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 Lundberg defines hypothesis as “ a
tentative generalization, the validity of
which remains to be tested”
 Goode and Hatt define it as “a proposition
which can be put to a test to determine its
Types of hypotheses
 Hypotheses are classified in several ways
Descriptive hypotheses
Relational hypotheses
Causal hypotheses
Working hypotheses
Null hypotheses
Statistical hypotheses
Common sense hypotheses
Complex hypotheses
Analytical hypotheses
Descriptive hypotheses
 These are propositions that describe the
characteristics of a variable.
 The variable may be an object, person,
organisation, situation or event.
 eg., the rate of unemployment among arts
graduates is higher than that of commerce
Relational hypotheses
 Which describe the relationship between
two variables.
 The relationship suggested may be
positive or negative correlation or causal
 Eg.,”Families with higher incomes spend
more for recreation”
Causal hypotheses
 State the existence of, or a change in, one
variable causes or leads to an effect on another
 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 which
is cause and which is effect.
Working hypotheses
 While planning the study of a problem,
hypotheses are formed.
 Initially it may not be very specific
 Which are subject to modification as the
investigation proceeds .
Null hypotheses
 Null hypotheses are formulated for testing
statistical significance .
 E.g.., relationship between families
income and expenditure.
 Null hypotheses are more exact. It is
easier to reject the contrary of an
hypotheses than to confirm the complete
Statistical hypotheses
 Here it deals with the statistical
population. These are derived from a
 These are quantitative in nature and
which are numerically measurable.
 This is measured by co-efficient of
Common sense hypotheses
 It represents the common sense ideas.
They state the existence of empirical
uniformities perceived through day to day
 E.g., soldiers from upper class are less
adjusted in the army than lower class
 Common sense hypotheses requires
three tasks:
1. The removal of value judgement.
2. clarification of terms.
3. application of validity tests.
Complex hypotheses
 It aims at testing the existence of logically
derived relationships between empirical
 This test is used logically for the further
research purpose.
Analytical hypotheses
 These are concerned with the relationship
of analytic variables.
 These occurs at the highest level of
 indicate relationship between changes in
one property and changes in another
Sources of hypotheses
 Theory  gives direction to research by
stating what is known. logical deduction
from theory leads to new hypotheses
 Observation  derived from observation,
e.g., the relationship between the price
and demand
 analogies  can be from the casual
observations from nature and framework.
 Intuition and personal experience 
contribute to the formulation of
hypotheses. Personal life and experience
of persons determine their perception and
 Findings and studies  developed out of
findings of other studies in order to
replicate and test.
 State of knowledge  based on the state
of knowledge in any particular. any formal
theories exist, hypotheses can be
 Culture  is the culture on which the
researcher nurtured.
 Continuity of researcher  the rejection of
some hypotheses leads to the formulation
of new ones.
Role of hypotheses
 Guides for proper direction
 Sources of data
 Data needs
 Suggestions to the type of search
 Appropriate technique
 Contributes to the development of theory
Characteristics of hypotheses
 Conceptual clarity
 Specificity
 Testability
 Availability of techniques
 Theoretical relevance
 consistency
 Objectivity
 simplicity
Evaluating hypotheses
 How can hypotheses be evaluated?
 Robert bales lists the following pertinent
questions to be asked about hypotheses
before adopting them for investigation
1.all the concepts used in hypotheses
specific? the posited relationship between
variables verifiable?
Contd…. there any prior evidence as to the
truth or falseness of the posited
4.can an appropriate research design be
5.are the variables are applicable to other
6.are the generalization a part of
theoretical system?
Rules of constructing hypotheses
 Search for variable measurements
 Mutually exclusive and totally inclusive
 Sort observation into variable category
 Alternative operations
 Analyse the variable through their
 Link two or more formal propositions
Testing of hypotheses
 Hypotheses are only considered as
provisional ideas and not as facts.
 They are just meant for testing through the
research process.
 Researcher should have an open mind
and with a spirit of disinterestedness.