize new opportunities to follow and reducing the number of threats. In analytics, a hypothesis is nothing but an assumption or a supposition made about a specific population parameter, such as any measurement or quantity about the population that is set and that can be used as a value to the distribution variable. General examples of parameters used in hypothesis testing are variance and mean. In simpler words, hypothesis testing in business analytics is a method that helps researchers, scientists, or anyone for that matter, test the legitimacy or the authenticity of their hypotheses or claims about real-life or real-world events.

To understand the example of hypothesis testing in business analytics, consider a restaurant owner interested in learning how adding extra house sauce to their chicken burgers can impact customer satisfaction. Or, you could also consider a social media marketing organization. A hypothesis test can be set up to explain how an increase in labor impacts productivity. Thus, hypothesis testing aims to discover the connection between two or more than two variables in the experimental setting.

How Does Hypothesis Testing Work?

Generally, each research begins with a hypothesis; the investigator makes a certain claim and experiments to prove that the claim is false or true. For example, if you claim that students drinking milk before class accomplish tasks better than those who do not, then this is a kind of hypothesis that can be refuted or confirmed using an experiment. There are different kinds of hypotheses. They are:

- Simple Hypothesis : Simple hypothesis, also known as a basic hypothesis, proposes that an independent variable is accountable for the corresponding dependent variable. In simpler words, the occurrence of independent variable results in the existence of the dependent variable. Generally, simple hypotheses are thought of as true and they create a causal relationship between the two variables. One example of a simple hypothesis is smoking cigarettes daily leads to cancer.
- Complex Hypothesis : This type of hypothesis is also termed a modal. It holds for the relationship between two variables that are independent and result in a dependent variable. This means that the amalgamation of independent variables results in the dependent variables. An example of this kind of hypothesis can be “adults who don’t drink and smoke are less likely to have liver-related problems.
- Null Hypothesis : A null hypothesis is created when a researcher thinks that there is no connection between the variables that are being observed. An example of this kind of hypothesis can be “A student’s performance is not impacted if they drink tea or coffee before classes.
- Alternative Hypothesis : If a researcher wants to disapprove of a null hypothesis, then the researcher has to develop an opposite assumption—known as an alternative hypothesis. For example, beginning your day with tea instead of coffee can keep you more alert.
- Logical Hypothesis: A proposed explanation supported by scant data is called a logical hypothesis. Generally, you wish to test your hypotheses or postulations by converting a logical hypothesis into an empirical hypothesis. For example, waking early helps one to have a productive day.
- Empirical Hypothesis : This type of hypothesis is based on real evidence, evidence that is verifiable by observation as opposed to something that is correct in theory or by some kind of reckoning or logic. This kind of hypothesis depends on various variables that can result in specific outcomes. For example, individuals eating more fish can run faster than those eating meat.
- Statistical Hypothesis : This kind of hypothesis is most common in systematic investigations that involve a huge target audience. For example, in Louisiana, 45% of students have middle-income parents.

Four Steps of Hypothesis Testing

There are four main steps in hypothesis testing in business analytics :

Step 1: State the Null and Alternate Hypothesis

After the initial research hypothesis, it is essential to restate it as a null (Ho) hypothesis and an alternate (Ha) hypothesis so that it can be tested mathematically.

Step 2: Collate Data

For a test to be valid, it is essential to do some sampling and collate data in a manner designed to test the hypothesis. If your data are not representative, then statistical inferences cannot be made about the population you are trying to analyze.

Step 3: Perform a Statistical Test

Various statistical tests are present, but all of them depend on the contrast of within-group variance (how to spread out the data in a group) against between-group variance (how dissimilar the groups are from one another).

Step 4: Decide to Reject or Accept Your Null Hypothesis

Based on the result of your statistical test, you need to decide whether you want to accept or reject your null hypothesis.

Hypothesis Testing in Business

When we talk about data-driven decision-making, a specific amount of risk can deceive a professional. This could result from flawed observations or thinking inaccurate or incomplete information , or unknown variables. The threat over here is that if key strategic decisions are made on incorrect insights, it can lead to catastrophic outcomes for an organization. The actual importance of hypothesis testing is that it enables professionals to analyze their assumptions and theories before putting them into action. This enables an organization to confirm the accuracy of its analysis before making key decisions.

Key Considerations for Hypothesis Testing

Let us look at the following key considerations of hypothesis testing:

- Alternative Hypothesis and Null Hypothesis : If a researcher wants to disapprove of a null hypothesis, then the researcher has to develop an opposite assumption—known as an alternative hypothesis. A null hypothesis is created when a researcher thinks that there is no connection between the variables that are being observed.
- Significance Level and P-Value : The statistical significance level is generally expressed as a p-value that lies between 0 and 1. The lesser the p-value, the more it suggests that you reject the null hypothesis. A p-value of less than 0.05 (generally ≤ 0.05) is significant statistically.
- One-Sided vs. Two-Sided Testing : One-sided tests suggest the possibility of an effect in a single direction only. Two-sided tests test for the likelihood of the effect in two directions—negative and positive. One-sided tests comprise more statistical power to identify an effect in a single direction than a two-sided test with the same significance level and design.
- Sampling: For hypothesis testing , you are required to collate a sample of data that has to be examined. In hypothesis testing, an analyst can test a statistical sample with the aim of providing proof of the credibility of the null hypothesis. Statistical analysts can test a hypothesis by examining and measuring a random sample of the population that is being examined.

Real-World Example of Hypothesis Testing

The following two examples give a glimpse of the various situations in which hypothesis testing is used in real-world scenarios.

Example: BioSciences

Hypothesis tests are frequently used in biological sciences. For example, consider that a biologist is sure that a certain kind of fertilizer will lead to better growth of plants which is at present 10 inches. To test this, the fertilizer is sprayed on the plants in the laboratory for a month. A hypothesis test is then done using the following:

- H0: μ = 10 inches (the fertilizer has no effect on the plant growth)
- HA: μ > 10 inches (the fertilizer leads to an increase in plant growth)

Suppose the p-value is lesser than the significance level (e.g., α = .04). In that case, the null hypothesis can be rejected, and it can be concluded that the fertilizer results in increased plant growth.

Example: Clinical Trials

Consider an example where a doctor feels that a new medicine can decrease blood sugar in patients. To confirm this, he can measure the sugar of 20 diabetic patients prior to and after administering the new drug for a month. A hypothesis test is then done using the following:

- H0: μafter = μbefore (the blood sugar is the same as before and after administering the new drug)
- HA: μafter < μbefore (the blood sugar is less after the drug)

If the p-value is less than the significance level (e.g., α = .04), then the null hypothesis can be rejected, and it can be proven that the new drug leads to reduced blood sugar.

Conclusion

Now you are aware of the need for hypotheses in Business Analytics . A hypothesis is not just an assumption— it has to be based on prior knowledge and theories. It also needs to be, which means that you can accept or reject it using scientific research methods (such as observations, experiments, and statistical data analysis). Most genuine Hypothesis testing programs teach you how to use hypothesis testing in real-world scenarios. If you are interested in getting a certificate degree in Integrated Program In Business Analytics , UNext Jigsaw is highly recommended.

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## What is a research hypothesis: How to write it, types, and examples

Any research begins with a research question and a research hypothesis . A research question alone may not suffice to design the experiment(s) needed to answer it. A hypothesis is central to the scientific method. But what is a hypothesis ? A hypothesis is a testable statement that proposes a possible explanation to a phenomenon, and it may include a prediction. Next, you may ask what is a research hypothesis ? Simply put, a research hypothesis is a prediction or educated guess about the relationship between the variables that you want to investigate.

It is important to be thorough when developing your research hypothesis. Shortcomings in the framing of a hypothesis can affect the study design and the results. A better understanding of the research hypothesis definition and characteristics of a good hypothesis will make it easier for you to develop your own hypothesis for your research. Let’s dive in to know more about the types of research hypothesis , how to write a research hypothesis , and some research hypothesis examples .

Table of Contents

## What is a hypothesis ?

A hypothesis is based on the existing body of knowledge in a study area. Framed before the data are collected, a hypothesis states the tentative relationship between independent and dependent variables, along with a prediction of the outcome.

## What is a research hypothesis ?

Young researchers starting out their journey are usually brimming with questions like “ What is a hypothesis ?” “ What is a research hypothesis ?” “How can I write a good research hypothesis ?”

A research hypothesis is a statement that proposes a possible explanation for an observable phenomenon or pattern. It guides the direction of a study and predicts the outcome of the investigation. A research hypothesis is testable, i.e., it can be supported or disproven through experimentation or observation.

## Characteristics of a good hypothesis

Here are the characteristics of a good hypothesis :

- Clearly formulated and free of language errors and ambiguity
- Concise and not unnecessarily verbose
- Has clearly defined variables
- Testable and stated in a way that allows for it to be disproven
- Can be tested using a research design that is feasible, ethical, and practical
- Specific and relevant to the research problem
- Rooted in a thorough literature search
- Can generate new knowledge or understanding.

## How to create an effective research hypothesis

A study begins with the formulation of a research question. A researcher then performs background research. This background information forms the basis for building a good research hypothesis . The researcher then performs experiments, collects, and analyzes the data, interprets the findings, and ultimately, determines if the findings support or negate the original hypothesis.

Let’s look at each step for creating an effective, testable, and good research hypothesis :

- Identify a research problem or question: Start by identifying a specific research problem.
- Review the literature: Conduct an in-depth review of the existing literature related to the research problem to grasp the current knowledge and gaps in the field.
- Formulate a clear and testable hypothesis : Based on the research question, use existing knowledge to form a clear and testable hypothesis . The hypothesis should state a predicted relationship between two or more variables that can be measured and manipulated. Improve the original draft till it is clear and meaningful.
- State the null hypothesis: The null hypothesis is a statement that there is no relationship between the variables you are studying.
- Define the population and sample: Clearly define the population you are studying and the sample you will be using for your research.
- Select appropriate methods for testing the hypothesis: Select appropriate research methods, such as experiments, surveys, or observational studies, which will allow you to test your research hypothesis .

