Research Writing

How to formulate a hypothesis scientific method types and Steps

The  formulation of the hypothesis is one of the steps of the scientific method. It is the part in which the researcher generates an assumption that will later be confirmed or rejected when the research goes through experimentation and analysis of results. In this article we will provide you information how to formulate a hypothesis.

An example of a scientific hypothesis could be: “Individuals who grow up in a conflictive environment are 30% more likely to suffer from mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.”

The use of the term hypothesis in the scientific research process dates back to the 19th century, when the pioneering ideas of historian William Whewell and the influence of renowned thinkers such as Hegel, Comte and Engels provided the frame of reference called the scientific method.

However, it is possible that, based on the work of the French physician Claude Bernard, three stages are different in experimental research: observation, hypothesis and verification.

For Bernard, orderly thinking is necessary in scientific work, in addition to creating experimental strategies, all determined by a method. Thus, any researcher is forced to present one or more hypotheses, which, once contrasted, will allow the conception of scientific knowledge.

What is a hypothesis?

The term hypothesis is of Greek origin, it comes from “hypothesis”, which means supposition, which in turn is derived from hiccups: low, and from thesis: conclusion. According to its etymology, the hypothesis is an apparent concept that is based on certain circumstances that support it. It is this experimental explanation that helps a researcher or scientist to find the truth.

A hypothesis allows you to establish relationships between variables and thus explain why something happens. They are essential for an investigation, since new theories can emerge from them, always based on an adequate theoretical framework. The hypotheses indicate that you need to start from what exists to arrive at something new.

You are reading how to formulate a hypothesis.

What is the formulation of hypotheses of the scientific method?

Any researcher goes through at least two basic steps.

The first, when he makes a careful observation that allows him to see the reality and the totality of the concrete facts that surround the phenomena to be studied.

The second, when based on what has been observed, formulates a hypothesis that, subject to timely verification, provides sufficient data or information to approve or reject it.

Both stages are important, but the formulation and subsequent testing of hypotheses is the ultimate in generating scientific knowledge.

When formulating a hypothesis, the researcher is not completely sure of being able to verify it, as he is undergoing a process of rectification, in order to improve himself in the face of the scientific method. A hypothesis must be testable to see if it is true.

At the end of a study, hypotheses will be completed, rejected, approved, or replaced by new hypotheses.

The hypothesis is of great importance to the scientific method, as it helps to propose possible solutions to a given problem.

How is a hypothesis made?

To make a hypothesis, it is important that it be specific, so that the signals to be used to measure the variables studied are determined.

Therefore, the hypothesis must contribute to the explanation of the facts studied from the relationships it establishes between variables.


They can be defined as everything that can assume different values, from a quantitative or qualitative point of view, or everything that will be measured, examined and studied in an investigation. Therefore, they are able to measure.

They are changing characteristics, and precisely this variability is what the researcher measures or analyzes.

When writing a hypothesis, it must be taken into account in an affirmative and unambiguous way and must include the elements of the investigated problem with its variables and approaches.

To state scientific hypotheses, basic rules must be followed, they must provide the essence of what you want to define, be affirmative and use clear language.

Although many think otherwise, the biggest mistake when formulating a hypothesis is to think that this is the first step of the investigation, because, without any reason, it is.

Steps to formulate a hypothesis

1 – Group information

2 – Compare the information collected

3 – Provide probable explanations

4 – Choose the most viable explanation and

5 – Formulate one or more hypotheses.

After performing all these steps comes experimentation, in which the validity of the hypothesis is confirmed.

If the hypothesis is proved, what is hypothesis is true. If this is not confirmed, the hypothesis will be false.

In this case, another hypothesis must be formulated with the actual data that were obtained.

After reading the steps of how to formulate a hypothesis now see its examples below.

Examples of hypotheses

A useful hypothesis must allow for predictions by reasoning, including deductive reasoning. You can predict the outcome of a laboratory experiment or the observation of a phenomenon in nature. The forecast can also be statistical and deal only with probabilities.

Some examples of hypotheses are:

– Soccer players who train regularly with the use of time, score more goals than those who miss 15% of training days.

– Beginning parents who studied higher education are in 70% of cases more relaxed in childbirth.

– Vegans who take vitamin B12 will be less likely to develop anemia.

– Daily use of caustic soda in the toilet can eliminate up to 95% of microbes and 65% of bacteria.

– If I follow the Mediterranean diet, I lost 1 kg. in a week, in four weeks I will lose 4 kg.

It should be remembered that these are just examples of hypotheses, many of them invented, so they lack scientific rigor.

types of hypotheses

There are many types of hypotheses, but we will base ourselves on the following:

1 – Research hypothesis

These are proposals about the possible relationships between two or more variables. These are statements that researchers make when they speculate about the outcome of an investigation or experiment. Within these there are different classes:

 Descriptive hypotheses :  they are used in descriptive studies, they indicate the existence of an event, the variables are taken from a certain context in which they can be observed.

 Correlational hypotheses: they involve the evaluation between variables and, if any of them undergoes any change, it will affect the others. They reach the predictive and explanatory level, as knowing which two concepts or variables are related in a certain way provides explanatory information. The order in which we put the variables is not important.

 Differences between groups hypotheses: they seek to determine differences between groups, they do not necessarily establish why these differences occur.

 Hypotheses that establish causal relationships: claim that there are relationships between two or more variables, how these relationships occur, and also propose a sense of understanding of them. All of this establishes cause-effect relationships.

2 – Null hypotheses

A null hypothesis is a type of hypothesis used in statistics that proposes that there is no statistical significance in a given set of observations.

3 – Alternative hypotheses

They are alternatives to research and null hypotheses. They offer different explanations than they provide.

They can only be formulated when there are indeed additional possibilities for research and null hypotheses.

4 – Statistical hypotheses

They are the transformation of null and alternative research hypotheses in statistical terms.

They can only be formulated when the study data to be collected and analyzed to test the hypotheses is quantitative.

We hope that you have followed about how to formulate a hypothesis.

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