How to write a hypothesis

A hypothesis is a key stage in scientific research, determining the direction of the research and predicting its results. First of all, identify the problem or question that interests you. Formulate it into a specific, testable question.

Next, define the dependent and independent variable. Independent – the one you manipulate or change; the dependent is the one you measure. At the same time, remember that a hypothesis is always formulated in such a way that an experiment or study can be conducted to test it.

The hypothesis must be specific and defined. Use clear terms and avoid generalizations. In addition, it should be verifiable, based on previous knowledge or data.

Do not be afraid to formulate alternative hypotheses – other possible answers to your question. This will increase the objectivity of the research. Remember that the hypothesis does not have to be correct; it is important to be able to check it.

Finally, tell us how you are going to test your hypothesis. Describe the technique, experiment, or method of analysis you will use. This will help other researchers to replicate your work and verify the results.

Hypothesis definition

A hypothesis is a clear, testable, and falsifiable statement or prediction formulated to address a specific question or problem in a research study. It serves as a tentative explanation for observed phenomena or a conjecture about the relationship between variables. The formulation of a hypothesis is a crucial step in the scientific method, guiding the researcher’s investigation and providing a basis for empirical testing.

In a hypothesis, there are typically two main types of variables: the independent variable, which the researcher manipulates or controls, and the dependent variable, which is observed and measured to determine the effect of the independent variable. The hypothesis articulates the expected relationship or outcome between these variables.

Hypotheses can be classified into two categories: null hypotheses and alternative hypotheses. The null hypothesis (H0) suggests no significant effect or relationship, while the alternative hypothesis (H1 or Ha) posits the existence of a significant effect or relationship. The aim of empirical research is to test the null hypothesis and determine whether there is enough evidence to reject it in favor of the alternative hypothesis.

A well-formulated hypothesis is specific, concise, and based on existing knowledge or observations. It provides a framework for designing experiments or collecting data to either support or refute the proposed explanation. Through systematic testing and analysis, researchers can draw conclusions about the validity of their hypothesis, contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge in a particular field.


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Types of hypotheses

The alternative hypothesis is a hypothesis which states that there is a relationship between the variables studied. The null hypothesis is a hypothesis which states that there is no relationship between the variables studied. Both types of hypotheses are used to help scientists determine whether their research results apply in general or only apply to certain cases.

Simple Hypothesis:

Proposes a relationship between two variables, stating the direction of the effect (e.g., “Increasing sunlight will lead to increased plant growth”).

Complex Hypothesis:

Involves multiple variables and predicts their relationships (e.g., “The interaction of temperature, humidity, and light will affect plant growth differently for different species”).

Directional Hypothesis:

Predicts the direction of the relationship between variables (e.g., “As the amount of exercise increases, the level of cardiovascular fitness will also increase”).

Non-directional Hypothesis:

Predicts the existence of a relationship without specifying its direction (e.g., “There is a relationship between caffeine consumption and sleep quality”).

Null Hypothesis (H0):

Suggests no significant effect or relationship between variables (e.g., “There is no difference in test scores between the two teaching methods”). The aim is often to test and reject the null hypothesis.

Alternative Hypothesis (Ha):

Contrasts the null hypothesis by suggesting the presence of a significant effect or relationship (e.g., “There is a significant difference in test scores between the two teaching methods”).

Statistical Hypothesis:

Involves hypotheses that can be tested using statistical methods. It often includes statements about the population parameters, such as means or proportions.

Complex Hypothesis:

Involves more than one predictor variable and their interactions, allowing for a nuanced understanding of the relationships in a study.

Logical Hypothesis:

Formulated based on logical reasoning or deduction rather than empirical observation.

Research Hypothesis:

A hypothesis developed based on existing theories or research findings. It is often generated before conducting an experiment or study.

Empirical Hypothesis:

A hypothesis derived from observations and direct sensory experience.

Choosing the appropriate type of hypothesis depends on the nature of the research question, the variables involved, and the goals of the study. Researchers carefully craft hypotheses to guide their investigations and contribute to the scientific understanding of the phenomena under study.

Hypothesis vs Prediction

A hypothesis is a theory developed to explain a certain phenomenon. Hypotheses are usually based on data and information that has been collected and tested through experiments or research. If the hypothesis proves to be correct, then it will become a theory. Predictions are forecasts about the future based on current information. Predictions do not have to be based on data or information that has been collected, but more based on intuition and feelings. Predictions are also not tested empirically like hypotheses, but are used more to make strategic decisions.



A hypothesis is a specific, testable, and falsifiable statement or proposition that suggests a potential explanation for a phenomenon being studied.

It is formulated before the research begins and is based on existing knowledge, observations, or theories.


Guides the research process by providing a clear and focused direction for investigation.

Serves as a tentative explanation or solution to a problem or question.


Typically includes an independent variable, a dependent variable, and the expected relationship between them.

Examples: “Increasing the amount of fertilizer will lead to an increase in plant growth” or “There is no difference in test scores between two teaching methods.”


A prediction is a statement that forecasts or anticipates the specific outcomes or results that might be observed if a hypothesis is correct.

It is made after the hypothesis is formulated and serves as a way to test the hypothesis.


Specifies the expected results of an experiment or study based on the proposed hypothesis.

Provides a basis for comparison with the actual results obtained during the research.


Typically involves specifying the expected outcome of manipulating the independent variable.

Examples: “If the hypothesis is correct and increasing fertilizer leads to increased plant growth, then the plants in the fertilized group will be taller than those in the non-fertilized group.”

In summary, a hypothesis is a statement that suggests a potential explanation for a phenomenon, while a prediction is a statement that anticipates the specific outcomes expected if the hypothesis is true. The hypothesis guides the research, and the prediction helps in designing the experiment and evaluating its results. Both are integral parts of the scientific method and contribute to the systematic investigation and understanding of natural phenomena.

How to write a hypothesis

Writing a hypothesis involves formulating a clear and testable statement that predicts the expected outcome of an experiment or research study. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write a hypothesis:

Identify the Research Question:

Clearly define the problem or question you want to investigate. Be specific about the variables involved.

Review Existing Knowledge:

Before formulating your hypothesis, review existing literature and observations related to your research question. This background information will help you develop a well-informed hypothesis.

Identify Variables:

Determine the independent variable (the variable you will manipulate) and the dependent variable (the variable you will measure). If applicable, identify any control variables.


Decide whether your hypothesis will be directional (predicts a specific direction of the relationship) or non-directional (predicts the existence of a relationship without specifying its direction).

Formulate a Statement:

Write a clear and concise statement that expresses the expected relationship between the variables. Use clear and specific language, avoiding ambiguity.


Directional Hypothesis: “Increasing the amount of sunlight will lead to an increase in plant growth.”

Non-directional Hypothesis: “There is a relationship between caffeine consumption and sleep quality.”

Be Testable and Falsifiable:

Ensure that your hypothesis is testable through experimentation or observation. It should be possible to collect data that either supports or refutes your statement. Additionally, make sure it is falsifiable, meaning that there is a potential to prove it wrong.

Avoid Jargon:

Write your hypothesis in clear and simple language. Avoid unnecessary technical terms or jargon that might make it difficult for others to understand.

Consider Alternative Hypotheses:

Acknowledge the possibility of alternative explanations or outcomes. This demonstrates a thorough understanding of the complexity of the research question.

Specify the Population:

If applicable, specify the population or sample to which your hypothesis applies. This adds clarity and precision to your statement.

State the Null Hypothesis (Optional):

If relevant, state the null hypothesis (H0), which suggests no significant effect or relationship. This provides a basis for statistical testing.

Revise and Refine:

Review your hypothesis for clarity, specificity, and coherence. Seek feedback from colleagues or mentors to refine your statement.

Remember that a well-written hypothesis is a foundation for sound scientific research. It guides your study, facilitates data collection and analysis, and contributes to the broader understanding of the researched phenomenon.