Remember that creating a research hypothesis is an iterative process, i.e., you might have to revise it based on the data you collect. You may need to test and reject several hypotheses before answering the research problem.

## How to write a research hypothesis

When you start writing a research hypothesis , you use an “if–then” statement format, which states the predicted relationship between two or more variables. Clearly identify the independent variables (the variables being changed) and the dependent variables (the variables being measured), as well as the population you are studying. Review and revise your hypothesis as needed.

An example of a research hypothesis in this format is as follows:

“ If [athletes] follow [cold water showers daily], then their [endurance] increases.”

Population: athletes

Independent variable: daily cold water showers

Dependent variable: endurance

You may have understood the characteristics of a good hypothesis . But note that a research hypothesis is not always confirmed; a researcher should be prepared to accept or reject the hypothesis based on the study findings.

## Research hypothesis checklist

Following from above, here is a 10-point checklist for a good research hypothesis :

- Testable: A research hypothesis should be able to be tested via experimentation or observation.
- Specific: A research hypothesis should clearly state the relationship between the variables being studied.
- Based on prior research: A research hypothesis should be based on existing knowledge and previous research in the field.
- Falsifiable: A research hypothesis should be able to be disproven through testing.
- Clear and concise: A research hypothesis should be stated in a clear and concise manner.
- Logical: A research hypothesis should be logical and consistent with current understanding of the subject.
- Relevant: A research hypothesis should be relevant to the research question and objectives.
- Feasible: A research hypothesis should be feasible to test within the scope of the study.
- Reflects the population: A research hypothesis should consider the population or sample being studied.
- Uncomplicated: A good research hypothesis is written in a way that is easy for the target audience to understand.

By following this research hypothesis checklist , you will be able to create a research hypothesis that is strong, well-constructed, and more likely to yield meaningful results.

## Types of research hypothesis

Different types of research hypothesis are used in scientific research:

## 1. Null hypothesis:

A null hypothesis states that there is no change in the dependent variable due to changes to the independent variable. This means that the results are due to chance and are not significant. A null hypothesis is denoted as H0 and is stated as the opposite of what the alternative hypothesis states.

Example: “ The newly identified virus is not zoonotic .”

## 2. Alternative hypothesis:

This states that there is a significant difference or relationship between the variables being studied. It is denoted as H1 or Ha and is usually accepted or rejected in favor of the null hypothesis.

Example: “ The newly identified virus is zoonotic .”

## 3. Directional hypothesis :

This specifies the direction of the relationship or difference between variables; therefore, it tends to use terms like increase, decrease, positive, negative, more, or less.

Example: “ The inclusion of intervention X decreases infant mortality compared to the original treatment .”

## 4. Non-directional hypothesis:

While it does not predict the exact direction or nature of the relationship between the two variables, a non-directional hypothesis states the existence of a relationship or difference between variables but not the direction, nature, or magnitude of the relationship. A non-directional hypothesis may be used when there is no underlying theory or when findings contradict previous research.

Example, “ Cats and dogs differ in the amount of affection they express .”

## 5. Simple hypothesis :

A simple hypothesis only predicts the relationship between one independent and another independent variable.

Example: “ Applying sunscreen every day slows skin aging .”

## 6 . Complex hypothesis :

A complex hypothesis states the relationship or difference between two or more independent and dependent variables.

Example: “ Applying sunscreen every day slows skin aging, reduces sun burn, and reduces the chances of skin cancer .” (Here, the three dependent variables are slowing skin aging, reducing sun burn, and reducing the chances of skin cancer.)

## 7. Associative hypothesis:

An associative hypothesis states that a change in one variable results in the change of the other variable. The associative hypothesis defines interdependency between variables.

Example: “ There is a positive association between physical activity levels and overall health .”

## 8 . Causal hypothesis:

A causal hypothesis proposes a cause-and-effect interaction between variables.

Example: “ Long-term alcohol use causes liver damage .”

Note that some of the types of research hypothesis mentioned above might overlap. The types of hypothesis chosen will depend on the research question and the objective of the study.

## Research hypothesis examples

Here are some good research hypothesis examples :

“The use of a specific type of therapy will lead to a reduction in symptoms of depression in individuals with a history of major depressive disorder.”

“Providing educational interventions on healthy eating habits will result in weight loss in overweight individuals.”

“Plants that are exposed to certain types of music will grow taller than those that are not exposed to music.”

“The use of the plant growth regulator X will lead to an increase in the number of flowers produced by plants.”

Characteristics that make a research hypothesis weak are unclear variables, unoriginality, being too general or too vague, and being untestable. A weak hypothesis leads to weak research and improper methods.

Some bad research hypothesis examples (and the reasons why they are “bad”) are as follows:

“This study will show that treatment X is better than any other treatment . ” (This statement is not testable, too broad, and does not consider other treatments that may be effective.)

“This study will prove that this type of therapy is effective for all mental disorders . ” (This statement is too broad and not testable as mental disorders are complex and different disorders may respond differently to different types of therapy.)

“Plants can communicate with each other through telepathy . ” (This statement is not testable and lacks a scientific basis.)

## Importance of testable hypothesis

If a research hypothesis is not testable, the results will not prove or disprove anything meaningful. The conclusions will be vague at best. A testable hypothesis helps a researcher focus on the study outcome and understand the implication of the question and the different variables involved. A testable hypothesis helps a researcher make precise predictions based on prior research.

To be considered testable, there must be a way to prove that the hypothesis is true or false; further, the results of the hypothesis must be reproducible.

## Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on research hypothesis

1. What is the difference between research question and research hypothesis ?

A research question defines the problem and helps outline the study objective(s). It is an open-ended statement that is exploratory or probing in nature. Therefore, it does not make predictions or assumptions. It helps a researcher identify what information to collect. A research hypothesis , however, is a specific, testable prediction about the relationship between variables. Accordingly, it guides the study design and data analysis approach.

2. When to reject null hypothesis ?

A null hypothesis should be rejected when the evidence from a statistical test shows that it is unlikely to be true. This happens when the test statistic (e.g., p -value) is less than the defined significance level (e.g., 0.05). Rejecting the null hypothesis does not necessarily mean that the alternative hypothesis is true; it simply means that the evidence found is not compatible with the null hypothesis.

3. How can I be sure my hypothesis is testable?

A testable hypothesis should be specific and measurable, and it should state a clear relationship between variables that can be tested with data. To ensure that your hypothesis is testable, consider the following:

- Clearly define the key variables in your hypothesis. You should be able to measure and manipulate these variables in a way that allows you to test the hypothesis.
- The hypothesis should predict a specific outcome or relationship between variables that can be measured or quantified.
- You should be able to collect the necessary data within the constraints of your study.
- It should be possible for other researchers to replicate your study, using the same methods and variables.
- Your hypothesis should be testable by using appropriate statistical analysis techniques, so you can draw conclusions, and make inferences about the population from the sample data.
- The hypothesis should be able to be disproven or rejected through the collection of data.

4. How do I revise my research hypothesis if my data does not support it?

If your data does not support your research hypothesis , you will need to revise it or develop a new one. You should examine your data carefully and identify any patterns or anomalies, re-examine your research question, and/or revisit your theory to look for any alternative explanations for your results. Based on your review of the data, literature, and theories, modify your research hypothesis to better align it with the results you obtained. Use your revised hypothesis to guide your research design and data collection. It is important to remain objective throughout the process.

5. I am performing exploratory research. Do I need to formulate a research hypothesis?

As opposed to “confirmatory” research, where a researcher has some idea about the relationship between the variables under investigation, exploratory research (or hypothesis-generating research) looks into a completely new topic about which limited information is available. Therefore, the researcher will not have any prior hypotheses. In such cases, a researcher will need to develop a post-hoc hypothesis. A post-hoc research hypothesis is generated after these results are known.

6. How is a research hypothesis different from a research question?

A research question is an inquiry about a specific topic or phenomenon, typically expressed as a question. It seeks to explore and understand a particular aspect of the research subject. In contrast, a research hypothesis is a specific statement or prediction that suggests an expected relationship between variables. It is formulated based on existing knowledge or theories and guides the research design and data analysis.

7. Can a research hypothesis change during the research process?

Yes, research hypotheses can change during the research process. As researchers collect and analyze data, new insights and information may emerge that require modification or refinement of the initial hypotheses. This can be due to unexpected findings, limitations in the original hypotheses, or the need to explore additional dimensions of the research topic. Flexibility is crucial in research, allowing for adaptation and adjustment of hypotheses to align with the evolving understanding of the subject matter.

8. How many hypotheses should be included in a research study?

The number of research hypotheses in a research study varies depending on the nature and scope of the research. It is not necessary to have multiple hypotheses in every study. Some studies may have only one primary hypothesis, while others may have several related hypotheses. The number of hypotheses should be determined based on the research objectives, research questions, and the complexity of the research topic. It is important to ensure that the hypotheses are focused, testable, and directly related to the research aims.

9. Can research hypotheses be used in qualitative research?

Yes, research hypotheses can be used in qualitative research, although they are more commonly associated with quantitative research. In qualitative research, hypotheses may be formulated as tentative or exploratory statements that guide the investigation. Instead of testing hypotheses through statistical analysis, qualitative researchers may use the hypotheses to guide data collection and analysis, seeking to uncover patterns, themes, or relationships within the qualitative data. The emphasis in qualitative research is often on generating insights and understanding rather than confirming or rejecting specific research hypotheses through statistical testing.

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Home » What is a Hypothesis – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

## What is a Hypothesis – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

Table of Contents

Definition:

Hypothesis is an educated guess or proposed explanation for a phenomenon, based on some initial observations or data. It is a tentative statement that can be tested and potentially proven or disproven through further investigation and experimentation.

Hypothesis is often used in scientific research to guide the design of experiments and the collection and analysis of data. It is an essential element of the scientific method, as it allows researchers to make predictions about the outcome of their experiments and to test those predictions to determine their accuracy.

