HYPOTHESIS

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HYPOTHESIS

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HYPOTHESES

Introduction

Hypothesis is the most important mental

tool in the research. The use of the

hypothesis is to suggest new explorations

and observations.

Hypothesis is the researchers prediction

of the outcome of the research study

based on the research variables.

Purposes of Hypothesis

It provides bridge between theory & real world

situation and in this sense unifying the two

domains.

It provides powerful tool, for the advancement of

knowledge since they enable the researcher to

objectively enter new areas of discovery.

It provides overall direction for any research

endeavor by tentatively identifying the

anticipated outcome.

It is a guide to the thinking process & the process

of discovery.

It serves as a framework for drawing conclusions.

Meaning

It is an assumption statement about the

relationship between two or more variable

that suggest an answer to the research

question. It is a tentative prediction or

explanation of the relationship between two

variables.

Criteria for Hypothesis

Conceptual clarity It should consist of clearly

defined and understandable concepts.

Specificity A hypothesis should be specific and

explain the expected relation between variables

and the conditions under which these relations

will hold.

Testability A hypothesis should be testable and

should not be a moral judgement. It should be

possible to collect empirical evidences to test the

hypothesis.

Cont..

Availability of techniques Hypotheses should

be related to available techniques.

Theoretical relevance A hypothesis should be

related to a body of theory. When research is

systematically based upon a body of existing

theory, a genuine contribution to knowledge is

more likely to result.

Consistency Hypothesis should be a logically

consistent.

Objectivity Scientific hypothesis should be

logically consistent

Simplicity A hypothesis should be a simple one

requiring fewer conditions or assumptions.

Characteristics of Hypothesis

Hypothesis is declarative statement that identifies the

predicted relationship between two or more variables.

This implies that there is a systematic relationship between

independent variables and dependent variables.

It must always be stated in advance of collecting evidence

aimed at its testing that is an acceptable hypothesis must

be testable/ have testability. This means that the variables

of the study must lend themselves to observation,

measurement and analysis.

A sound hypothesis is consistent with an existing body of

theory and research findings.

Statement of hypothesis should be worded clear, simple

and concise terms used in scientific and research language.

Cont

This helps the reader to understand the variables, the

population being studies and the predicted outcome of the

hypothesis.

The Statement of hypothesis should not conflict with any law

of nature which is known true.

A good hypothesis should provide tentative answer to the

proposed problem. This can be in the form of a declaration

of statement or in the form of a directional or in a null form.

It should be operational, that is there should be a method

for recording and measuring the variables involved in the

hypothesis.

It should be specific but not inconsequential.

Advantages of Hypothesis

Hypothesis builds researchers confidence in

his results

Sound hypothesis gives direction to the

inquiry

A good hypothesis enriches theory

Role of Hypothesis in nursing research

A hypothesis gives a definite to the investigation, and it

guides the direction on the study. Without a hypothesis,

research becomes unfocussed, a random empirical

wandering.

A hypothesis specifies the sources of data, which shall be

studied and in what context they shall be studied.

It determines the data needs. It defines which facts are

relevant and which are not.

A hypothesis suggests which type of research is likely to be

most appropriate.

It determines the most appropriate technique of analysis.

A hypothesis may be deduced from theory. It links theory

and investigation. A hypothesis may be deduced from

theory.

Sources of Hypothesis

General Culture

Our cultural heritage is a great source of ideas, theories, tentative

theories and provisional preposition.

Scientific Theory

The various scientific laws or theories which are transferable to the

field of nursing research eg. Maslows theory of Hierarchy.

Personal Experience

All true knowledge beings with experience. Leonardo Ad Vinci

believed that All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions.

Wisdom is the daughter of experience. Good judgment is born clear

understanding.

Clear understanding comes or reasons derived from sound rules.

Sound rules are the issues of sound experience the common mother

of all the science and arts. Hence, experience is the source of

hypothesis.

Analogies

Sources from different origin or study done in different

settings or in the framework of another science may be a

fertile source of hypotheses.

