Concept, Characteristics, Types and Sources of Hypothesis in Research Methodology

Concept, Characteristics, Types and Sources of Hypothesis in Research Methodology

A hypothesis is used for explaining a phenomenon. Hypothesis is essential to discover cause-and-effect relationships. It provides direction for research and prevents from collecting unnecessary and useless data. 

Selection of a research problem highly depends on the researcher’s knowledge, skills and motivation on the subject matter. To develop a proper hypothesis, the researcher needs to have a high interest in the topic. The level of expertise on the topic is very crucial as well. The researcher needs to make sure that there is enough data available on the topic before getting started. Controversial and narrow topics should be avoided. 

Characteristics of Hypothesis 

1. It states what findings are going to be done through the research. 

2. It guides data collection and interpretation. 

3. It helps in designing the research and what results can be expected. 

4. It is helpful in acquiring useful and relevant data. 

5. It helps in doing valid and reasonable research. 

6. It helps in data analysis and interpretation. 

7. It is helpful for discovering relationships between variables and theoretical guidelines. 

Types of Hypothesis 

1. Simple Hypothesis

It portrays the relationship between two variables, that is independent variable or cause and dependent variable or effect. 

2. Complex Hypothesis 

This hypothesis contains several dependent and independent variables. 

3. Null Hypothesis 

This hypothesis is used to prove that there is no relationship between dependent and independent variables. It rejects the relationship between variables. 

4. Alternative Hypothesis 

As the name suggests, numerous hypothesis are put forward and the most effective one is chosen from them. If one hypothesis is rejected, another is taken to be tested. 

Sources of Hypothesis 

1. Personal Experiences 

One can get a lot of information from their own experiences in life. Personal experiences can be an important source of hypothesis. 

2. Previous Study 

Looking at the previous works on the topic of hypothesis will be beneficial in making it of good quality.

3. Thinking and Imagination

The creative thinking of researchers can help in preparing a good hypothesis. A researchers’ thinking process can be another source of hypothesis. 


A hypothesis needs earlier evidence and should be testable. The hypothesis should be stated clearly and briefly for readers to understand it easily. To develop a hypothesis, the researcher needs to have an extensive and broad knowledge on the topic and look deeply into the past articles and journals on the same topic. The researcher should be able to limit the problem while formulating the hypothesis.