## Types of Hypothesis

Types of Hypothesis are as follows:

## Research Hypothesis

A research hypothesis is a statement that predicts a relationship between variables. It is usually formulated as a specific statement that can be tested through research, and it is often used in scientific research to guide the design of experiments.

## Null Hypothesis

The null hypothesis is a statement that assumes there is no significant difference or relationship between variables. It is often used as a starting point for testing the research hypothesis, and if the results of the study reject the null hypothesis, it suggests that there is a significant difference or relationship between variables.

## Alternative Hypothesis

An alternative hypothesis is a statement that assumes there is a significant difference or relationship between variables. It is often used as an alternative to the null hypothesis and is tested against the null hypothesis to determine which statement is more accurate.

## Directional Hypothesis

A directional hypothesis is a statement that predicts the direction of the relationship between variables. For example, a researcher might predict that increasing the amount of exercise will result in a decrease in body weight.

## Non-directional Hypothesis

A non-directional hypothesis is a statement that predicts the relationship between variables but does not specify the direction. For example, a researcher might predict that there is a relationship between the amount of exercise and body weight, but they do not specify whether increasing or decreasing exercise will affect body weight.

## Statistical Hypothesis

A statistical hypothesis is a statement that assumes a particular statistical model or distribution for the data. It is often used in statistical analysis to test the significance of a particular result.

## Composite Hypothesis

A composite hypothesis is a statement that assumes more than one condition or outcome. It can be divided into several sub-hypotheses, each of which represents a different possible outcome.

## Empirical Hypothesis

An empirical hypothesis is a statement that is based on observed phenomena or data. It is often used in scientific research to develop theories or models that explain the observed phenomena.

## Simple Hypothesis

A simple hypothesis is a statement that assumes only one outcome or condition. It is often used in scientific research to test a single variable or factor.

## Complex Hypothesis

A complex hypothesis is a statement that assumes multiple outcomes or conditions. It is often used in scientific research to test the effects of multiple variables or factors on a particular outcome.

## Applications of Hypothesis

Hypotheses are used in various fields to guide research and make predictions about the outcomes of experiments or observations. Here are some examples of how hypotheses are applied in different fields:

- Science : In scientific research, hypotheses are used to test the validity of theories and models that explain natural phenomena. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of a particular variable on a natural system, such as the effects of climate change on an ecosystem.
- Medicine : In medical research, hypotheses are used to test the effectiveness of treatments and therapies for specific conditions. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of a new drug on a particular disease.
- Psychology : In psychology, hypotheses are used to test theories and models of human behavior and cognition. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of a particular stimulus on the brain or behavior.
- Sociology : In sociology, hypotheses are used to test theories and models of social phenomena, such as the effects of social structures or institutions on human behavior. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of income inequality on crime rates.
- Business : In business research, hypotheses are used to test the validity of theories and models that explain business phenomena, such as consumer behavior or market trends. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the effects of a new marketing campaign on consumer buying behavior.
- Engineering : In engineering, hypotheses are used to test the effectiveness of new technologies or designs. For example, a hypothesis might be formulated to test the efficiency of a new solar panel design.

## How to write a Hypothesis

Here are the steps to follow when writing a hypothesis:

## Identify the Research Question

The first step is to identify the research question that you want to answer through your study. This question should be clear, specific, and focused. It should be something that can be investigated empirically and that has some relevance or significance in the field.

## Conduct a Literature Review

Before writing your hypothesis, it’s essential to conduct a thorough literature review to understand what is already known about the topic. This will help you to identify the research gap and formulate a hypothesis that builds on existing knowledge.

## Determine the Variables

The next step is to identify the variables involved in the research question. A variable is any characteristic or factor that can vary or change. There are two types of variables: independent and dependent. The independent variable is the one that is manipulated or changed by the researcher, while the dependent variable is the one that is measured or observed as a result of the independent variable.

## Formulate the Hypothesis

Based on the research question and the variables involved, you can now formulate your hypothesis. A hypothesis should be a clear and concise statement that predicts the relationship between the variables. It should be testable through empirical research and based on existing theory or evidence.

## Write the Null Hypothesis

The null hypothesis is the opposite of the alternative hypothesis, which is the hypothesis that you are testing. The null hypothesis states that there is no significant difference or relationship between the variables. It is important to write the null hypothesis because it allows you to compare your results with what would be expected by chance.

## Refine the Hypothesis

After formulating the hypothesis, it’s important to refine it and make it more precise. This may involve clarifying the variables, specifying the direction of the relationship, or making the hypothesis more testable.

## Examples of Hypothesis

Here are a few examples of hypotheses in different fields:

- Psychology : “Increased exposure to violent video games leads to increased aggressive behavior in adolescents.”
- Biology : “Higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will lead to increased plant growth.”
- Sociology : “Individuals who grow up in households with higher socioeconomic status will have higher levels of education and income as adults.”
- Education : “Implementing a new teaching method will result in higher student achievement scores.”
- Marketing : “Customers who receive a personalized email will be more likely to make a purchase than those who receive a generic email.”
- Physics : “An increase in temperature will cause an increase in the volume of a gas, assuming all other variables remain constant.”
- Medicine : “Consuming a diet high in saturated fats will increase the risk of developing heart disease.”

## Purpose of Hypothesis

The purpose of a hypothesis is to provide a testable explanation for an observed phenomenon or a prediction of a future outcome based on existing knowledge or theories. A hypothesis is an essential part of the scientific method and helps to guide the research process by providing a clear focus for investigation. It enables scientists to design experiments or studies to gather evidence and data that can support or refute the proposed explanation or prediction.

The formulation of a hypothesis is based on existing knowledge, observations, and theories, and it should be specific, testable, and falsifiable. A specific hypothesis helps to define the research question, which is important in the research process as it guides the selection of an appropriate research design and methodology. Testability of the hypothesis means that it can be proven or disproven through empirical data collection and analysis. Falsifiability means that the hypothesis should be formulated in such a way that it can be proven wrong if it is incorrect.

In addition to guiding the research process, the testing of hypotheses can lead to new discoveries and advancements in scientific knowledge. When a hypothesis is supported by the data, it can be used to develop new theories or models to explain the observed phenomenon. When a hypothesis is not supported by the data, it can help to refine existing theories or prompt the development of new hypotheses to explain the phenomenon.

## When to use Hypothesis

Here are some common situations in which hypotheses are used:

- In scientific research , hypotheses are used to guide the design of experiments and to help researchers make predictions about the outcomes of those experiments.
- In social science research , hypotheses are used to test theories about human behavior, social relationships, and other phenomena.
- I n business , hypotheses can be used to guide decisions about marketing, product development, and other areas. For example, a hypothesis might be that a new product will sell well in a particular market, and this hypothesis can be tested through market research.

## Characteristics of Hypothesis

Here are some common characteristics of a hypothesis:

- Testable : A hypothesis must be able to be tested through observation or experimentation. This means that it must be possible to collect data that will either support or refute the hypothesis.
- Falsifiable : A hypothesis must be able to be proven false if it is not supported by the data. If a hypothesis cannot be falsified, then it is not a scientific hypothesis.
- Clear and concise : A hypothesis should be stated in a clear and concise manner so that it can be easily understood and tested.
- Based on existing knowledge : A hypothesis should be based on existing knowledge and research in the field. It should not be based on personal beliefs or opinions.
- Specific : A hypothesis should be specific in terms of the variables being tested and the predicted outcome. This will help to ensure that the research is focused and well-designed.
- Tentative: A hypothesis is a tentative statement or assumption that requires further testing and evidence to be confirmed or refuted. It is not a final conclusion or assertion.
- Relevant : A hypothesis should be relevant to the research question or problem being studied. It should address a gap in knowledge or provide a new perspective on the issue.

## Advantages of Hypothesis

Hypotheses have several advantages in scientific research and experimentation:

- Guides research: A hypothesis provides a clear and specific direction for research. It helps to focus the research question, select appropriate methods and variables, and interpret the results.
- Predictive powe r: A hypothesis makes predictions about the outcome of research, which can be tested through experimentation. This allows researchers to evaluate the validity of the hypothesis and make new discoveries.
- Facilitates communication: A hypothesis provides a common language and framework for scientists to communicate with one another about their research. This helps to facilitate the exchange of ideas and promotes collaboration.
- Efficient use of resources: A hypothesis helps researchers to use their time, resources, and funding efficiently by directing them towards specific research questions and methods that are most likely to yield results.
- Provides a basis for further research: A hypothesis that is supported by data provides a basis for further research and exploration. It can lead to new hypotheses, theories, and discoveries.
- Increases objectivity: A hypothesis can help to increase objectivity in research by providing a clear and specific framework for testing and interpreting results. This can reduce bias and increase the reliability of research findings.

## Limitations of Hypothesis

Some Limitations of the Hypothesis are as follows:

- Limited to observable phenomena: Hypotheses are limited to observable phenomena and cannot account for unobservable or intangible factors. This means that some research questions may not be amenable to hypothesis testing.
- May be inaccurate or incomplete: Hypotheses are based on existing knowledge and research, which may be incomplete or inaccurate. This can lead to flawed hypotheses and erroneous conclusions.
- May be biased: Hypotheses may be biased by the researcher’s own beliefs, values, or assumptions. This can lead to selective interpretation of data and a lack of objectivity in research.
- Cannot prove causation: A hypothesis can only show a correlation between variables, but it cannot prove causation. This requires further experimentation and analysis.
- Limited to specific contexts: Hypotheses are limited to specific contexts and may not be generalizable to other situations or populations. This means that results may not be applicable in other contexts or may require further testing.
- May be affected by chance : Hypotheses may be affected by chance or random variation, which can obscure or distort the true relationship between variables.

## About the author

## Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

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Business research: definition, types & methods.

10 min read What is business research and why does it matter? Here are some of the ways business research can be helpful to your company, whichever method you choose to carry it out.

## What is business research?

Business research helps companies make better business decisions by gathering information. The scope of the term business research is quite broad – it acts as an umbrella that covers every aspect of business, from finances to advertising creative. It can include research methods which help a company better understand its target market. It could focus on customer experience and assess customer satisfaction levels. Or it could involve sizing up the competition through competitor research.