Theory

This is one of the main sources of hypotheses. It gives

direction to research by stating what is known. Logical

deduction from theory leads to new hypotheses.

Observation

Hypotheses can be derived from observation. From the

observation we can identify the relation between the

study variables.

Findings of studies

Hypotheses may be developed out of the findings

of other studies in order to replicate and test.

State of knowledge

An important source of hypotheses is the state of

knowledge in any particular science. Where

formal theories are scarce, hypotheses are

generated from conceptual frameworks.

Continuity of research

The continuity of research in a field itself

constitutes an important source of hypotheses.

Classification of Hypotheses

Hypotheses can be classified according to direction

Directional Hypotheses

A directional hypothesis is one that specifies the

expected direction of the relationship between the

independent and dependent variable. The reader of a

directional hypothesis may observe that the existence of

a relationship is proposed, as well as the nature the

existence of a relationship is proposed, as well as the

nature or directions of that relationship.

Non directional Hypotheses

It indicated the existence of relationship between

the variable. It does not specify the anticipated direction

of the relationship.

Categories of Hypotheses

1. Research Hypothesis

It is also known as scientific or workable

hypothesis.

It consists of a statement about the expected

relationship between the variables.

A research hypothesis indicates what the

outcome of the study is expected to be.

It is also either directional or non-directional.

2. Statistical Hypothesis

It is also known as null hypothesis.

It states that there is no relationship between the

independent and dependent variables.

If in the data analysis a statistically significant relationship

emerges between the variable at a specified level of

significance, the null hypothesis is rejected.

Rejection of statistical hypothesis is equivalent to acceptance

of research hypothesis.

It is also known as null hypothesis.

It states that there is no relationship between the

independent variables and dependent variables.

If in the data analysis a statistically significant relationship

emerges between the variable at a specified level of

significance, the null hypothesis is rejected.

Rejection of statistical hypothesis is equivalent to acceptance

of research hypothesis

Types of Hypothesis

Hypotheses are classified with reference to their function.

Descriptive Hypothesis

Relational Hypothesis

Causal Hypothesis

Working Hypothesis

Null Hypothesis

Statistical Hypothesis

Common-sense Hypothesis

Complex Hypothesis

Analytical Hypothesis

1. Descriptive Hypothesis

There are propositions that describe the characteristics

of a variable.

The variable may be an object, person, organization,

situation or event.

Eg. The rate of unemployment among nursing graduates is lesser than

that of medical graduates.

2. Relational Hypothesis

There are propositions, which describe that relationship

between two variables.

The relationship suggested may be positive or negative

correlation or causal relationship.

Eg. Upper-class people have fewer children than lower class people.

3. Causal Hypothesis

State that the existence of, or a change in, one

variable causes or leads to an effect on another

variable.

The first variable is called the independent variable,

and the latter the dependent variable.

When dealing with causal relationships between

variables the researcher must consider the direction

in which such relationships flow.

Clears which is cause and which is effect, eg. Smoking

causes lung cancer.

4. Working Hypothesis

Initially hypothesis may not be very specific. In

such cases, they are referred to as Working

Hypothesis which is subject to modification as the

investigation proceeds.

5. Null Hypothesis

These are hypothetical statement denying what are explicitly

indicated in working hypothesis.

They do not, nor were ever intended to exist in reality.

They state that no difference exists between the parameter

and the statistic being compared to it.

Null hypothesis are formulated for testing statistical

significance since, this form is a convenient approach to

statistical analysis.

There is some justification for using null hypothesis.

They conform to the qualities of detachment and objectivity

to be possessed by a researcher.

The attempts to test hypothesis which he assumes to be true,

it would appear as if he is not behaving objectively. This

problem does not arise when he uses null hypothesis.

Null hypothesis are more exact. It is reject the contrary of an

hypothesis than to confirm it with complete certainty.

6. Statistical Hypothesis

Statistical hypothesis quantitative in nature in that they are

numerically measurable.

It may be hypotheses of difference or hypotheses of

association.

7. Common sense Hypotheses

These represent the common sense ideas.

They state the existence of empirical uniformities perceived

through day to day observations.

