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
- 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.
- 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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How to 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 June 17, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/hypothesis/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
Seaman, C. E. (2015). hypothesis. In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://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 June 17, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/hypothesis/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
Seaman, C. E. “hypothesis.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2015. Web. 17 Jun. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/hypothesis/>.