Often when carrying out business research, companies are looking at their own data, sourced from their employees, their customers and their business records. However, business researchers can go beyond their own company in order to collect relevant information and understand patterns that may help leaders make informed decisions. For example, a business may carry out ethnographic research where the participants are studied in the context of their everyday lives, rather than just in their role as consumer, or look at secondary data sources such as open access public records and empirical research carried out in academic studies.

There is also a body of knowledge about business in general that can be mined for business research purposes. For example organizational theory and general studies on consumer behavior.

Free ebook: 2023 Global Consumer Trends Report

## Why is business research important?

We live in a time of high speed technological progress and hyper-connectedness. Customers have an entire market at their fingertips and can easily switch brands if a competitor is offering something better than you are. At the same time, the world of business has evolved to the point of near-saturation. It’s hard to think of a need that hasn’t been addressed by someone’s innovative product or service.

The combination of ease of switching, high consumer awareness and a super-evolved marketplace crowded with companies and their offerings means that businesses must do whatever they can to find and maintain an edge. Business research is one of the most useful weapons in the fight against business obscurity, since it allows companies to gain a deep understanding of buyer behavior and stay up to date at all times with detailed information on their market.

Thanks to the standard of modern business research tools and methods, it’s now possible for business analysts to track the intricate relationships between competitors, financial markets, social trends, geopolitical changes, world events, and more.

Find out how to conduct your own market research and make use of existing market research data with our Ultimate guide to market research

## Types of business research

Business research methods vary widely, but they can be grouped into two broad categories – qualitative research and quantitative research .

## Qualitative research methods

Qualitative business research deals with non-numerical data such as people’s thoughts, feelings and opinions. It relies heavily on the observations of researchers, who collect data from a relatively small number of participants – often through direct interactions.

Qualitative research interviews take place one-on-one between a researcher and participant. In a business context, the participant might be a customer, a supplier, an employee or other stakeholder. Using open-ended questions , the researcher conducts the interview in either a structured or unstructured format. Structured interviews stick closely to a question list and scripted phrases, while unstructured interviews are more conversational and exploratory. As well as listening to the participant’s responses, the interviewer will observe non-verbal information such as posture, tone of voice and facial expression.

## Focus groups

Like the qualitative interview, a focus group is a form of business research that uses direct interaction between the researcher and participants to collect data. In focus groups , a small number of participants (usually around 10) take part in a group discussion led by a researcher who acts as moderator. The researcher asks questions and takes note of the responses, as in a qualitative research interview. Sampling for focus groups is usually purposive rather than random, so that the group members represent varied points of view.

## Observational studies

In an observational study, the researcher may not directly interact with participants at all, but will pay attention to practical situations, such as a busy sales floor full of potential customers, or a conference for some relevant business activity. They will hear people speak and watch their interactions , then record relevant data such as behavior patterns that relate to the subject they are interested in. Observational studies can be classified as a type of ethnographic research. They can be used to gain insight about a company’s target audience in their everyday lives, or study employee behaviors in actual business situations.

## Ethnographic Research

Ethnographic research is an immersive design of research where one observes peoples’ behavior in their natural environment. Ethnography was most commonly found in the anthropology field and is now practices across a wide range of social sciences.

Ehnography is used to support a designer’s deeper understanding of the design problem – including the relevant domain, audience(s), processes, goals and context(s) of use.

The ethnographic research process is a popular methodology used in the software development lifecycle. It helps create better UI/UX flow based on the real needs of the end-users.

If you truly want to understand your customers’ needs, wants, desires, pain-points “walking a mile” in their shoes enables this. Ethnographic research is this deeply rooted part of research where you truly learn your targe audiences’ problem to craft the perfect solution.

## Case study research

A case study is a detailed piece of research that provides in depth knowledge about a specific person, place or organization. In the context of business research, case study research might focus on organizational dynamics or company culture in an actual business setting, and case studies have been used to develop new theories about how businesses operate. Proponents of case study research feel that it adds significant value in making theoretical and empirical advances. However its detractors point out that it can be time consuming and expensive, requiring highly skilled researchers to carry it out.

## Quantitative research methods

Quantitative research focuses on countable data that is objective in nature. It relies on finding the patterns and relationships that emerge from mass data – for example by analyzing the material posted on social media platforms, or via surveys of the target audience. Data collected through quantitative methods is empirical in nature and can be analyzed using statistical techniques. Unlike qualitative approaches, a quantitative research method is usually reliant on finding the right sample size, as this will determine whether the results are representative. These are just a few methods – there are many more.

Surveys are one of the most effective ways to conduct business research. They use a highly structured questionnaire which is distributed to participants, typically online (although in the past, face to face and telephone surveys were widely used). The questions are predominantly closed-ended, limiting the range of responses so that they can be grouped and analyzed at scale using statistical tools. However surveys can also be used to get a better understanding of the pain points customers face by providing open field responses where they can express themselves in their own words. Both types of data can be captured on the same questionnaire, which offers efficiency of time and cost to the researcher.

## Correlational research

Correlational research looks at the relationship between two entities, neither of which are manipulated by the researcher. For example, this might be the in-store sales of a certain product line and the proportion of female customers subscribed to a mailing list. Using statistical analysis methods, researchers can determine the strength of the correlation and even discover intricate relationships between the two variables. Compared with simple observation and intuition, correlation may identify further information about business activity and its impact, pointing the way towards potential improvements and more revenue.

## Experimental research

It may sound like something that is strictly for scientists, but experimental research is used by both businesses and scholars alike. When conducted as part of the business intelligence process, experimental research is used to test different tactics to see which ones are most successful – for example one marketing approach versus another. In the simplest form of experimental research, the researcher identifies a dependent variable and an independent variable. The hypothesis is that the independent variable has no effect on the dependent variable, and the researcher will change the independent one to test this assumption. In a business context, the hypothesis might be that price has no relationship to customer satisfaction. The researcher manipulates the price and observes the C-Sat scores to see if there’s an effect.

## The best tools for business research

You can make the business research process much quicker and more efficient by selecting the right tools. Business research methods like surveys and interviews demand tools and technologies that can store vast quantities of data while making them easy to access and navigate. If your system can also carry out statistical analysis, and provide predictive recommendations to help you with your business decisions, so much the better.

eBook: 2023 Global Consumer Trends Report

## Related resources

Market intelligence 10 min read, marketing insights 11 min read, ethnographic research 11 min read, qualitative vs quantitative research 13 min read, qualitative research questions 11 min read, qualitative research design 12 min read, primary vs secondary research 14 min read, request demo.

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## How Is a Hypothesis Important in Business?

- Small Business
- Business Communications & Etiquette
- Importance of Business Communication
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## How to Calculate Start-Up Costs for a Catering Business

What is the difference between primary & secondary data when it comes to market research, challenges in marketing products.

- How to Use Conjoint Analysis in Pricing Studies
- How to Write a Marketing Distribution Channel Strategy

Much of running a small business is a gamble, buoyed by boldness, intuition and guts. But wise business leaders also conduct formal and informal research to inform their business decisions. Good research starts with a good hypothesis, which is simply a statement making a prediction based on a set of observations. For example, if you’re considering offering flexible work hours to your employees, you might hypothesize that this policy change will positively affect their productivity and contribute to your bottom line. The ultimate job of the hypothesis in business is to serve as a guidepost to your testing and research methods.

## Importance of Hypothesis Testing in Business

Essentially good hypotheses lead decision-makers like you to new and better ways to achieve your business goals. When you need to make decisions such as how much you should spend on advertising or what effect a price increase will have your customer base, it’s easy to make wild assumptions or get lost in analysis paralysis. A business hypothesis solves this problem, because, at the start, it’s based on some foundational information. In all of science, hypotheses are grounded in theory. Theory tells you what you can generally expect from a certain line of inquiry.

A hypothesis based on years of business research in a particular area, then, helps you focus, define and appropriately direct your research. You won’t go on a wild goose chase to prove or disprove it. A hypothesis predicts the relationship between two variables. If you want to study pricing and customer loyalty, you won’t waste your time and resources studying tangential areas.

## Marketing Support

One of the most important hypotheses you’ll make in growing your small business is the cost of acquiring a customer. Your viability as a business is founded on ensuring that your customers bring you more money than it costs you to get them in the door. Hypothesizing this number informs not only your pricing strategy but also your marketing efforts and the rest of your overhead expenses. You can also make predictions about the lifetime value of each customer to determine how much marketing you need to do. Businesses frequently attempt to guesstimate how long a customer will stick around and how much sales to each one will contribute to your profit.

In real life, hypotheses are honed and perfected over time through refining of your basic questions, assumptions and research methods, suggests Quickbooks. In addition, you may have more than one hypothesis to explain your observations, such as why your product failed or why morale is sinking in the office.

## Forming a Hypothesis

To form a good hypothesis, you should ensure certain criteria are met when making your prediction statements. The hypothesis must be testable as a start, reports Corporate Finance Institute . Don’t make the mistake of trying to prove a tautology, or a hypothesis that is always true. For example, “Our social media strategy will succeed if it’s social or it will fail.” In addition, your hypothesis should be based on the most up-to-date research and knowledge on the subject matter.

## Don't Forget to Test It

The most important part of having a hypothesis is determining whether it’s supported by the facts. The scope and formality of your research depend on your research and may simply involve examining the literature, polling your stakeholders or researching other areas. For example, in determining whether to locate your business in a pricey downtown or an exurb with no public transportation, you may look at commuting statistics of your general metropolitan area, the prevalence of carpooling, the socioeconomic status of most of your employees, as well as where your competitors are located.

- Corporate Finance Institute: Hypothesis Testing

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How to know what a customer needs & wants, relationship between research and business decisions, purpose of marketing research, cross-section design of a business research method, marketing strategy for beginners, how to measure concepts in business research for a conceptual model, how to decrease product costs, how to identify the appropriate price strategy, what factors increase the breakeven point, most popular.

