Social Research Glossary

 

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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-17, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/socialresearch/

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 2 January, 2017 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2017.

 

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Hypothesis


core definition

A hypothesis is a statement of a conjecture to be investigated.


explanatory context

A hypothesis may be vague or but if it is to be scientifically tested it needs to be in a form that is concise and testable. Often, in positivistic social science, this will be in the form of a null hypothesis.

 

Hypothesis is merely a statement to be tested it is not a theory, indeed a theory may generate many hypotheses to be tested or evaluated.

 

The adjective, hypothetical, refers to some idea that it not confirmed and has the status of a hypotheses to be tested.

 

In formal logic a hypothesis is the antecedent of a proposition, for example, "If P, then Q", then P would be the antecedent or hypothesis (Q would be the consequent).


analytical review

Colorado State University (1993–2013) defines hypothesis as:

A tentative explanation based on theory to predict a causal relationship between variables.

 

Elwell's Glossary of Sociology (undated) defines hypothesis as:

A tentative statement about a given state of affairs that predicts a relationship between the variables, usually put forward as a basis for empirical testing.


associated issues

 


related areas

See also

logic

null hypothesis

theory

Researching the Real World Section 8


Sources

Colorado State University, 1993–2013, Glossary of Key Terms available at http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/guide.cfm?guideid=90, accessed 3 February 2013, still available 22 December 2016.

Elwell's Glossary of Sociology, undated, available at http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/frank.elwell/prob3/glossary/socgloss.htm, page not available 20 December 2016.


copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2017


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