Hypothesis Development in Statistics | Research Hypothesis - Statswork

A hypothesis and a research question with particular reference to the appropriate choices of research methodology

There are two types of research methodology viz., qualitative and quantitative method. This method is referred as the “scientific method”. In general, quantitative research tests the relationships between variables in order to examine the relationship between cause and effect.

Quantitative research collects data in simple and more of numerical / mathematical terms and the data presentation is more of charts, tables and diagrams. Moreover, in quantitative research, researcher would develop the hypothesis and test it through empirically and based on the results, researcher can either accept or reject the hypothesis. The research is deductive as the research is started with the theory and applied into particular situation for example, effect of administration procedures into an organization and evaluating the outcome before and after the administration. Thus, hypothesis is commonly used in quantitative research methods which are commonly used in social science research method, particularly in survey method.

However, research questions are framed, when a researcher attempted to answer when the research has been carried out. It’s more of answering “how” and “why” question rather than on focusing on the casual association between the variables like quantitative method (Kerlinger, 1979; Krathwohl, 1988). Thus, research questions are particularly used in qualitative research, particularly when researcher wanted to understand the problem in-depth or when only few studies are conducted in that particular area. Further research questions are in two forms a central question and sub-questions. According to Creswell (2007, p.129) “The central question is a broad question that asks for an exploration of the central phenomenon or concept in a study. The inquirer poses this question, consistent with the emerging methodology of qualitative research, as general issues so as to not limit the inquiry”. To arrive at the question, ask, “what is the broadest question that I can ask in the study”?. However sub-question can be specific research question (Asmussen & Creswell, 1995). Thus, in qualitative research this used research question to discover the meaning and measured through observational data. For example, when the researcher framed the central question as “What is it like for a mother to live with a teenage child who is dying of cancer?” using phenomenological approach, while the sub questions shall be “the reading of teen magazine by middle class Europeans? as per the Ethnographic procedures (Finders, 1996). Thus, central question shall be open ended verb, focusing on a single concept, while sub questions shall be “adolescent females as the culture-sharing group”. Thus, research questions are framed in qualitative study while, hypothesis are framed in quantitative study design.


Creswell, J.W., & Clark., V.L.P. (2007) Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Finders, M. (1996) ‘Queens and teen zines: Early adolescent females reading their way toward adulthood’. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 27(1), pp71-89.

Kerlinger F. N. (1979) Behavioral research: A conceptual approach. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Krathwohl, D. R. (1988) How to prepare a research proposal: Guidelines for funding and dissertations in the social and behavioral sciences. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.

Moustakas, C. E. (1994) Phenomenological research methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Spradley, J. P. (1980) Participant observation. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Tuckman, B. W. (1999) Conducting educational research. 5th ed. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace.

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