- 1 How to Know What a Customer Needs & Wants
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- 3 Purpose of Marketing Research
- 4 Cross-Section Design of a Business Research Method

- Encyclopedia of Management
- Hypothesis Testing

## HYPOTHESIS TESTING

Social science research, and by extension business research, uses a number of different approaches to study a variety of issues. This research may be a very informal, simple process or it may be a formal, somewhat sophisticated process. Regardless of the type of process, all research begins with a generalized idea in the form of a research question or a hypothesis. A research question usually is posed in the beginning of a research effort or in a specific area of study that has had little formal research. A research question may take the form of a basic question about some issue or phenomena or a question about the relationship between two or more variables. For example, a research question might be: "Do flexible work hours improve employee productivity?" Another question might be: "How do flexible hours influence employees' work?"

A hypothesis differs from a research question; it is more specific and makes a prediction. It is a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables. The major difference between a research question and a hypothesis is that a hypothesis predicts an experimental outcome. For example, a hypothesis might state: "There is a positive relationship between the availability of flexible work hours and employee productivity."

Hypotheses provide the following benefits:

- They determine the focus and direction for a research effort.
- Their development forces the researcher to clearly state the purpose of the research activity.
- They determine what variables will not be considered in a study, as well as those that will be considered.
- They require the researcher to have an operational definition of the variables of interest.

The worth of a hypothesis often depends on the researcher's skills. Since the hypothesis is the basis of a research study, it is necessary for the hypothesis be developed with a great deal of thought and contemplation. There are basic criteria to consider when developing a hypothesis, in order to ensure that it meets the needs of the study and the researcher. A good hypothesis should:

- Have logical consistency. Based on the current research literature and knowledge base, does this hypothesis make sense?
- Be in step with the current literature and/or provide a good basis for any differences. Though it does not have to support the current body of literature, it is necessary to provide a good rationale for stepping away from the mainstream.
- Be testable. If one cannot design the means to conduct the research, the hypothesis means nothing.
- Be stated in clear and simple terms in order to reduce confusion.

## HYPOTHESIS TESTING PROCESS

Hypothesis testing is a systematic method used to evaluate data and aid the decision-making process. Following is a typical series of steps involved in hypothesis testing:

- State the hypotheses of interest
- Determine the appropriate test statistic
- Specify the level of statistical significance
- Determine the decision rule for rejecting or not rejecting the null hypothesis
- Collect the data and perform the needed calculations
- Decide to reject or not reject the null hypothesis

Each step in the process will be discussed in detail, and an example will follow the discussion of the steps.

## STATING THE HYPOTHESES.

A research study includes at least two hypotheses—the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. The hypothesis being tested is referred to as the null hypothesis and it is designated as H It also is referred to as the hypothesis of no difference and should include a statement of equality (=, ≥, or £). The alternative hypothesis presents the alternative to the null and includes a statement of inequality (≠). The null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis are complementary.

The null hypothesis is the statement that is believed to be correct throughout the analysis, and it is the null hypothesis upon which the analysis is based. For example, the null hypothesis might state that the average age of entering college freshmen is 21 years. H 0 The average age of entering college freshman = 21 years

If the data one collects and analyzes indicates that the average age of entering college freshmen is greater than or less than 21 years, the null hypothesis is rejected. In this case the alternative hypothesis could be stated in the following three ways: (1) the average age of entering college freshman is not 21 years (the average age of entering college freshmen ≠ 21); (2) the average age of entering college freshman is less than 21 years (the average age of entering college freshmen < 21); or (3) the average age of entering college freshman is greater than 21 years (the average age of entering college freshmen > 21 years).

The choice of which alternative hypothesis to use is generally determined by the study's objective. The preceding second and third examples of alternative hypotheses involve the use of a "one-tailed" statistical test. This is referred to as "one-tailed" because a direction (greater than [>] or less than [<]) is implied in the statement. The first example represents a "two-tailed" test. There is inequality expressed (age ≠ 21 years), but the inequality does not imply direction. One-tailed tests are used more often in management and marketing research because there usually is a need to imply a specific direction in the outcome. For example, it is more likely that a researcher would want to know if Product A performed better than Product B (Product A performance > Product B performance), or vice versa (Product A performance < Product B performance), rather than whether Product A performed differently than Product B (Product A performance ≠ Product B performance). Additionally, more useful information is gained by knowing that employees who work from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. are more productive than those who work from 3:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. (early shift employee production > late shift employee production), rather than simply knowing that these employees have different levels of productivity (early shift employee production ≠ late shift employee production).

Both the alternative and the null hypotheses must be determined and stated prior to the collection of data. Before the alternative and null hypotheses can be formulated it is necessary to decide on the desired or expected conclusion of the research. Generally, the desired conclusion of the study is stated in the alternative hypothesis. This is true as long as the null hypothesis can include a statement of equality. For example, suppose that a researcher is interested in exploring the effects of amount of study time on tests scores. The researcher believes that students who study longer perform better on tests. Specifically, the research suggests that students who spend four hours studying for an exam will get a better score than those who study two hours. In this case the hypotheses might be: H 0 The average test scores of students who study 4 hours for the test = the average test scores of those who study 2 hours. H 1 The average test score of students who study 4 hours for the test < the average test scores of those who study 2 hours.

As a result of the statistical analysis, the null hypothesis can be rejected or not rejected. As a principle of rigorous scientific method, this subtle but important point means that the null hypothesis cannot be accepted. If the null is rejected, the alternative hypothesis can be accepted; however, if the null is not rejected, we can't conclude that the null hypothesis is true. The rationale is that evidence that supports a hypothesis is not conclusive, but evidence that negates a hypothesis is ample to discredit a hypothesis. The analysis of study time and test scores provides an example. If the results of one study indicate that the test scores of students who study 4 hours are significantly better than the test scores of students who study two hours, the null hypothesis can be rejected because the researcher has found one case when the null is not true. However, if the results of the study indicate that the test scores of those who study 4 hours are not significantly better than those who study 2 hours, the null hypothesis cannot be rejected. One also cannot conclude that the null hypothesis is accepted because these results are only one set of score comparisons. Just because the null hypothesis is true in one situation does not mean it is always true.

## DETERMINING THE APPROPRIATE TEST STATISTIC.

The appropriate test statistic (the statistic to be used in statistical hypothesis testing) is based on various characteristics of the sample population of interest, including sample size and distribution. The test statistic can assume many numerical values. Since the value of the test statistic has a significant effect on the decision, one must use the appropriate statistic in order to obtain meaningful results. Most test statistics follow this general pattern:

For example, the appropriate statistic to use when testing a hypothesis about a population means is:

In this formula Z = test statistic, Χ̅ = mean of the sample, μ = mean of the population, σ = standard deviation of the sample, and η = number in the sample.

## SPECIFYING THE STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE SEVEL.

As previously noted, one can reject a null hypothesis or fail to reject a null hypothesis. A null hypothesis that is rejected may, in reality, be true or false. Additionally, a null hypothesis that fails to be rejected may, in reality, be true or false. The outcome that a researcher desires is to reject a false null hypothesis or to fail to reject a true null hypothesis. However, there always is the possibility of rejecting a true hypothesis or failing to reject a false hypothesis.

Rejecting a null hypothesis that is true is called a Type I error and failing to reject a false null hypothesis is called a Type II error. The probability of committing a Type I error is termed α and the probability of committing a Type II error is termed β. As the value of α increases, the probability of committing a Type I error increases. As the value of β increases, the probability of committing a Type II error increases. While one would like to decrease the probability of committing of both types of errors, the reduction of α results in the increase of β and vice versa. The best way to reduce the probability of decreasing both types of error is to increase sample size.

The probability of committing a Type I error, α, is called the level of significance. Before data is collected one must specify a level of significance, or the probability of committing a Type I error (rejecting a true null hypothesis). There is an inverse relationship between a researcher's desire to avoid making a Type I error and the selected value of α; if not making the error is particularly important, a low probability of making the error is sought. The greater the desire is to not reject a true null hypothesis, the lower the selected value of α. In theory, the value of α can be any value between 0 and 1. However, the most common values used in social science research are .05, .01, and .001, which respectively correspond to the levels of 95 percent, 99 percent, and 99.9 percent likelihood that a Type I error is not being made. The tradeoff for choosing a higher level of certainty (significance) is that it will take much stronger statistical evidence to ever reject the null hypothesis.

## DETERMINING THE DECISION RULE.

Before data are collected and analyzed it is necessary to determine under what circumstances the null hypothesis will be rejected or fail to be rejected. The decision rule can be stated in terms of the computed test statistic, or in probabilistic terms. The same decision will be reached regardless of which method is chosen.

## COLLECTING THE DATA AND PERFORMING THE CALCULATIONS.

The method of data collection is determined early in the research process. Once a research question is determined, one must make decisions regarding what type of data is needed and how the data will be collected. This decision establishes the bases for how the data will be analyzed. One should use only approved research methods for collecting and analyzing data.

## DECIDING WHETHER TO REJECT THE NULL HYPOTHESIS.

This step involves the application of the decision rule. The decision rule allows one to reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis. If one rejects the null hypothesis, the alternative hypothesis can be accepted. However, as discussed earlier, if one fails to reject the null he or she can only suggest that the null may be true.

XYZ Corporation is a company that is focused on a stable workforce that has very little turnover. XYZ has been in business for 50 years and has more than 10,000 employees. The company has always promoted the idea that its employees stay with them for a very long time, and it has used the following line in its recruitment brochures: "The average tenure of our employees is 20 years." Since XYZ isn't quite sure if that statement is still true, a random sample of 100 employees is taken and the average age turns out to be 19 years with a standard deviation of 2 years. Can XYZ continue to make its claim, or does it need to make a change?

- State the hypotheses. H 0 = 20 years H 1 ≠ 20 years
- Determine the test statistic. Since we are testing a population mean that is normally distributed, the appropriate test statistic is:
- Specify the significance level. Since the firm would like to keep its present message to new recruits, it selects a fairly weak significance level (α = .05). Since this is a two-tailed test, half of the alpha will be assigned to each tail of the distribution. In this situation the critical values of Z = +1.96 and −1.96.
- State the decision rule. If the computed value of Z is greater than or equal to +1.96 or less than or equal to −1.96, the null hypothesis is rejected.
- Calculations.
- Reject or fail to reject the null. Since 2.5 is greater than 1.96, the null is rejected. The mean tenure is not 20 years, therefore XYZ needs to change its statement.

