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FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESIS

Introduction of hypothesis:
The formulation of hypothesis or proposition as to the possible answers to the
research questions is an importance steps in the process of formulation of the research
problem. Hypothesis is usually considered as the principal instrument in research. Its
main function is to suggest new experiment and observations. Keen observation,
creative thinking, hunch, unit, imagination, vision, insight and sound judgement are of
greater importance in setting up reasonable hypotheses. A thorough knowledge about
the phenomenon and related fields is of great value in its process. The formulation of
hypotheses plays an important part in the growth of knowledge in every science. The
hypotheses are formulated to facilitate the findings of the research study.

Meaning of hypothesis:
 The relationship between/ among variables,

 The research hypothesis is a predictive statement, capable for being


tested by scientific methods, that relates an independent variable to
some dependent variable. The level of influence of independent
variables on the dependent variables.
 E.g.: “students who receive counselling will show a greater increase in
creativity than students not receiving counselling.”

 A proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations.

 A hypothesis is a precise testable statement prediction of what the


researcher expects to find or prove.
 It is a tentative answer to a research question.

 A hypothesis is a tentative proposition formulated for empirical testing.


It is a declarative statement combining concept.

Definition of hypothesis:
• Goode and Hatt have defined a hypothesis, “a proposition which can be
put to test to determine validity.”

• According to Rummel and Balline, “A hypothesis is a statement capable


of being tested and thereby verified or rejected.”
• According to M.H. Gopal ,”a hypothesis is a tentative solution posed on
a cursory observation of known and available data and adopted
provisionally to explain certain events and to guide in the investigation
of others .It is, in fact, a possible solution to the problem.”.
• A tentative theory or supposition provisionally adopted to explain
certain facts, and to guide, in the investigation of others, hence,
frequently called a working hypothesis.

Characteristics of hypothesis:
Hypothesis must possess the following chacteristics:

• Hypothesis should be clear and precise. If the hypothesis is not clear and
precise, the inferences drawn on its basis cannot be taken as reliable.
• Hypothesis should be capable of being tested. In a swamp of untestable
hypothesis, many time the research programmes have bogged down.
Some prior study may be done by researcher in order to make
hypothesis a testable one
• Hypothesis should state relations between variables, if it happens to be a
relational hypothesis.
• Hypothesis should be limited in scope and must be specific. A
researcher must remember the narrower hypothesis is generally more
testable and he should develop such hypothesis.
• Hypothesis should be stated as far as possible in most simple terms so
that the same is easily understandable by all concerned. But one must
remember that simplicity of hypothesis has nothing to do with its
significance.

• Hypothesis should be amenable to testing within a reasonable time. One


should not use even an excellent hypothesis, if the same cannot be tested
in reasonable time for one cannot spend a life-time collecting data to test
it.
• Hypothesis must explain the facts that gave rise to the need for
explanation. This means that by using the hypothesis plus other known
and accepted generalization, one should be able to deduce the original
problem condition. Thus hypothesis must actually explain what it claims
to explain; it should have empirical reference.

Importance of hypothesis:
• Hypothesis has a very important place in research although it occupies a
very small place in the body of a thesis. It is almost impossible for a
research worker not to have and or more hypotheses before proceeding
with his work. The importance of hypothesis can be more specifically
stated as under:
• It Provides direction to research. It defines what is relevant and what is
irrelevant. Thus it prevents the review of irrelevant literature and the
collection of useless or excess data.

• It is the investigator’s eye- a sort of guiding light in the world of


darkness.
• It prevents blind research. Prevents indiscriminate gathering of data
which may later turn to be irrelevant.
• It places clear and specific goals before us. These clear and specific
goals provide the investigator with a basis for selecting samples and
research procedures to meet these goals.

• It serves the function of the linking together related facts and


information and organising them in to one comprehensible whole.
• It enables the investigator to understand with greater clarity his problem
and its ramifications, as well as data which beat on it.

• It serves as a formulation for drawing conclusions. It provides the


outline for setting conclusions in a meaningful way.

Difficulties of hypothesis:
• There are a number of difficulties from which a beginner may suffer at
the stage of formulating a good hypothesis.

• Lack of knowledge and clarity of the theoretical framework of the area


in which the investigator chooses to work.

