Hypothesis Statements – Overview and Template
This document contains definitions, examples, and a template to complete for your assignment.
Hypothesis Statements Overview
A hypothesis is a prediction about the relationship between two variables. Hypotheses statements often start as an educated guess about how one variable affects a second variable. A hypothesis statement must be testable (i.e., you can verify or falsify with observable evidence).
Most hypothesis are written in the form of an If/Then statements. Examples of If/Then statements are:
· If you drink coffee before going to bed, then it will take longer to fall asleep.
· If you get at least 8 hours of sleep, you will do better on tests than if you get less sleep.
· If you reduce your consumption of sugar, you will lose weight.
A good hypothesis contains the three elements listed below:
1. The dependent variable(s): Who or what you can vary or control.
2. The independent variable(s): Who or what you predict will affect the dependent variable.
3. What you predict the effect will be.
A good hypothesis statement is written as, IF (the Dependent Variable) THEN (Independent Variable) is affected in a specific way.
Assumptions Versus Hypothesis
There are general differences between an assumption and a hypothesis.
· Assumptions are vague, optimistic, and untestable. Vague = harder to prove or disprove.
· Hypotheses must be specific to be tested. You can design experiments to generate data that support or reject your hypothesis.
Here are some examples of assumptions vs. hypotheses:
Independent Variable (IV)
Dependent Variable (DV)
If you drink coffee before going to bed, then it will take longer to fall asleep.
Consumption of 500 mg of coffee within 1 hour of bedtime will delay time to fall asleep by over 30 minutes.
Time to fall asleep
If you get at least 8 hours of sleep, you will do better on tests than if you get less sleep.
Students who sleep at least 8 hours of the night before will improve test scores by 10%.
Number of hours of sleep
Test score improvement
If you reduce your consumption of sugar, you will lose weight.
Patients who reduce sugar consumption to below 25 grams daily for 90 days will experience 2% weight loss.
Sugar consumption over the next 90 days
Hypothesis Best Practices
Review the examples provided below for tips on writing a strong hypothesis.
Are there vague words like “some people” or “customer”?
Be specific. Create a well-defined persona defining the specific demographic group you are targeting.
Can it be measured specifically, or does it contain vague concepts that cannot be tested?
Create a measurable hypothesis. Eliminate hedging words like “maybe,” “better,” “some,” and convert to If/Then statement.
Is it actually risky?
If it is not truly risky, it is not relevant and does not need to be tested right now. (It may get riskier later and resurface.)
Has a second set of eyes looked at it?
Everyone has blind spots. Check your work with another entrepreneur and ask the person to tighten up the hypothesis to make sure it is specific, measurable, and realistic.
Part 1 – Write a Hypothesis Template
Instructions: Select one problem statement and create three versions of hypotheses statements for this problem. Document the problem statement above the chart and complete each row and column as directed in the assignment. Then, write a 250-word summary based on the prompt at the bottom of this document.
Problem statement: ______________________________________________________________________
The addition of fresh water wells within Rio de Janeiro will help.
The addition of fresh water wells within Rio de Janeiro will increase citizens’ health.
The addition of seven fresh water wells in the town of Rozinho, (near Rio de Janeiro) will decrease doctor visits by 20%.
Fresh water wells.
Amount of doctor visits.
Part 2 – Write a Summary of Your Hypothesis Statement
Write a 250-word description of your final hypothesis statement. Describe the independent and dependent variables, and describe how you would objectively define a measurable, testable, replaceable, and meaningful hypothesis. How is your hypothesis measurable? How will you test it?