SEE ALSO: Research Methods and Processes ; Statistics

Donna T. Mayo

Revised by Marcia Simmering

## FURTHER READING:

Anderson, David R., Dennis J. Sweeney, and Thomas A. Williams. Statistics for Business and Economics. 9th ed. Mason, OH: South-Western College Publishing, 2004.

Kerlinger, Fred N., and Howard B. Lee. Foundations of Behavioral Research. 4th ed. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt College Publishers, 2000.

Pedhazur, Elazar J., and Liora Pedhazur Schmelkin. Measurement, Design, and Analysis: An Integrated Approach. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1991.

Schwab, Donald P. Research Methods for Organizational Studies. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999.

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## Writing a hypothesis for business research

“If _____[I do this] _____, then _____[this]_____ will happen.”

Sound familiar? It should. This formulaic approach to making a statement about what you “think” will happen is the basis of most science fair projects and much scientific exploration.

Step by Step You can see from the basic outline of the Scientific Method below that writing your hypothesis comes early in the process:

- Ask a Question
- Do Background Research
- Construct a Hypothesis
- Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
- Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
- Communicate Your Results

Following the scientific method. we come up with a question that we want to answer, we do some initial research, and then before we set out to answer the question by performing an experiment and observing what happens, we first clearly identify what we “think” will happen.

We make an “educated guess.”

We write a hypothesis.

We set out to prove or disprove the hypothesis.

What you “think” will happen, of course, should be based on your preliminary research and your understanding of the science and scientific principles involved in your proposed experiment or study. In other words, you don’t simply “guess.” You’re not taking a shot in the dark. You’re not pulling your statement out of thin air. Instead, you make an “educated guess” based on what you already know and what you have already learned from your research.

If you keep in mind the format of a well-constructed hypothesis, you should find that writing your hypothesis is not difficult to do. You’ll also find that in order to write a solid hypothesis, you need to understand what your variables are for your project. It’s all connected!

That seems like an obvious statement, right? The above hypothesis is too simplistic for most middle- to upper-grade science projects, however. As you work on deciding what question you will explore, you should be looking for something for which the answer is not already obvious or already known (to you). When you write your hypothesis, it should be based on your “educated guess” not on known data. Similarly, the hypothesis should be written before you begin your experimental proceduresnot after the fact.

Our staff scientists offer the following tips for thinking about and writing good hypotheses.

- The question comes first. Before you make a hypothesis, you have to clearly identify the question you are interested in studying.
- A hypothesis is a statement, not a question. Your hypothesis is not the scientific question in your project. The hypothesis is an educated, testable prediction about what will happen.
- Make it clear. A good hypothesis is written in clear and simple language. Reading your hypothesis should tell a teacher or judge exactly what you thought was going to happen when you started your project.
- Keep the variables in mind. A good hypothesis defines the variables in easy-to-measure terms, like who the participants are, what changes during the testing, and what the effect of the changes will be. (For more information about identifying variables, see: Variables in Your Science Fair Project .)

To create a “testable” hypothesis make sure you have done all of these things:

- Thought about what experiments you will need to carry out to do the test.
- Identified the variables in the project.
- Included the independent and dependent variables in the hypothesis statement. (This helps ensure that your statement is specific enough.
- Do your research. You may find many studies similar to yours have already been conducted. What you learn from available research and data can help you shape your project and hypothesis.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Answering some scientific questions can involve more than one experiment, each with its own hypothesis. Make sure your hypothesis is a specific statement relating to a single experiment.

Putting it in Action

To help demonstrate the above principles and techniques for developing and writing solid, specific, and testable hypotheses, Sandra and Kristin, two of our staff scientists, offer the following good and bad examples.

When there is less oxygen in the water, rainbow trout suffer more lice.

Kristin says: “This hypothesis is good because it is testable, simple, written as a statement, and establishes the participants ( trout ), variables ( oxygen in water, and numbers of lice ), and predicts effect ( as oxygen levels go down, the numbers of lice go up ).”

Our universe is surrounded by another, larger universe, with which we can have absolutely no contact.

Kristin says: “This statement may or may not be true, but it is not a scientific hypothesis. By its very nature, it is not testable . There are no observations that a scientist can make to tell whether or not the hypothesis is correct. This statement is speculation, not a hypothesis.”

Aphid-infected plants that are exposed to ladybugs will have fewer aphids after a week than aphid-infected plants which are left untreated.

Sandra says: “This hypothesis gives a clear indication of what is to be tested ( the ability of ladybugs to curb an aphid infestation ), is a manageable size for a single experiment, mentions the independent variable ( ladybugs ) and the dependent variable ( number of aphids ), and predicts the effect ( exposure to ladybugs reduces the number of aphids ).”

Ladybugs are a good natural pesticide for treating aphid infected plants.

Sandra says: “This statement is not ‘bite size.’ Whether or not something is a ‘good natural pesticide’ is too vague for a science fair project. There is no clear indication of what will be measured to evaluate the prediction.”

Hypotheses in History

Throughout history, scientists have posed hypotheses and then set out to prove or disprove them. Staff Scientist Dave reminds that scientific experiments become a dialogue between and among scientists and that hypotheses are rarely (if ever) “eternal.” In other words, even a hypothesis that is proven true may be displaced by the next set of research on a similar topic, whether that research appears a month or a hundred years later.

A look at the work of Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, more than 100 years apart, shows good hypothesis-writing in action.

As Dave explains, “A hypothesis is a possible explanation for something that is observed in nature. For example, it is a common observation that objects that are thrown into the air fall toward the earth. Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) put forth a hypothesis to explain this observation, which might be stated as ‘objects with mass attract each other through a gravitational field.'”

Newton’s hypothesis demonstrates the techniques for writing a good hypothesis: It is testable. It is simple. It is universal. It allows for predictions that will occur in new circumstances. It builds upon previously accumulated knowledge (e.g. Newton’s work explained the observed orbits of the planets).

“As it turns out, despite its incredible explanatory power, Newton’s hypothesis was wrong,” says Dave. “Albert Einstein (1879-1955) provided a hypothesis that is closer to the truth, which can be stated as ‘objects with mass cause space to bend.’ This hypothesis discards the idea of a gravitational field and introduces the concept of space as bendable . Like Newton’s hypothesis, the one offered by Einstein has all of the characteristics of a good hypothesis.”

“Like all scientific ideas and explanations,” says Dave, “hypotheses are all partial and temporary, lasting just until a better one comes along.”

That’s good news for scientists of all ages. There are always questions to answer and educated guesses to make!

If your science fair is over, leave a comment here to let us know what your hypothesis was for your project.

Writing your hypothesis is an important step of your science project. After reading the background material and carefully reviewing the procedure you will be using, what do you think will happen? The hypothesis will take the form of a statement that predicts what will happen to the dependent variable when the independent variable changes. If you click the “Project Guide” tab and select “Hypothesis” from the list, you will find resources and examples that may help you.

Something is wrong with this website everytime I search Steps of the Scientific Questions it allways says Scientific method and im only ten and need examples of questions of scienfific help me. >.

Hi. You can view our resource on “Science Questions” by clicking the “Project Guide” tab on the Science Buddies site (above) and then clicking the “Your Question” link in the list. (It’s near the top.)

Hi,Im doing my science project on “What is the point of boiling?” and I was wondering if this sounds like a good hypothesis? “If I put the water in/on an increasingly hot surface boiling will begin to happen.”

If I never water my plant, it will dry out and die.

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Home Market Research

## Business Research: Methods, Types & Examples

Content Index

## Business research: Definition

Quantitative research methods, qualitative research methods, advantages of business research, disadvantages of business research, importance of business research.

Business research is a process of acquiring detailed information on all the areas of business and using such information to maximize the sales and profit of the business. Such a study helps companies determine which product/service is most profitable or in demand. In simple words, it can be stated as the acquisition of information or knowledge for professional or commercial purposes to determine opportunities and goals for a business.

Business research can be done for anything and everything. In general, when people speak about business research design , it means asking research questions to know where the money can be spent to increase sales, profits, or market share. Such research is critical to make wise and informed decisions.

LEARN ABOUT: Research Process Steps

For example: A mobile company wants to launch a new model in the market. But they are not aware of what are the dimensions of a mobile that are in most demand. Hence, the company conducts business research using various methods to gather information, and the same is then evaluated, and conclusions are drawn as to what dimensions are most in demand.

This will enable the researcher to make wise decisions to position his phone at the right price in the market and hence acquire a larger market share.

LEARN ABOUT: Test Market Demand

## Business research: Types and methodologies

Business research is a part of the business intelligence process. It is usually conducted to determine whether a company can succeed in a new region, to understand its competitors, or simply select a marketing approach for a product. This research can be carried out using steps in qualitative research methods or quantitative research methods.

Quantitative research methods are research methods that deal with numbers. It is a systematic empirical investigation using statistical, mathematical, or computational techniques . Such methods usually start with data collection and then proceed to statistical analysis using various methods. The following are some of the research methods used to carry out business research.

LEARN ABOUT: Data Management Framework

Survey research

Survey research is one of the most widely used methods to gather data, especially for conducting business research. Surveys involve asking various survey questions to a set of audiences through various types like online polls, online surveys, questionnaires, etc. Nowadays, most of the major corporations use this method to gather data and use it to understand the market and make appropriate business decisions.

Various types of surveys, like cross-sectional studies , which need to collect data from a set of audiences at a given point of time, or longitudinal surveys which are needed to collect data from a set of audiences across various time durations in order to understand changes in the respondents’ behavior are used to conduct survey research. With the advancement in technology, surveys can now be sent online through email or social media .

For example: A company wants to know the NPS score for their website i.e. how satisfied are people who are visiting their website. An increase in traffic to their website or the audience spending more time on a website can result in higher rankings on search engines which will enable the company to get more leads as well as increase its visibility.

