hypothesis

1. (noun) A proposed and testable explanation between two or more variables that predicts an outcome or explains a phenomenon.

2. (noun) An assumption.

3. (noun) (informal) A guess to test.

Example: Reading sociology definitions will increase a person’s understanding of sociology.

Audio Pronunciation: (hy·poth·e·sis)

Download Audio Pronunciation: hypothesis.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: hypotheses
  • A hypothesis must have the capacity to be disconfirmed or proven false to have meaning. For example, “criminals” commit more crimes than “noncriminals” cannot be proven wrong.
  • A hypothesis can either come from theory (deduction) or lead to theory (induction).
  • A working hypothesis refers to a hypothesis that has not been fully tested and verified.
  • Hypothesis testing is the process of testing a hypothesis in a scientific manner which requires a link between the concepts or variables under investigation and rigorous testing methodology.
  • A (noun) hypothesist or (noun) hypothetist (verb) hypothesizes (adverb) hypothetically about social issues to create a (adjective) hypothetical or (adjective) hypothetic or (adjective) hypothistic explanations.

Related Terms: