Definition of Hypothesis
An hypothesis is an assumption based on common knowledge or observation to be falsified or verified in the course of a scientific study and/or research. To illustrate; “there is a positive impact of household income on the level of happiness of people” is an hypothesis which assume that people would be happier when they earn more.
A good hypothesis is composed or two or more variable which are scientifically measurable. In the above-mentioned example, the hypothesis consists of “household income” as an independent variable and “level of happiness” as an dependent variable. A variable could be anything measurable such as age, income, sex, martial status, skin colour, political choices, type of accommodation, or religion.
Seven Rules of Formulating a Good Hypothesis
In order to be scientifically acceptable hypothesis, researcher should carefully formulate his or her assumption. Common characteristics of an hypothesis is as follows:
- An hypothesis should be an assumption that could be either falsified or verified. Any assumption which is not open to verification or falsification is not a scientific hypothesis. For instance, the assumption that “those who born after 2000 will have a tendency to work more in 2030s.” can not be tested.
- A good hypothesis should not be already proven facts like buoyancy of water or gravity. There is no longer need for verifying such facts and it will not contribute to the science any more.
- A good hypothesis should be very specific and should not be too generalised. To give example; the assumption that “economic growth positively affect politics” is not easy to be tested. It is not clear enough which dimension of politics is implied and which components of economic growth will be taken into consideration.
- A good hypothesis should not include subjectivity such as the words “good”, “wise”, “more beautiful” or “very bad”. Hence, objectivity is the key to define the assumptions.
- A good hypothesis should be based on related theories and the results of the tests should be evaluated against theories or doctrines.
- A good hypothesis should involve at least two variable via which hypothesis scientifically tested.
- Last but not least, a good hypothesis should be logical. For example; an assumption like “all beautiful girls die younger” is illogical and could not be accepted as a scientific hypothesis.