Browse Definitions :
Definition

hypothesis

A hypothesis (plural: hypotheses), in a scientific context, is a testable statement about the relationship between two or more variables or a proposed explanation for some observed phenomenon. In a scientific experiment or study, the hypothesis is a brief summation of the researcher's prediction of the study's findings, which may be supported or not by the outcome. Hypothesis testing is the core of the scientific method.

The researcher's prediction is usually referred to as the alternative hypothesis, and any other outcome as the null hypothesis -- basically, the opposite outcome to what is predicted. (However, the terms are reversed if the researchers are predicting no difference or change, hypothesizing, for example, that the incidence of one variable will not increase or decrease in tandem with the other.) The null hypothesis satisfies the requirement for falsifiability: the capacity for a proposition to be proven false, which some schools of thought consider essential to the scientific method. According to others, however, testability is adequate, on the grounds that if there is sufficient support for a hypothesis it is not necessary to be able to conceive of a contrary outcome.

Using the scientific method to confirm a hypothesis
Using the scientific method to confirm a hypothesis

A simple hypothesis might predict a causal relationship between two variables, meaning that one has an effect on the other. Here's an example: More hours spent studying for an exam result in higher grades. Hours spent studying, in this statement, is the independent variable and grades is the dependent variable. The independent variable is manipulated and the dependent variable is measured to see how it is affected as the independent variable changes.

A complex hypothesis is similar to a simple one but includes two or more independent variables or two or more dependent variables. In the first case, for example, the hypothesis might be that more hours studying and more classes attended lead to higher grades; in the second case, the hypothesis might be that more hours studying lead to higher grades and a shorter amount of time required to write the exam.

Hypotheses don't necessarily predict causality. In statistics, for example, a hypothesis might predict simple correlation -- for example, that increased incidence of the independent variable is associated with a decrease in the dependent variable, although there is no supposition that one causes the other.

This was last updated in January 2017

Continue Reading About hypothesis

Networking
  • SD-WAN security

    SD-WAN security refers to the practices, protocols and technologies protecting data and resources transmitted across ...

  • net neutrality

    Net neutrality is the concept of an open, equal internet for everyone, regardless of content consumed or the device, application ...

  • network scanning

    Network scanning is a procedure for identifying active devices on a network by employing a feature or features in the network ...

Security
  • virtual firewall

    A virtual firewall is a firewall device or service that provides network traffic filtering and monitoring for virtual machines (...

  • cloud penetration testing

    Cloud penetration testing is a tactic an organization uses to assess its cloud security effectiveness by attempting to evade its ...

  • cloud workload protection platform (CWPP)

    A cloud workload protection platform (CWPP) is a security tool designed to protect workloads that run on premises, in the cloud ...

CIO
  • Regulation SCI (Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity)

    Regulation SCI (Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity) is a set of rules adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange ...

  • strategic management

    Strategic management is the ongoing planning, monitoring, analysis and assessment of all necessities an organization needs to ...

  • IT budget

    IT budget is the amount of money spent on an organization's information technology systems and services. It includes compensation...

HRSoftware
  • ADP Mobile Solutions

    ADP Mobile Solutions is a self-service mobile app that enables employees to access work records such as pay, schedules, timecards...

  • director of employee engagement

    Director of employee engagement is one of the job titles for a human resources (HR) manager who is responsible for an ...

  • digital HR

    Digital HR is the digital transformation of HR services and processes through the use of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (...

Customer Experience
  • chatbot

    A chatbot is a software or computer program that simulates human conversation or "chatter" through text or voice interactions.

  • martech (marketing technology)

    Martech (marketing technology) refers to the integration of software tools, platforms, and applications designed to streamline ...

  • transactional marketing

    Transactional marketing is a business strategy that focuses on single, point-of-sale transactions.

Close