Difference Between A Hypothesis And A Research Question

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Difference between a Hypothesis and a Research Question

Difference between a Hypothesis and a Research Question


The underlying objective of any research is to acquire knowledge. Or, in other words, it can be said that the purpose of research is to get information on the topic of research. Each research is different from the other researches in that it has different objectives and different motivation factors.

Research questions and hypotheses are ways to conduct qualitative and quantitative research. In order to understand the difference between hypothesis and research questions, it is imperative to understand the difference between the various methods of research. The level of motivation and the objectives behind the research determine the level of input that the researcher will put in the research (Stangor, 2007).

The paper discusses the hypothesis and research questions in detail and describes the appropriate choices of research methodology that each of these would entail.

Definitions of hypothesis and research questions

Hypothesis may be defined as a guess or a hunch or an assumption. In other words, “A hypothesis is a conjectural statement of the relation between two or more variables”.

It is a formal statement that expects to create a relationship between two variables. One of the variables is dependent whereas the others are independent. It is this relationship, direct indirect or no relationship, that the hypothesis aims to test and prove. A research question, on the other hand, is a point of departure and is used in many fields of academic and professional research. It is used in humanities as well as science.

Types of hypothesis

There are three major types of hypothesis discussed hereunder.

A null hypothesis is one that states that there is no relationship between the independent and the dependent variable.

A directional hypothesis is a hypothesis that studies the state of relationship between the two variables. For instance, it determines that the relationship between two variables X and Y is direct. Or, it can be that X and Y are negatively correlated. Hence, there is a predetermined direction which needs to be tested (Grinnell & Richard, 2005).

A non-directional hypothesis is one in which the researcher at the time of the formulation of research hypothesis does not know whether there is any relationship between the dependent and independent variables or not. The purpose of the hypothesis is to assess the existence of the relationship.

Types of research questions

The nature of research questions differs with the type of research undertaken. Hence, before the formulation of research questions it is imperative that the researcher is clear on the usage of these questions.

There are two broad categories of research questions. These are central question and sub questions associated with the central question. The central question is to question that the research is trying to explore. It is pretty broad in nature and asks for the main theme of the topic. Here, the researcher should ask himself of the broadest question that will the scope of the research. Most researches contain a single or, at most, two central ...
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