kreiranihqlz

2023-03-13

What are the characteristics of a good hypothesis?

Tamia Meza

Beginner2023-03-14Added 3 answers

The biggest mistakes I have encountered when applying and teaching statistics are vague and overly general hypothesis statements. A statistical hypothesis is not the same as scientific hypotheses, which may be more conjectural in nature. A statistical hypothesis must give as clear an answer as possible in terms of probability of one of two things happening.

How likely do our results suggest a non-random effect? is the only question that matters for the mathematical design and validity. Anything more than that cannot be answered. If the problem is more complex or multi-layered you need to use multiple hypothesis tests.

Setting it up to really disprove your expectation usually results in a better result in terms of confidence levels and helps to avoid bias in your own interpretation of the results. You must, of course have sufficient data of sufficient validity to be able to make the calculations. If your hypothesis and data aren’t really related, the results will not mean anything.

Finally, if one hypothesis cannot answer the total questions of the problem, they should be designed to lead to useful answers in a proper sequence that narrows down options and clarifies the needed statistics.

How likely do our results suggest a non-random effect? is the only question that matters for the mathematical design and validity. Anything more than that cannot be answered. If the problem is more complex or multi-layered you need to use multiple hypothesis tests.

Setting it up to really disprove your expectation usually results in a better result in terms of confidence levels and helps to avoid bias in your own interpretation of the results. You must, of course have sufficient data of sufficient validity to be able to make the calculations. If your hypothesis and data aren’t really related, the results will not mean anything.

Finally, if one hypothesis cannot answer the total questions of the problem, they should be designed to lead to useful answers in a proper sequence that narrows down options and clarifies the needed statistics.