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Definition of Hypothesis: Functions, Usability, Characteristics, Benefits and Examples

Hypothesis is a temporary answer to a problem that is still presumptive because it still has to be verified.

A scientific hypothesis is when it tries to express an answer to the problem under investigation. This hypothesis is confirmed when all the symptoms are not contradictory to the hypothesis. 

In an attempt to prove a hypothesis, the researcher may intentionally cause or create symptoms. This deliberation is called a trial or experiment. The hypothesis that has been verified is called a theory.

Definition of Hypothesis According to Experts

  1. According to Prof. Dr. S. Nasution,  Hypothesis is an assumption about what we observe in an effort to understand it. (Nasution:2000)
  2. Zikmund (1997:112), According to Zimund, a hypothesis is an unproven proposition or conjecture that tentatively explains facts or phenomena, as well as possible answers to research questions.
  3. According to Erwan Agus Purwanto and Dyah Ratih Sulistyastuti (2007:137), a hypothesis is a statement or accusation that while a research problem is still weak (not necessarily true) it must be tested empirically.
  4. According to Mundilarso, a hypothesis is a statement with a weak level of truth that still has to be tested using certain techniques. The hypothesis is formulated in terms of theory, conjecture, personal/other people's experience, general impression, the conclusion is still very early. The hypothesis is a statement about the state of the population that will be verified using the data/information collected through the sample.
  5. According to Kerlinger (1973),  a hypothesis is an alleged statement of the relationship between two or more variables.

Hypothesis Example

If you see black clouds and the sky becomes dark, then someone can just conclude (guess) based on his experience that (because the sky is cloudy, then…) it will soon rain. If it turns out a few moments later that it really rains, then the allegation is proven correct. Scientifically, this conjecture is called a hypothesis. However, if it turns out that it is not raining, then the hypothesis is declared wrong.

Hypothesis is a scientific term used in the context of scientific activity that follows the rules of ordinary, conscious, deliberate and directed thinking. In everyday use this hypothesis is often called a hypothesis, there is no difference in meaning in it.

When thinking about everyday life, people often refer to hypotheses as assumptions, estimates, expectations, and so on. Hypothesis also means a statement or proposition which says that among a number of facts there is a certain relationship. A proposition that will shape the process of forming a hypothesis, one of them, namely social research

The process of forming a hypothesis is a reasoning process, which goes through certain stages. This also happens in making scientific hypotheses, which are carried out consciously, carefully, and directed. Thus, it can be said that the hypothesis is a proposition that can be tested directly.

Use of the Hypothesis

Hypothesis is an important element in scientific research, especially quantitative research. There are three main reasons that support this view, including:
  1. The hypothesis can be said to be a theoretical work tool. This hypothesis can be seen from the theory used to explain the problem to be studied. For example, the causes and consequences of conflict can be explained through conflict theory.
  2. Hypotheses can be tested and shown to be true or false or falsification.
  3. Hypotheses are a great tool for advancing knowledge because scientists can make out of themselves. That is, hypotheses are structured and tested to show whether they are true or false in a way independent of the values ​​and opinions of the researchers who construct and test them.

The important function of the hypothesis in research

  1. To test the theory,
  2. Encouraging the emergence of theory,
  3. Explaining social phenomena,
  4. As a guideline for directing research,
  5. Provides a framework for compiling the conclusions that will be generated.

More Clear Function is

a. Problem determination

Basic scientific reasoning is a wealth of scientific knowledge that usually arises because of something that appears to be a situation or event that is not or cannot be explained by laws or theories or arguments that are known to science. Basic reasoning must also be aware of the proper formulation. In the process of scientific reasoning, problem determination is in the form of problem formulation.

b. Preliminary hypothesis or preliminary hypothesis

The basis of conjecture or reciprocity while understanding of all activities. It is also used in scientific reasoning. Without the initial hypothesis, the observations will not be targeted. The facts collected cannot be used to draw conclusions, because they are not relevant to the problem at hand. 

Because it is not formulated explicitly, in research, a hypothesis is not considered as a hypothetical preliminary during research, but is a hypothesis that is used only to test before the actual research is carried out.

c. Fact collection

In scientific reasoning, among a number of facts, only those facts that are relevant to the formulation of the initial hypothesis are selected based on the accuracy and precision of selecting facts.

d. Hypothesis formulation

Hypothesis formation can be through inspiration or intuition, whereas logic cannot say anything about this. A hypothesis that is created when there is a certain relationship between a number of facts. As an example of an anecdote that clearly illustrates the nature of the discovery of the hypothesis, we are told that an apple fell from a tree while Newton was sleeping under it and is reminded that all things must fall and also looks directly at the hypothesis, known as the law of gravity.

e. Hypothesis testing

That is, the match of a hypothesis with an observable state in scientific terms is called verification (justification). If the hypothesis is proven to be compatible with the fact that what is called confirmation. Falsification (blaming) occurs if efforts to find facts in testing this hypothesis are not consistent with the hypothesis. 

When that doesn't work, then the hypothesis doesn't contradict that fact which is called evidence (evidence). A hypothesis that often gets confirmation or corroborating evidence is called a theory.

f. Application/implementation

If the hypothesis is true and can be made into a prediction (in scientific terms it is called a prediction) and it is hoped that it must be proven according to the facts. This should be verified/corroborated with facts.

Hypothesis Benefits

Establishing a hypothesis in a study provides the following benefits:
  1. Provide limitations and minimize the scope of research and research work.
  2. Alert researchers to the conditions of facts and relationships between facts, which sometimes simply disappear from the attention of researchers.
  3. As a simple tool in focusing facts that are fragmented without coordination into an important and comprehensive whole.
  4. As a guide in testing and adjusting to facts and between facts.
Therefore the quality of the benefits of the hypothesis will depend on:
  1. The researcher's sharp observation of the facts.
  2. Imagination and creative thinking of researchers.
  3. The analytical framework used by the researcher.
  4. Methods and research design chosen by the researcher.

Characteristics of a good hypothesis

The formulation of a good and correct hypothesis must meet the following characteristics:
  1. The hypothesis must be stated in the form of a declarative statement, not a question sentence.
  2. The hypothesis contains a statement regarding the relationship between at least two research variables.
  3. The hypothesis must be in accordance with the facts and can explain the facts.
  4. The hypothesis must be testable ( testable ). The hypothesis can be tested specifically to show how the research variables are measured and how to predict the relationship or influence between the variables in question.
  5. The hypothesis must be simple (specific) and limited, so that misunderstandings do not occur.