• Lack of ability to make use of the theoretical framework logically.

• Lack of acquaintance with available research technique resulting in


failure to be able to phrase the hypothesis properly.

• Vagueness of the statement: For example, a course in ethics will make a


student a more ethical adult.

Criteria of a good hypothesis:


A good hypothesis must satisfy the following criteria;
o It should provide tentative answer o the proposed problem. This can be
in the form of a declaration statement or in the form of a directional
statement or in a null form.
o It should be operational, that is there should be a method for recording
and measuring the variables involved in the hypothesis.
o It should be as simple as possible.

o It should be specific but not trivial or inconsequential. A very broad


hypothesis, no doubt, makes the problem unworkable. But a very
hypothesis cut the life out of it.
o A hypothesis must always be stated in advance of collecting evidence
aimed at its testing. If and only if a hypothesis is stated in advance of
collecting facts aimed at its testing will such facts be useful in the
verification or repetition of the hypothesis.

Various types of Hypothesis:


1. Descriptive hypothesis:
These are propositions that describe the characteristics (such as size, form, or
distribution) of a variable. The variable may be an object, person, organisation,
situation or event.
Some examples are:
“The rate of unemployment among arts graduates is higher than that of commerce
graduates.”
“Public enterprises are more amenable for centralized planning.”

2. Relational hypothesis:
These are propositions, which describe the relationship between two variables.
The relationship suggested may be positive or negative correlation or causal
relationship.
Some examples:
“Families with higher incomes spend more for recreation.”
“The lower the rate of job turnover in a work group, the higher the work
productivity.”

3. Casual hypothesis:
State that the existence of, or a change in, one variable causes or leads to an
effect on another variables. The first variable is called the independent variable, and
the latter the dependent variables the researcher must consider the direction in which
such relationships flow.ie. Which are cause and which effect is

4. Working hypothesis:
While planning the study of a problem, hypotheses are formed. Initially they
are not be very specific. In such cases, they are referred to as “Working hypothesis”
which are subject to modification as the investigation proceeds.

5. Null hypothesis:
These are hypothetical statements denying what are explicitly indicated in
working hypothesis. They are formed in the negative statement.
For example:” There is no relationship between families’ income level and
expenditure on recreation”.
Null hypothesis are formulated for testing statistical significance. Since, this
form is a convenient approach to statistical analysis. As the test would nullify the null
hypothesis, .they are so called. There is some justification for using null hypotheses.
They conform to the qualities of detachment and objectivity to be possessed by a
researcher. If the attempts to test hypotheses which he assumes to be true, it would
appear as if he is not behaving objectively. The problem does not arise when he uses
null hypotheses. Moreover, null hypotheses are more exact. It is easier to reject the
contrary of hypotheses than to confirm it with complete certainty. Hence the concept
of null hypothesis is found to be very useful.

6. Alternate Hypothesis {Ha}


It is a statement, which is accepted, after a null hypotheses is rejected based on
the test result.
Ex: If the null hypothesis is that “there is no relationship between the eye
colour of husbands and wives”, it is rejected then automatically the alternative
hypothesis is that “there is relationship between the eye colour of husbands and wives
is accepted.”

7. Statistical hypothesis:
There are statements about a statistical population. These are derived from a
sample. These are quantitative in nature in that they are numerically measurable, e.g.,
“Group A is older than Group B.”

8. Common sense Hypothesis:


These represent the common sense ideas. They state the existence of empirical
uniformities perceived through day-to-day observations.
“Soldiers from upper-class are less adjusted in the army than lower class men”
“Fresh students conform to the conventions set up by seniors”

9. Complex Hypothesis:
These aim at testing the existence of logically derived relationships between
empirical uniformities. For example,
“The concentric growth circles characterize a city”.

10. 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.

