What is a Null Hypothesis?

Hypothesis and Null Hypothesis

Hypothesis and Null Hypothesis

A hypothesis is a tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation. Notice I said it’s a tentative explanation.

That’s because hypotheses are not supported by substantial evidence. Now, the stronger the proof of the hypothesis, the greater its accuracy, because you have to be able to- for something to be a hypothesis, you have to be able to test it by further investigation.

The more proof you have for this hypothesis, the greater the chance that it can be proven by further investigation. An example of a hypothesis is if condition A exits, then behavior B it will happen. It’s an “if, then” statement.

If this happens, then this will happen. Now, hypotheses are either confirmed or not confirmed. They are confirmed or not confirmed rather than being proven or disproved. There’s a difference.

You could confirm the hypothesis, which is pretty much the same thing as proving something, or you can say that the hypothesis is not confirmed. Saying that something is not confirmed and saying that something is disproved is different.

If you say something that is disproved, you say there’s absolutely no way it can happen. When you say something is not confirmed, you’re saying that it could still happen, you’re just not able to prove that it can happen yet.

It is always possible that new evidence will be discovered that could possibly support the hypothesis. What you may be gathering from this is that a hypothesis is basically an educated guess. You have an observation, a phenomenon, or a scientific problem that you’re trying to explain.

Based on what you know, you form a tentative explanation that can then later be tested by further investigation. Now, there is something called a null hypothesis, which is a testable hypothesis that is often formulated on the basis of the simplest set of assumptions.

It’s based upon something that is very simple, that can, again, be tested to be proven or disproven.

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: June 18, 2020