Hypothesis testing in a research paper

By on October 8, 2012

A hypothesis is a brief statement in a research that is intended to inform the readers about the subject and objectives of the research. The researcher only has an initial view on the topic while starting the research. This view however needs to be confirmed through the research. The research analysis work, therefore, starts with collecting primary and secondary data so that the researcher’s view on particular research aspects can either prove right or wrong.

The hypothesis provides the scope of the research. It gives an insight to the reader about what all topics the research would cover or would not cover. A hypothesis is basically the researcher’s argument on the research are at the beginning of the research. This hypothesis is tested against pieces of evidence through mathematical and statistical tools and ultimately it is found out whether the researcher was right or wrong in his initial views. Though the data is collected with a view to supporting the hypothesis, it may not always prove correct at the end.

Null hypothesis and alternate hypothesis

A hypothesis is an assumption made by the researcher on the selected topic and testing results into finding whether this assumption was right or wrong. A hypothesis is a tentative assumption that has yet to be proved or disproved. The hypothesis is stated in the form of a null statement and then this statement is tested for being true or false. In addition to the null hypothesis, the researcher also needs to form an alternate hypothesis. While the null hypothesis represents the researcher’s inference of the research population on a particular aspect, the alternate hypothesis is formed to leave scope for any differences from that of the researcher’s inference. The alternate hypothesis contradicts the null hypothesis. The hypothesis is tested statistically and if the findings are not statistically significant, the null hypothesis is accepted otherwise alternate hypothesis is accepted.

Importance of hypothesis testing

Hypothesis testing is a very important part of every research as it provides direction to the whole research. Hypothesis testing gives a defined path to the research and restricts the research to a specific parameter. Otherwise, the researcher may deviate from the objectives during the course of the research. Hypothesis testing helps in avoiding the blind search for data and the researcher gathers only the relevant information that is needed to prove the relationship among variables considered for the hypothesis. So, hypothesis testing helps to restrict the research to its objectives. Moreover, it also helps the researcher to objectively conclude whether what he/she had assumed was true or not. Hypothesis testing therefore not only gives direction to the research but also gives a proper conclusion to the research. It can thus be said that hypothesis testing is an indispensable part of research.


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