How to define a hypothesis

Defining a hypothesis is an important step in the scientific method. It is a statement that describes a predicted relationship between two or more variables. A hypothesis is used to guide the design and execution of a study or experiment, and it provides a framework for interpreting the results.

The first step in defining a hypothesis is to identify the problem or question that the study or experiment is trying to answer. This should be a clear and specific question that can be answered through the collection and analysis of data.

Once the problem or question has been identified, the next step is to generate a potential explanation for the problem or question. This explanation should be based on existing knowledge and theories, and it should be testable.

The hypothesis statement should be written in a clear and specific manner. It should state the predicted relationship between the variables and it should be testable. A good hypothesis is one that can be tested through experimentation or observation. In general, you shouldn’t undertake any data analysis (other than understanding data exploring such as understanding descriptive and dispersive statistics) without at least a working hypothesis.

For example, if a researcher wants to test if a new drug is effective in reducing blood pressure, the null hypothesis would be that the drug has no effect, while the alternative hypothesis would be that the drug does have an effect.

It's important to note that a hypothesis is not a guess, but it's a statement that can be tested through scientific methods. It's also important to be clear about the independent and dependent variables, and the direction of the effect.

Generating a hypothesis might sound intimidating but it’s a vital step in data science and in DDDM more broadly. A solid working hypothesis provides the basis for you to understand if your actions work if they are simply down to chance.