Definition of Hypothesis
(noun) A proposed and testable explanation between two or more variables that predicts an outcome or explains a phenomenon.
Examples of Hypothesis
- “I think the more time students spend studying prior to a test the higher their grade will be.”
- Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
Types of Hypothesis
- American English – /hie-pAHth-uh-suhs/
- British English – /hie-pOth-i-sis/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /haɪˈpɑθəsəs/
- British English – /hʌɪˈpɒθᵻsᵻs/
- Plural: hypotheses
- A hypothesis must have the capacity to be disconfirmed or proven false to have meaning. For example, “criminals” commit more crimes than “non-criminals” 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 thoroughly tested and verified.
- Hypothesis testing is the process of testing a hypothesis in a scientific manner that requires a link between the concepts or variables under investigation and rigorous testing methodology.
- An (noun) hypothesist (verb) hypothesizes (adverb) hypothetically about social issues to create an (adjective) hypothetical explanation.
- Quantitative Research Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “hypothesis” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Gauch, Hugh G., Jr. 2003. Scientific Method in Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Lehmann, E. L., and Joseph P. Romano. 2010. Testing Statistical Hypotheses. 3rd ed. New York: Springer.
- Poletiek, Fenna. 2001. Hypothesis-testing Behaviour. Philadelphia: Psychology.
- Popper, Karl R. 1959. The Logic of Scientific Discovery. New York: Basic Books.
- dependent variable
- hypothetico-deductive model
- independent variable
- inferential statistics
- statistical analysis
Contributor: C. E. Seaman
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Cite the Definition of Hypothesis
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Seaman, C. E. 2015. “hypothesis.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary, edited by Kenton Bell. Retrieved April 1, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/hypothesis/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
Seaman, C. E. (2015). hypothesis. In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/hypothesis/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Seaman, C. E. 2015. “hypothesis.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary, edited by Kenton Bell. Accessed April 1, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/hypothesis/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
Seaman, C. E. “hypothesis.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2015. Web. 1 Apr. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/hypothesis/>.