Hence, the company can ask people who visit their website a few questions through an online survey to understand their opinions or gain feedback and hence make appropriate changes to the website to increase satisfaction.

Learn More: Business Survey Template

Correlational research

Correlational research is conducted to understand the relationship between two entities and what impact each one of them has on the other. Using mathematical analysis methods, correlational research enables the researcher to correlate two or more variables .

Such research can help understand patterns, relationships, trends, etc. Manipulation of one variable is possible to get the desired results as well. Generally, a conclusion cannot be drawn only on the basis of correlational research.

For example: Research can be conducted to understand the relationship between colors and gender-based audiences. Using such research and identifying the target audience, a company can choose the production of particular color products to be released in the market. This can enable the company to understand the supply and demand requirements of its products.

Causal-Comparative research

Causal-comparative research is a method based on the comparison. It is used to deduce the cause-effect relationship between variables. Sometimes also known as quasi-experimental research, it involves establishing an independent variable and analyzing the effects on the dependent variable.

In such research, data manipulation is not done; however, changes are observed in the variables or groups under the influence of the same changes. Drawing conclusions through such research is a little tricky as independent and dependent variables will always exist in a group. Hence all other parameters have to be taken into consideration before drawing any inferences from the research.

LEARN ABOUT: Causal Research

For example: Research can be conducted to analyze the effect of good educational facilities in rural areas. Such a study can be done to analyze the changes in the group of people from rural areas when they are provided with good educational facilities and before that.

Another example can be to analyze the effect of having dams and how it will affect the farmers or the production of crops in that area.

LEARN ABOUT: Market research trends

Experimental research

Experimental research is based on trying to prove a theory. Such research may be useful in business research as it can let the product company know some behavioral traits of its consumers, which can lead to more revenue. In this method, an experiment is carried out on a set of audiences to observe and later analyze their behavior when impacted by certain parameters.

LEARN ABOUT: Behavioral Targeting

For example: Experimental research was conducted recently to understand if particular colors have an effect on consumers’ hunger. A set of the audience was then exposed to those particular colors while they were eating, and the subjects were observed. It was seen that certain colors like red or yellow increase hunger.

Hence, such research was a boon to the hospitality industry. You can see many food chains like Mcdonalds, KFC, etc., using such colors in their interiors, brands, as well as packaging.

Another example of inferences drawn from experimental research, which is used widely by most bars/pubs across the world, is that loud music in the workplace or anywhere makes a person drink more in less time. This was proven through experimental research and was a key finding for many business owners across the globe.

Online research / Literature research

Literature research is one of the oldest methods available. It is very economical, and a lot of information can be gathered using such research. Online research or literature research involves gathering information from existing documents and studies, which can be available at Libraries, annual reports, etc.

Nowadays, with the advancement in technology, such research has become even more simple and accessible to everyone. An individual can directly research online for any information that is needed, which will give him in-depth information about the topic or the organization.

Such research is used mostly by marketing and salespeople in the business sector to understand the market or their customers. Such research is carried out using existing information that is available from various sources. However, care has to be taken to validate the sources from where the information is going to be collected.

For example , a salesperson has heard a particular firm is looking for some solution that their company provides. Hence, the salesperson will first search for a decision maker from the company, investigate what department he is from, and understand what the target company is looking for and what they are into.

Using this research, he can cater his solution to be spot on when he pitches it to this client. He can also reach out to the customer directly by finding a means to communicate with him by researching online.’

LEARN ABOUT: 12 Best Tools for Researchers

Qualitative research is a method that has a high importance in business research. Qualitative research involves obtaining data through open-ended conversational means of communication. Such research enables the researcher to not only understand what the audience thinks but also why he thinks it.

In such research, in-depth information can be gathered from the subjects depending on their responses. There are various types of qualitative research methods, such as interviews, focus groups, ethnographic research, content analysis, and case study research, that are widely used.

Such methods are of very high importance in business research as they enable the researcher to understand the consumer. What motivates the consumer to buy and what does not is what will lead to higher sales, and that is the prime objective for any business.

Following are a few methods that are widely used in today’s world by most businesses.

Interviews are somewhat similar to surveys, like sometimes they may have the same types of questions used. The difference is that the respondent can answer these open-ended questions at length, and the direction of the conversation or the questions being asked can be changed depending on the response of the subject.

Such a method usually gives the researcher detailed information about the perspective or opinions of its subject. Carrying out interviews with subject matter experts can also give important information critical to some businesses.

For example: An interview was conducted by a telecom manufacturer with a group of women to understand why they have less number of female customers. After interviewing them, the researcher understood that there were fewer feminine colors in some of the models, and females preferred not to purchase them.

Such information can be critical to a business such as a telecom manufacturer and hence it can be used to increase its market share by targeting women customers by launching some feminine colors in the market.

Another example would be to interview a subject matter expert in social media marketing. Such an interview can enable a researcher to understand why certain types of social media advertising strategies work for a company and why some of them don’t.

LEARN ABOUT: Qualitative Interview

Focus groups

Focus groups are a set of individuals selected specifically to understand their opinions and behaviors. It is usually a small set of a group that is selected keeping in mind the parameters for their target market audience to discuss a particular product or service. Such a method enables a researcher with a larger sample than the interview or a case study while taking advantage of conversational communication.

Focus group is also one of the best examples of qualitative data in education . Nowadays, focus groups can be sent online surveys as well to collect data and answer why, what, and how questions. Such a method is very crucial to test new concepts or products before they are launched in the market.

For example: Research is conducted with a focus group to understand what dimension of screen size is preferred most by the current target market. Such a method can enable a researcher to dig deeper if the target market focuses more on the screen size, features, or colors of the phone. Using this data, a company can make wise decisions about its product line and secure a higher market share.

Ethnographic research

Ethnographic research is one of the most challenging research but can give extremely precise results. Such research is used quite rarely, as it is time-consuming and can be expensive as well. It involves the researcher adapting to the natural environment and observing its target audience to collect data. Such a method is generally used to understand cultures, challenges, or other things that can occur in that particular setting.

For example: The world-renowned show “Undercover Boss” would be an apt example of how ethnographic research can be used in businesses. In this show, the senior management of a large organization works in his own company as a regular employee to understand what improvements can be made, what is the culture in the organization, and to identify hard-working employees and reward them.

It can be seen that the researcher had to spend a good amount of time in the natural setting of the employees and adapt to their ways and processes. While observing in this setting, the researcher could find out the information he needed firsthand without losing any information or any bias and improve certain things that would impact his business.

LEARN ABOUT: Workforce Planning Model

Case study research

Case study research is one of the most important in business research. It is also used as marketing collateral by most businesses to land up more clients. Case study research is conducted to assess customer satisfaction and document the challenges that were faced and the solutions that the firm gave them.

These inferences are made to point out the benefits that the customer enjoyed for choosing their specific firm. Such research is widely used in other fields like education, social sciences, and similar. Case studies are provided by businesses to new clients to showcase their capabilities, and hence such research plays a crucial role in the business sector.

For example: A services company has provided a testing solution to one of its clients. A case study research is conducted to find out what were the challenges faced during the project, what was the scope of their work, what objective was to be achieved, and what solutions were given to tackle the challenges.

The study can end with the benefits that the company provided through its solutions, like reduced time to test batches, easy implementation or integration of the system, or even cost reduction. Such a study showcases the capability of the company, and hence it can be stated as empirical evidence of the new prospect.

Website visitor profiling/research

Website intercept surveys or website visitor profiling/research is something new that has come up and is quite helpful in the business sector. It is an innovative approach to collect direct feedback from your website visitors using surveys. In recent times a lot of business generation happens online, and hence it is important to understand the visitors of your website as they are your potential customers.

Collecting feedback is critical to any business, as without understanding a customer, no business can be successful. A company has to keep its customers satisfied and try to make them loyal customers in order to stay on top.

A website intercept survey is an online survey that allows you to target visitors to understand their intent and collect feedback to evaluate the customers’ online experience. Information like visitor intention, behavior path, and satisfaction with the overall website can be collected using this.

Depending on what information a company is looking for, multiple forms of website intercept surveys can be used to gather responses. Some of the popular ones are Pop-ups, also called Modal boxes, and on-page surveys.

For example: A prospective customer is looking for a particular product that a company is selling. Once he is directed to the website, an intercept survey will start noting his intent and path. Once the transaction has been made, a pop-up or an on-page survey is provided to the customer to rate the website.

Such research enables the researcher to put this data to good use and hence understand the customers’ intent and path and improve any parts of the website depending on the responses, which in turn would lead to satisfied customers and hence, higher revenues and market share.

LEARN ABOUT: Qualitative Research Questions and Questionnaires

- Business research helps to identify opportunities and threats.
- It helps identify research problems , and using this information, wise decisions can be made to tackle the issue appropriately.
- It helps to understand customers better and hence can be useful to communicate better with the customers or stakeholders.
- Risks and uncertainties can be minimized by conducting business research in advance.
- Financial outcomes and investments that will be needed can be planned effectively using business research.
- Such research can help track competition in the business sector.
- Business research can enable a company to make wise decisions as to where to spend and how much.
- Business research can enable a company to stay up-to-date with the market and its trends, and appropriate innovations can be made to stay ahead in the game.
- Business research helps to measure reputation management
- Business research can be a high-cost affair
- Most of the time, business research is based on assumptions
- Business research can be time-consuming
- Business research can sometimes give you inaccurate information because of a biased population or a small focus group.
- Business research results can quickly become obsolete because of the fast-changing markets

Business research is one of the most effective ways to understand customers, the market, and competitors. Such research helps companies to understand the demand and supply of the market. Using such research will help businesses reduce costs and create solutions or products that are targeted to the demand in the market and the correct audience.

In-house business research can enable senior management to build an effective team or train or mentor when needed. Business research enables the company to track its competitors and hence can give you the upper hand to stay ahead of them.

Failures can be avoided by conducting such research as it can give the researcher an idea if the time is right to launch its product/solution and also if the audience is right. It will help understand the brand value and measure customer satisfaction which is essential to continuously innovate and meet customer demands.