Common sense statements are often a confused mixture of

clichs and moral judgments.

Scientists have a large-scale job in transforming and testing

them. This requires three tasks; first, the removal of value

judgment; second the clarification of terms and third, the

application of validity tests.

8. Complex Hypothesis

These aim at testing the existence of logically derived

relationship between empirical uniformities.

The function of such hypotheses is to create tools problems

for further research in otherwise very complex areas of

investigation.

9. Analytical Hypothesis

These are concerned with the relationship of analytic

variables. These hypotheses occur at the highest level of

abstraction.

These specify relationship between changes in one property

and changes in another.

This level of hypothesizing is the most sophisticated mode of

formulation and contributes to the development of brilliant

abstract theories.

Eg. The study of human fertility might show empirical

regularities by wealth, education, region and religion.

Developing the Research Hypothesis

Like the problem statement, hypotheses are often not stated

explicitly in a research article.

The evaluator often will find that the hypotheses are embedded

in the data analysis, results, or discussion section of the

research report.

Hypotheses flow from the problem statement, literature review,

and theoretical frame work.

A hypothesis is an assumptive statement about the relationship

between two or more variables that suggests an answer to the

research question.

A hypothesis converts the question posed by the research

problem into a declarative statement that predicts and

expected outcome.

Cont..

A sound hypothesis is consistent with an existing

body of theory and research findings. Regardless

of whether a hypothesis is arrived at inductively

or deductively, it must be based on a sound

scientific rationale.

Hypotheses statement identifies the predicted

relationship between two or more variable. This

implies that there is a systematic relationship

between an independent variable and a

dependent variable. The direction of the predicted

relationship is also specified in the statement.

Hypothesis must be testability. It means that the

variables of the study must lend themselves of

observation, measurement and analysis.

Relationship between the Hypothesis and

the Research Design

Regardless of whether the researcher uses a

statistical or a research hypothesis, there is a

suggested relationship between the

hypothesis and the research design of the

study. The type of design, experimental or

nonexperimental, will influence the wording

of the hypothesis.

Issues related to Research Hypothesis

1. Substantive Theoretical Issues

Does the research report contain formally-

stated hypotheses? If not, is their absence

justifiable?

Are the hypotheses directly and logically tied

to the research problem?

Do the hypotheses flow logically from the

theoretical rationale or review of the

literature? If no, what justification is offered

for the researchers predictions?

2. Methodological Issues

Does each hypothesis contain at least two

variables?

Do the hypotheses state a predicted relationship

between the variables that is between the

independent and dependent variables?

Do the hypotheses indicate the nature of the

population being studied?

Are the independent and dependent variables in

the hypotheses adequately defined, and are they

measurable?

Can the hypotheses be tested in such a way that

it is clear whether the hypotheses are supported

or not?

3. Stylistic Issues

Are the hypotheses worded clearly,

unambiguously, and objectively, and written in

declarative form?

Are the hypotheses directional? If not, is there

a rationale for the nondirectional hypotheses?

Are the hypotheses stated as research

hypotheses rather than null hypotheses?

Summary

The formulation of hypothesis or propositions as

to the possible answers to the research questions

is an important step in the process of formulation

of the research problem. Keen observation,

creative thinking, hunch, wit, imagination, vision,

insight and sound judgment are of greater

importance in setting up reasonable hypothesis.

A thorough knowledge about the phenomenon

and related fields is of great value in its process.

The formulation of hypothesis plays an important

part in the growth of knowledge in every science.

Bibliography

Nancy Burns and Susan K Grove, The Practice of

nursing Research, 3rd Edition, W.B. Saunders

Company.

Denise. F Polit, Bernadehe P. Hungler, Essentials

of Nursing Research Methods Appraisal and

Utilization, Lippincott publication, Philodelphia,

Newyork, 4th Editions, 1996.

Basavanthappa. B.T., Nursing Research, New

Delhi, Jaypee Brothers, 2nd Edition, 2007.

Kothari. C.R, Research Methodology, New

Delhi, New Age International (P) Limited, 2nd

Edition, 2004.

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