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Hypothesis Formulation for Different Research Studies

Updated on September 28, 2011

A hypothesis is an expected answer to a research question, it provides direction to the research study. A hypothesis in reality determines the focal point of the study, in the absence of a valid and testable hypothesis the researcher can not concentrate on one direction. Many new researchers face the problem of summing up their research question in a precise and concise manner. The reason behind this problem is mainly lack of hypothesis or presence of irrelevant hypothesis.

In some studies, though, hypothesis is not required and a valid as well as reliable study can be conducted in the absence of hypothesis. These studies do not require testing of interaction between variables. In most of the other studies this is not so. In addition, a single hypothesis can be enough for many studies but some may require formulation of more than one hypothesis. Such studies are as much valid, reliable and generalizable as studies that have single hypothesis but it takes more time to test more than one hypothesis.

Hypothesis Formulation for Different Types of Research

The purpose of hypothesis formulation and the method by which it has to be formulated is different for different research studies. In one research hypothesis is an integral part of the whole study, while in the other hypothesis testing is not compulsory and still in another the purpose is to build hypothesis for future studies rather than testing it in reality.

Basically there are four types of research studies, purpose of hypothesis testing in each category is explained below.

Experimental Research Studies Experimental research studies are based on critical scientific methods. In these the purpose of hypothesis formulation is to build a proposition or to give possible reason for any phenomena that occurs. On the basis of this proposition hypothesis is tested to find out whether a particular phenomena occurs due to this reason or not. Hypothesis formulation in experimental research thus helps in taking the study forward. In the absence of any suitable hypothesis the experimenter has to test various possible reasons for the phenomena to be interpreted. Hypothesis formulation in experimental research gives direction to the study and it also clears the clutter so that the researcher can think directionally and with greater confidence. It should be noted that possible rejection or acceptance of the hypothesis does not influence the credibility of hypothesis it rather concludes that the reason to be tested was true or false. In case the hypothesis does not proved to be true the researcher gets new ideas or new directions for further research to test what was the actual reason for the particular often help in

Hypothesis formulation in experimental studies also helps in removing any biases, uncertainties, prejudices and myths linked with a particular subject area.

Descriptive Research Studies These studies often do not have any hypothesis because the purpose of the study is to describe a fact, figure, phenomena, situation or a person. It does not need to have any hypothesis most of the facts are already there the researcher bring those facts together rather than actually experimenting and finding answers.

Exploratory Research Studies The purpose of exploratory research is to develop better understanding of a phenomena to be tested in future. Exploratory research studies are pure research rather than applied research-which can be applied to the population at the current time. In many of the exploratory research studies there is no hypothesis testing but hypothesis can be formulated in exploratory research studies. Actually these research studies help researcher in formulating hypothesis.Exploratory research is characterized by its flexibility because the purpose is not to reach on conclusion but to provide a platform in the form of better and more suitable hypothesis, research design, and clarified concepts.

Explanatory Research Studies The term explanatory is in reality self-explanatory, these studies determine cause and effect relationship. Explanatory research studies explain why there is a correlation between two or more than two phenomena, thus it explains the reason why rather than what or which. While experimental studies explain what is the relationship or which two phenomenas are related, explanatory studies determine why there is a relationship and test these kind of hypothesis.


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    • gulnazahmad profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Abdullah for the comment and sure I will soon write a hub on your demand:-) Keep reading

    • Abdullah Qasim profile image

      Abdullah Qasim 

      7 years ago from Multan

      Very nice Article, can you me some examples of Hypothesis including Null Hypothesis and Alternative Hypothesis in field of Business, Management, and Economics.


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