What Guides Your Research: Understanding Hypothesis v/s Research Question

What Guides Your Research: Understanding Hypothesis v/s Research Question

Research questions and hypotheses are two distinct approaches to understanding a particular phenomenon. Research questions are the empirical questions that can be answered by collecting data through observation or experimentation. Hypothesis, on the other hand, is an educated guess about how something works or what it is like.

The purpose of research is to understand a phenomenon, process or outcome. It is not an end in itself. The purpose of research is to answer a question or solve a problem. Research questions are statements that describe the problem you want to investigate. The question should be specific enough so that it can be answered by the method used in the research study.The hypothesis is the main point of interest that guides your research. It is what you think will happen (example: if your research participants respond as you expect them to respond), which makes it important to consider carefully in your choice of study design and methods.

A research question is a statement about what you want to find out. It describes the purpose of the research. For example, “What factors influence the success of a new product?” or “How does a video game affect players’ cognitive abilities?” A hypothesis is an idea that might be true but has not yet been proven. It is based on observations and previous knowledge. If a researcher wants to find out whether playing violent video games increases aggression, they might develop a hypothesis like this: “Violent video games increase aggression”. This can be tested by measuring aggression in people who have played violent video games and comparing it with aggression in people who have not.

The role of research questions in research study is to provide a focus for the researcher’s efforts, which may be used to develop and guide the research. The researcher may use a variety of approaches such as qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods in order to answer questions that he/she believes will lead to significant findings. This will help the researcher in developing an appropriate research design for answering his/her research question(s).

Hypothesis is an educated guess about how something works or what it is like. It provides a framework for conducting research by providing a testable prediction about the outcome of interest. A hypothesis can be either specific or general; however general hypotheses are more useful because they give researchers a way to organize their thoughts and outline their ideas more clearly before conducting tests on specific cases.

Hypothesis v/s Research Question

  • A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. In research, we usually frame a hypothesis around a research question. A hypothesis, however, is more broad and abstract. A hypothesis is an educated guess about what might happen. The hypothesis is not concrete; it’s just a theory. A hypothesis does not have an “if/then” format like an observation does. 
  • A hypothesis may be stated as “if X happens then Y will happen,” where X and Y are variables whose values can fit into one of two categories (e.g., “If participant A responds positively when asked how his job performance has improved, then he will also respond positively when asked whether he has improved his job performance”). A null hypothesis states that there is no difference between two variables (X1 and X2). A directional hypothesis specifies that there is an effect behind one variable but not behind another variable (X1 vs. X2 vs. Y).
  • A research question is the question that you want to answer through your research. It’s the topic that you choose to investigate, not the method you choose to investigate it. 
  • A research question is what you investigate and why you want to investigate it. Your research question can be phrased in many ways. 
  • For example, if you want to study how people use social media, your question could be: “What are the key trends that people are using social media for?”, “What social media platforms are being used most often?”, “How are people using social media?”, “What are the benefits of using social media?”, and so on. 
  • Your research question guides the type of research that you do. For example, if you want to know what social media platforms people are using most often, then your research question guides the method that you use, such as an online survey. Your research question determines what questions you ask, what answers you look for, and how you present your findings.
  • There are many ways to formulate a research question, and it can be hard to figure out what kind of question will yield the best results. When you’re conducting research, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a research question is a hypothesis. In some cases, though, a research question is not a hypothesis at all; instead, it’s more of an observation. For example, when you read journal articles, you may come across research that simply looks at data. This type of research does not have a hypothesis; instead, it’s an observation about the data. All that’s being examined is the data itself, not why it happened, what it means, or how it can help solve a problem.
  • A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. A research question is what you want to investigate and why you want to investigate it.

Your research question and hypothesis should be stated in the introduction and addressed again in the conclusion to demonstrate that you have completed what you set out to do and that you have not lost sight of your objective throughout your research process.

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