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Damodar Suar
Indian Institute of Technology

In this topic we would:

Define a hypothesis
Discuss the purpose of hypothesis
Mention the sources of hypothesis
Explain the types of hypothesis
Specify the characteristics of usable

Hypothesis is the starting point of research.
It is an informed/educated guess. It indicates the expectations of
the researcher regarding certain
variables. It is the most
specific way in which an answer to a problem can be stated.
A hypothesis is an intelligent or educated guess or proposition,
which can be put to test to determine its validity. In other words it
is a logically derived tentative proposition that needs scientific
verification. It tests the relationships or differences between two
or more variables/constructs.
Problem vs. hypothesis: A problem is formulated in the form of a
question; it serves as the basis or origin from which an hypothesis
is derived. An hypothesis is a suggested solution to a problem. A
problem (question) cannot be directly tested, whereas an
hypothesis can be tested and verified.

The chief difficulties in formulating hypothesis are:

(a) lack of knowledge of the problem under
(b) absence of knowledge about theoretical
Framework, laws and facts,
(c) lack of ability to utilize the theoretical
framework and existing body of knowledge
logically, and
(d) the failure to be acquainted with the
available research technique, tools and their
limitations so as to phase the hypothesis

Purpose of Hypothesis
It furnishes proof that the researcher has sufficient
background knowledge to enable him/her to make
suggestions in order to extend existing knowledge.
It delimits the scope of inquiry. By formulating hypothesis,
the researcher confines the scope of research to variables and
concepts, which are outlined in hypothesis. Fixes boundary of
research. It reduces the theoretical and empirical complexities by
confining the study to the variables and constructs incorporated
in the hypothesis. It avoids confusion.
It gives direction to an investigation. Guide the researcher to
collect data and do analysis relevant to incorporated variables in
Testing hypothesis, adds to the advancement of knowledge: by
filling gaps, adding new propositions to theories, modifying earlier
theories, settling controversies, replacing earlier findings, etc. It
structures the next phase in the investigation and, therefore,
furnishes continuity to the examination of the problem.

Source of Hypothesis
1. Theory: Hypothesis can be derived from many existing
theories. From Maslows theory, Frustration-Aggression
hypothesis. Critical scrutiny of literature, grand theory and
ordinary theory
2. Personal peculiar experience- Newtons law of
gravitation, Archimedes law of bouncy, and Freudian
3. Analogies: By observing in other context than ones own
discipline. Theories on motivation in psychology are
developed from the study of animals in comparative
4. Internalization of the Exterior: Black beauty
5. Applying rules of Thumbs: Heuristics
6. (A) Observation of cultural values and behaviour: Caste
feeling in India, tribal pauperization in Chotnagpur,
sanskritisation, and cultural assimilation in Indian society.
(B) Observation of cross-cultural value and behaviour:
Nurturant-task style of leadership in India and Japan at the
middle level of managerial position.

Types of hypothesis
Hypothesis can be classified into three categories
based on the level of abstraction.
(a) Some hypothesis tests the existence of
empirical uniformities. Represent the examination
of commonsense propositions.
(b) Some hypotheses are concerned with complex
ideal type. Growth centre theory.
( c) Some hypotheses are concerned with the
relation of analytic variables. Change in property
of one variable changes the property of another
variable. Education - fertility

TYPES OF HYPOTHESES: Hypotheses can be classified in

terms of their derivation (inductive and deductive
hypotheses) and in terms of their formulation (research directional and non-directional and statistical or null

RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS : It is a relationship between

variables and indicates the nature of the relationship. If A is
valid, B follows ...

If you hit a child with a chain, he/she will cry. Schools in

which pupil-teacher relations are open/friendly will have less
unrest than comparable schools where pupil-teacher
relations are closed/tense.

NULL HYPOTHESIS:" You are wrong, there is no

relation; disprove me if you can" (Kerlinger, 1973)
There is no difference between pupil-teacher relations in
unrest schools and pupil-teacher relations in comparable
schools which experience no unrest.

Types of statistical hypothesis

Null hypothesis: there are no differences
between population and samples or between
two samples on the variable of our interest. It
is null hypothesis (H0). H0: =200 (population
mean is 200).
Alternative Hypothesis: H1 200, > 200,
< 200. Rejection of H0 means acceptance of
H1 or vice versa.
Directional vs. non-directional

gion of Acceptance of Null Hypothesis

95% area

Region of Rejection of Null Hypothesis

Smaller area of rejection of H0

Accept H0: Type II Error

Small area of rejection of H0

Accept H0: Type II

Large area of rejection of H0

Reject H0: Type I Error

Characteristics of usable hypothesis

1. The hypothesis must be conceptually clear. This
involves two things: (a) the concepts should be
operationally defined and (b) the definitions
should be commonly accepted (rather than being
product of a private world).
2. The hypothesis should have empirical referents:
value judgments need to be excluded. No usable
hypothesis can embody moral judgments
(Capitalists exploit workers. Bad parents
produce bad children.).
3. The hypothesis must be specific. All the
operation and predictions indicated by it should
be spelled out.

4. A hypothesis should be related to

available techniques. We should not
formulate hypothesis, which at present
are too complex to be handled by
contemporary techniques.
5. The hypothesis should be related to
body of theory. A science can be a
cumulative only by building on an
existing body of fact and theory. It
cannot develop if each study is an
isolated survey.

Thank You: Any Question?