At what point does a research require a hypothesis formulated

Hypothesis are formulated while writing  research projects but not all research projects require a hypothesis to proceed. Why is that so? At what point in an undergraduate project do you need to formulate a hypothesis? What value does a hypothesis add to a research outcome? These are common questions students raise and this article is meant to give answers to them.

What is a hypothesis is research?

Simply defined, a hypothesis is a predictive statement used to test a research expectation. In essence undergraduate project topics that require hypotheses usually have an expected outcome either positive or negative. Therefore the possibility of getting either of the desired outcome is only possible by testing the theories that support your claims. The picture becomes clear as we further. Come with me...

Developing a Hypothesis

Two factors are most considered while developing a hypothesis.  They are Independent variable(s) and Dependent or response variable(s). Having these factors present means that a relationship h as to be established between them. But before you get here, let’s go back one step.

In any project topic, the dependent and independent variables are often present such that one has influence over the other – as that’s what triggers research in the first place. Therefore identifying these variables is key to possibly formulating a hypothesis.

After that, the second move is to identify the factor or variable that has characteristics that causes, or affects, or influences – now that variable is the Independent variable.  Then the other element that receives the effect or is affected or is influenced is the dependent variable. If you get to this point, we should proceed.

When does a research require a hypothesis?

  • When testing a theory – the theory I’m talking about is not ambiguous ones you quote from scholars, they are claims you have to formulate from your research questions which could either be proven right or wrong at the end of the research.

Eg. There is a correlation between  Small scale business growth and resource availability.

The above statement is a thesis or theory waiting to be tested to arrive at verified outcome.

  • You also use a hypothesis when you want to establish a relationship between two or more variables. There could be more than one independent variables affect one dependent variable, also applies the other way round.

What advantages does hypothesis add to a research?

  • It links the theories with the research questions

  • It helps simplify data analysis and interpretation

  • It is used to measure the validity of a research outcome

  • It is also used to measure the reliability of a research outcome.

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