Types of hypotheses

A hypothesis is the assumption of something that could or could not be possible, it is an idea or an assumption from which we ask why a thing, be it a phenomenon, a fact or a process.

The hypotheses allow to start the thought process , through which certain knowledge will be accessed, it is a fundamental tool of scientific and philosophical thought, which serves as the basis for theoretical models and propositions and which functions as a cornerstone for the search and construction of answers in the generation of knowledge.


Research Hypothesis

The hypothesis of an investigation is that statement that functions as the basis of a research process . The research work in this sense, through a process of rigorous study, analysis and examination of the results obtained, should serve as verification or refutation of the validity of the hypothesis initially raised.

Research HypothesisCharacteristics
Null hypothesisThere is no relationship between the variables under investigation.
General or Theoretical HypothesesThey are what the scientists establish prior to the study and conceptually, without quantifying the variables.
Work hypothesisIt is used to try to demonstrate a concrete relationship between variables through a scientific study.
Alternative HypothesesThey try to offer an answer to the same question as the working hypothesis, however they do so with different explanations.
Relative HypothesesThey give evidence of the influence of two or more variables
Conditional HypothesesThey serve to indicate that a variable depends on the value of the other two
Probabilistic hypothesesThey indicate that there is a probable relationship between the two variables
Deterministic hypothesesThey indicate relationships between variables that are always true, without exception

The hypothesis is the main part of all research work , whether it is limited to the scientific, humanitarian, social or technological field.

Types of Scientific Hypotheses

1. Null hypothesis

A null hypothesis is an assumption that is used to deny or affirm an event in relation to one or more parameters of a population or sample.

Whenever a conclusion is reached about an experiment, the researcher must establish two hypotheses, the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. The first refers to the contrary statement to which the researcher has arrived. It is the hypothesis that the researcher intends to reject. If you have enough evidence for this, you can prove that the opposite is true, therefore the hypothesis is the conclusion that the researcher has reached through his research.


Suppose that a researcher has carried out an investigation about the average monthly salary per inhabitant in a certain neighborhood of the city, the researcher surveyed 1,000 people, concluding that the average salary is $ 1,500.

Now the researcher must check if the average salary per inhabitant is equal to $ 1,500 or if the opposite is different from 1,500.

As a result, we have the formulation of the two hypotheses that the researcher intends to contrast, it is important to realize that the null hypothesis refers just to the opposite idea that has been reached with the research.

After the test carried out, the researcher may or may not reject the null hypothesis. In case of having rejected, the following statement can be used: the conclusion would be that the average monthly salary is $ 1500; on the contrary, if the null hypothesis of the test carried out could not be rejected, the following statement could be made, in light of the data obtained there is insufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis. If so, the conclusion would be that the average monthly salary is not equal to $ 1,500.

2. General or theoretical hypotheses

General hypotheses are those that scientists try to explain some phenomenon or problem that can be corroborated through an observation , that is, they can establish prior to the study without quantifying the variables.

Unlike these hypotheses, the specific ones are those hypotheses that are derived from the general hypothesis, these try to concretize the general hypothesis and solve the investigation.


Due to the rain, surely tomorrow we will not sell many tickets.

3. Work Hypothesis

The working hypotheses is one of the first assumptions that they make at the beginning of scientific research , it becomes a real or scientific hypothesis after its precision and serves to demonstrate all the facts compiled from reality, facts that it tries to demonstrate.

Also known as operational hypotheses, these hypotheses also have several subtypes:

  • Associative:

Make a relationship between two variables, so if we know the value of l, we can predict the value of the second. To first variable


In the same club there are twice as many members in the fifth football division as in the fourth division.

  • Attributive:

These hypotheses are used to describe the events that occur between the variables, they are used to explain real events and this type of hypothesis only has one variable.


Most people without vehicles are between the ages of 20 and 25.

  • Causal:

The causal hypothesis establishes a relationship between two variables, when one of the two variables increases or decreases to the other the same thing happens, therefore this type of hypothesis presents a cause and effect relationship between its two variables.

It is also possible to verify this relationship through the refutation of alternative explanations, they follow the premise if X, then Y.


If a soccer player trains for 2 more hours each training session, his probability of scoring goals against opponents will increase by 20%.

4. Alternative Hypotheses

The alternative hypothesis is the alternative assumption of the null hypothesis formulated in an experiment, the scientific method, contrary to what might be thought, does not try to show the alternative hypothesis, that is, this alternative hypothesis is the one that the researcher is trying to demonstrate.

Alternative hypotheses attempt to provide an answer to the same question as the working hypothesis and, as its name suggests, it explores different relationships and claims.


An example of this hypothesis is that a population parameter is smaller, larger, or different from the hypothetical value of the null hypothesis.

5. Relative Hypotheses

The relative hypotheses give evidence of the influence of two or more variables on another variable.


The effect of the decline in GDP per capita on the number of people who have private pension plans is less than the effect of the drop in public spending on the rate of child malnutrition.

6. Conditional Hypotheses:

The Conditional hypotheses serve to indicate that one variable depends on the value of two others , it is a very close hypothesis to the causal ones, but in this case there are two variables, cause and effect.


If a hockey player receives a yellow card and is also warned by the fourth official, he must be excluded from the game for 10 minutes.

7. Probabilistic hypotheses:

These hypotheses indicate that there is a probable relationship between two variables, that is, the relationship occurs in most of the cases studied.


If the soccer player does not dedicate 3 hours of training each day (probably) he will not perform in the games.

8. Deterministic hypotheses:

This type of deterministic hypothesis indicates relationships between variables that always hold true, without exception.

If a soccer player wears flip flops on his feet, he will not be able to play the game.

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