Sources of Hypothesis:
1. 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. For example, profit/wealth maximization id considered as the goal
of private enterprises. From this assumption, various hypotheses are derived.
“The rate of return on capital employed is an index of business success “; the
optimum capital structure is that combination of debt and equity which leads to
the maximum value of the firm.” “Higher the earning per share, more
favourable is the financial leverage.”
2. Observation: Hypotheses can be derived from observation. From the
observation of price behaviour in a market for example, the relationship
between the price and demand for an article is hypothesized.
3. Analogies: These are another resource of useful hypotheses. Julian Huxley has
pointed out that casual observation in nature or in the framework of another
science may be fertile source of hypotheses. For example, the hypotheses that
“similar human types or activities may be found in similar geographical regions
‘came from plant ecology.
4. Intuition and personal experience: may also contribute to the formulation of
hypotheses, personal life and experiences of persons determine their perception
and conception. These may, in turn, direct a person to certain hypotheses more
quickly. The story of Newton and the falling apple, the flash of wisdom of
Buddha under banyan tree illustrate this individual accident process.
5. Findings of studies: Hypotheses may be developed out of the finding of other
studies in order to replicate and test
6. Culture: Another source of hypotheses is the culture on which the researcher
was nurtured.
7. Continuity of research: The continuity of research in field itself constitutes
important sources of hypotheses. The rejection of some hypotheses leads to the
formulation of new once capable of explaining dependent variables in
subsequent researchers on the same subject.

Procedure in testing of hypothesis:


There are five steps involved in testing of hypothesis. There are briefly
discussed below.
1. Formulate a hypothesis:
The first step is to set up two hypotheses instead of one in such that if one
hypothesis is true, the other is false. Alternatively, if one hypothesis is false or
rejected, the other is true or accepted. That is Ho and H1.

2. Set up a suitable significance level:


Having formulated the hypothesis, the next step test its validity at a certain
level of significance. The confidence with which a null hypothesis rejected or
accepted depends upon the significance level used for the purpose. A significance
level of, say 5%, means that in the long run, the risk of making the wrong decision is
about 5%. In other words, one is likely to be wrong in accepting a false hypothesis on
5 out of 100 occasions. A significance level of , say, 1% implies that there is a risk of
being wrong in accepting or rejecting the hypothesis on 1 out of 1oo occasions. Thus,
a 1% significance level provides greater confidence to the decision than a 5%
significance level.

3. Select test criterion:


The next step in hypothesis is testing is the selection of an appropriate
statistical technique as a test criterion. There are many techniques from which one is
to be chosen. For example, when the hypothesis pertains to a large sample of more
than 30, the z test implying normal distribution is used. When a sample is small (less
than 30), the t-test will be more suitable. The test criteria that are frequently used in
hypotheses testing are z, t, f & χ2

4. Compute:
After having selected the statistical technique to test the hypotheses, the next
step involves various computations for the application of that particular test. These
computations include the testing statistics as its standard error.

5. Make decisions:
The final step in hypothesis testing is to draw a statistical decision, involving
the acceptance or rejection of the null hypothesis. This will depend on whether the
computed value of the test criterion falls in the region of acceptance or in the region of
rejection at a given level of significance. It may be noted that the statement rejecting
the hypothesis is much stronger than the statement accepting it. It is much easier to
prove something false than to prove it true. Thus when we say that the null hypothesis
is not rejected, we do not categorically say that it is true.
ERROR IN TESTING
Type I Error (α): It refers to the rejection of a null hypothesis when it is true. The I
error is symbolized by α (alpha)

Type II Error (β): Accepting a null hypothesis when it is false is called type II
error which is symbolized by β (beta)
In the test of a null hypothesis the possible decisions are shown in the
following table:

CONDITIO DECISION
N Accept H0 Reject H0
H0 is true Correct decision Incorrect decision(Type I
error)

H0 is false Incorrect decision (Type II Correct decision


error)

In the form of probability:

α =P (Type I error) = P (Reject H0 / H0 true)

β= P (Type II error) = P (Accept H0 / H0 false)

Conclusion
It is true that hypotheses are useful and they guide the research process in the
proper direction. In fact, many experiments are carried out with the deliberate object
of testing hypothesis. Decision-Makers often face situations wherein they are
interested in testing hypothesis on the basis of available information and then take
decisions on the basis of such testing. But in all analytical and experiment studies,
hypothesis should be setup in order to give a proper direction to them. The hypothesis
will guide a researcher in the selection of pertinent facts that are required to explain
the issue considered for the study. Thus, formulation of hypothesis plays an important
role in the research studies.

PRESENTED BY,

JOTHI PRIYA. S

(M. Phil, Commerce)