Aims and Hypotheses
Writing your aims, hypotheses and justifications of your hypotheses is an extension of your ongoing research process of generating, refining and modifying your research ideas, planning, reading and writing that you began at the beginning of your research. As with all aspects of your research thesis, this section of it should not contain any surprises for its readers, because it should naturally flow on from your setting of your research scene, and your presentation of the relevant research literature, and its key messages.
An aim identifies the purpose of the investigation. It is a straightforward expression of what the researcher is trying to find out from conducting an investigation.
A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a precise, testable statement of what the researchers predict will be the outcome of the study.
This usually involves proposing a possible relationship between two variables: the independent variable (what the researcher changes) and the dependant variable (what the research measures).
In research, there is a convention that the hypothesis is written in two forms; the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis:
- The null hypothesis states that there is no relationship between the two variables being studied (one variable does not affect the other). It states results are due to chance and are not significant in terms of supporting the idea being investigated.
- The alternative hypothesis states that there is a relationship between the two variables being studied (one variable has an effect on the other). It states that the results are not due to chance and that they are significant in terms of supporting the theory being investigated.