This will help the company grow its revenue and market share. Business research also helps recruit ideal candidates for various roles in the company. By conducting such research, a company can carry out a SWOT analysis , i.e. understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. With the help of this information, wise decisions can be made to ensure business success.

LEARN ABOUT: Market research industry

Business research is the first step that any business owner needs to set up his business to survive or to excel in the market. The main reason why such research is of utmost importance is that it helps businesses to grow in terms of revenue, market share, and brand value.

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## What is Hypothesis?

We have heard of many hypotheses which have led to great inventions in science. Assumptions that are made on the basis of some evidence are known as hypotheses. In this article, let us learn in detail about the hypothesis and the type of hypothesis with examples.

A hypothesis is an assumption that is made based on some evidence. This is the initial point of any investigation that translates the research questions into predictions. It includes components like variables, population and the relation between the variables. A research hypothesis is a hypothesis that is used to test the relationship between two or more variables.

## Characteristics of Hypothesis

Following are the characteristics of the hypothesis:

- The hypothesis should be clear and precise to consider it to be reliable.
- If the hypothesis is a relational hypothesis, then it should be stating the relationship between variables.
- The hypothesis must be specific and should have scope for conducting more tests.
- The way of explanation of the hypothesis must be very simple and it should also be understood that the simplicity of the hypothesis is not related to its significance.

## Sources of Hypothesis

Following are the sources of hypothesis:

- The resemblance between the phenomenon.
- Observations from past studies, present-day experiences and from the competitors.
- Scientific theories.
- General patterns that influence the thinking process of people.

## Types of Hypothesis

There are six forms of hypothesis and they are:

- Simple hypothesis
- Complex hypothesis
- Directional hypothesis
- Non-directional hypothesis
- Null hypothesis
- Associative and casual hypothesis

## Simple Hypothesis

It shows a relationship between one dependent variable and a single independent variable. For example – If you eat more vegetables, you will lose weight faster. Here, eating more vegetables is an independent variable, while losing weight is the dependent variable.

## Complex Hypothesis

It shows the relationship between two or more dependent variables and two or more independent variables. Eating more vegetables and fruits leads to weight loss, glowing skin, and reduces the risk of many diseases such as heart disease.

## Directional Hypothesis

It shows how a researcher is intellectual and committed to a particular outcome. The relationship between the variables can also predict its nature. For example- children aged four years eating proper food over a five-year period are having higher IQ levels than children not having a proper meal. This shows the effect and direction of the effect.

## Non-directional Hypothesis

It is used when there is no theory involved. It is a statement that a relationship exists between two variables, without predicting the exact nature (direction) of the relationship.

## Null Hypothesis

It provides a statement which is contrary to the hypothesis. It’s a negative statement, and there is no relationship between independent and dependent variables. The symbol is denoted by “H O ”.

## Associative and Causal Hypothesis

Associative hypothesis occurs when there is a change in one variable resulting in a change in the other variable. Whereas, the causal hypothesis proposes a cause and effect interaction between two or more variables.

## Examples of Hypothesis

Following are the examples of hypotheses based on their types:

- Consumption of sugary drinks every day leads to obesity is an example of a simple hypothesis.
- All lilies have the same number of petals is an example of a null hypothesis.
- If a person gets 7 hours of sleep, then he will feel less fatigue than if he sleeps less. It is an example of a directional hypothesis.

## Functions of Hypothesis

Following are the functions performed by the hypothesis:

- Hypothesis helps in making an observation and experiments possible.
- It becomes the start point for the investigation.
- Hypothesis helps in verifying the observations.
- It helps in directing the inquiries in the right direction.

## How will Hypothesis help in the Scientific Method?

Researchers use hypotheses to put down their thoughts directing how the experiment would take place. Following are the steps that are involved in the scientific method:

- Formation of question
- Doing background research
- Creation of hypothesis
- Designing an experiment
- Collection of data
- Result analysis
- Summarizing the experiment
- Communicating the results

## Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is hypothesis.

A hypothesis is an assumption made based on some evidence.

## Give an example of simple hypothesis?

What are the types of hypothesis.

Types of hypothesis are:

- Associative and Casual hypothesis

## State true or false: Hypothesis is the initial point of any investigation that translates the research questions into a prediction.

Define complex hypothesis..

A complex hypothesis shows the relationship between two or more dependent variables and two or more independent variables.

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3. One-Sided vs. Two-Sided Testing. When it's time to test your hypothesis, it's important to leverage the correct testing method. The two most common hypothesis testing methods are one-sided and two-sided tests, or one-tailed and two-tailed tests, respectively. Typically, you'd leverage a one-sided test when you have a strong conviction ...

Simple hypothesis. A simple hypothesis is a statement made to reflect the relation between exactly two variables. One independent and one dependent. Consider the example, "Smoking is a prominent cause of lung cancer." The dependent variable, lung cancer, is dependent on the independent variable, smoking. 4.

6. Write a null hypothesis. If your research involves statistical hypothesis testing, you will also have to write a null hypothesis. The null hypothesis is the default position that there is no association between the variables. The null hypothesis is written as H 0, while the alternative hypothesis is H 1 or H a.

In order to find the plausibility of this hypothesis, the researcher will have to test the hypothesis using hypothesis testing methods. Unlike a hypothesis that is 'supposed' to stand true on the basis of little or no evidence, hypothesis testing is required to have plausible evidence in order to establish that a statistical hypothesis is true.

And, being hypothesis-driven was required to have any success at McKinsey. A hypothesis is an idea or theory, often based on limited data, which is typically the beginning of a thread of further investigation to prove, disprove or improve the hypothesis through facts and empirical data. The first step in being hypothesis-driven is to focus on ...

A research hypothesis (also called a scientific hypothesis) is a statement about the expected outcome of a study (for example, a dissertation or thesis). To constitute a quality hypothesis, the statement needs to have three attributes - specificity, clarity and testability. Let's take a look at these more closely.

Business hypothesis #1: We may have a design flaw in the Vehicle X braking decision system. vs. Business hypothesis #2: There is 85% confidence that we have a severity level 9 design flaw in the ...

Hypothesis testing is an act in statistics whereby an analyst tests an assumption regarding a population parameter. The methodology employed by the analyst depends on the nature of the data used ...

Simple hypothesis: This type of hypothesis suggests that there is a relationship between one independent variable and one dependent variable.; Complex hypothesis: This type of hypothesis suggests a relationship between three or more variables, such as two independent variables and a dependent variable.; Null hypothesis: This hypothesis suggests no relationship exists between two or more variables.

Step 5: Present your findings. The results of hypothesis testing will be presented in the results and discussion sections of your research paper, dissertation or thesis.. In the results section you should give a brief summary of the data and a summary of the results of your statistical test (for example, the estimated difference between group means and associated p-value).

In simpler words, hypothesis testing in business analytics is a method that helps researchers, scientists, or anyone for that matter, test the legitimacy or the authenticity of their hypotheses or claims about real-life or real-world events. To understand the example of hypothesis testing in business analytics, consider a restaurant owner ...

A research hypothesis is a statement that proposes a possible explanation for an observable phenomenon or pattern. It guides the direction of a study and predicts the outcome of the investigation. A research hypothesis is testable, i.e., it can be supported or disproven through experimentation or observation. Characteristics of a good hypothesis

Definition: Hypothesis is an educated guess or proposed explanation for a phenomenon, based on some initial observations or data. It is a tentative statement that can be tested and potentially proven or disproven through further investigation and experimentation. Hypothesis is often used in scientific research to guide the design of experiments ...

Business research helps companies make better business decisions by gathering information. The scope of the term business research is quite broad - it acts as an umbrella that covers every aspect of business, from finances to advertising creative. It can include research methods which help a company better understand its target market.

A hypothesis based on years of business research in a particular area, then, helps you focus, define and appropriately direct your research. You won't go on a wild goose chase to prove or ...

A hypothesis is a statement of the researcher's expectation or prediction about relationship among study variables. The research process begins and ends with the hypothesis. It is core to the ...

3. (iv) Hypothesis should be limited in scope and must be specific (v) Researchers should state hypothesis as far as possible in most simple terms so that the same is easily understandable by the all concerned (vi) Hypothesis should be consistent with most known facts i.e., it must be consistent with a substantial body of established facts (vii) Hypothesis must explain the facts that gave rise ...

A hypothesis differs from a research question; it is more specific and makes a prediction. It is a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables. The major difference between a research question and a hypothesis is that a hypothesis predicts an experimental outcome.

Alternative Hypothesis/Maintained Hypothesis/Research hypothesis. Alternative Hypothesis is a type of hypothesis that states there is a statistically significant relationship between two variables. Types of Hypothesis Quiz (MCQs) What is the null hypothesis? a. A statement about a population parameter that is assumed to be true until proven ...

The hypothesis is an educated, testable prediction about what will happen. Make it clear. A good hypothesis is written in clear and simple language. Reading your hypothesis should tell a teacher or judge exactly what you thought was going to happen when you started your project. Keep the variables in mind.

Business research: Definition. Business research is a process of acquiring detailed information on all the areas of business and using such information to maximize the sales and profit of the business. Such a study helps companies determine which product/service is most profitable or in demand. In simple words, it can be stated as the acquisition of information or knowledge for professional or ...

Business Research plays the role of a catalyst in identifying potential threats, issues as well as opportunities. It provides a detailed analysis of customers and the target audience, thus helping in building better relationships with one's audience and capturing the areas which we might be missing out on.

Functions of Hypothesis. Following are the functions performed by the hypothesis: Hypothesis helps in making an observation and experiments possible. It becomes the start point for the investigation. Hypothesis helps in verifying the observations. It helps in directing the inquiries in the right direction.

This Franchising workshop is designed both for individuals at the early stage of considering franchising as a career option and those actively considering a franchise but not yet signed the agreement. Topics covered include: · Understand what is and is not a franchise · Define a positive relationship with the franchisor · Laws and legal requirements that apply to franchising in Washington ...