A hypothesis is the most likely answer or solution to a research problem. These are the proposals or presumptions made by the researcher to try to explain a specific fact, based on prior knowledge, which serves to conduct the research.
An essential condition of any hypothesis is that it can be tested, that is, it can be proved whether it is true or false. For example, to say that a phenomenon is produced by an imaginary being is not provable, and therefore does not serve as a hypothesis.
Here are some examples of hypotheses.
Examples of hypotheses in natural sciences
1. Biological decomposition of plastics
Cows are herbivorous mammals whose diet is based on plant molecules similar to plastic polymers. In the stomachs of these animals are microorganisms responsible for the digestion of plant cellulose polymers.
Hypothesis: If bacteria can degrade cellulose polymers, they can probably degrade some types of synthetic plastics.
2. Presence of water in outer space
On Earth, clouds are formed by the condensation of water into the atmosphere.
Hypothesis: If there are clouds on some planets, then it is due to the presence of water.
3. Extraterrestrial origin of life on Earth
In some meteorites, organic molecules have been detected that are very similar to some components of cell membranes.
Hypothesis: The origin of life on Earth may come from meteorites that hit the planet.
4. Gray hair and stress
In general, white hair or white hair is a product of aging and heredity. However, public cases are known as some presidents who have dark hair when they start their term and after a few years start showing white hair.
Hypothesis: Stress accelerates hair color loss.
5. Education and the brain
Dementia is a mental illness characterized by impaired memory and changes in behavior. On the other hand, people who perform activities that require greater mental concentration maintain a better brain structure.
Hypothesis: People with a higher level of education have a lower risk of dementia.
6. The migration of birds
Some bird species move from one region of the Earth to another to escape low temperatures and prepare for the breeding season. Climate change due to global warming is altering the temperature conditions of many regions.
Hypothesis: Temperature changes due to climate change could be changing bird migration patterns.
7. Future of coral reefs
Coral reefs are ecosystems of great value to humans. The main structure is made of calcium carbonate, a salt made up of calcium, carbon and oxygen. This salt reacts with carbon dioxide to form a compound that dissolves in water.
Hypothesis: The increase in carbon dioxide in the oceans will cause the dissolution of calcium carbonate from the reefs, causing the support for life in this ecosystem to disappear.
8. Cleaning and allergies
Allergies are excessive reactions of the immune system against food or other substances when they come in contact with the body, which has increased in recent years. Also recently, health conditions, particularly in relation to the care and environment in which babies develop, have improved worldwide.
Hypothesis: More controlled environments and greater hygiene measures during infancy and childhood result in an increase in allergies in recent decades.
9. Heat and food safety tolerant plants
Many regions of the world have problems with the supply of water for crops, a situation that will worsen with global warming and can endanger food security.
Hypothesis: If edible plants are developed so that they can grow in dry environments we will be able to ensure the production of food for the human and animal population in the future.
10. Solar energy at night
Solar panels generate electricity during the day while receiving solar radiation. However, at night or on very cloudy days this option is not available.
Hypothesis: The discovery or development of a building material that is used to store solar energy during the day will serve to protect and generate energy in a sustainable way.
11. Vaccination and cancer
Cancer is a very complex disease that is treated with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Vaccines are substances that activate the immune cells, which are responsible for attacking the invaders of the human body.
Hypothesis: The creation of a vaccine that recognizes specific components of an abnormal cell could prevent the appearance of tumor cells and prevent cancer.
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Examples of hypotheses in social sciences
12. The decline of indigenous cultures in America
In pre-Columbian America, Mayan, Aztec, and Inca cultures flourished and came into contact with Europeans in the late 15th century. The colonizers not only brought new technologies and knowledge, they also brought new pathogens.
Hypothesis: Indigenous peoples in the Americas declined after European colonization due to diseases transmitted by colonizers.
13. The Origin of the Domesticated Dog in America
There is a belief that the dog was brought by European conquerors to the Americas during the colonization process. Still, dog-like statuettes and paintings have been found in Aztec cultures.
Hypothesis: the dog arrived in America along with human populations that migrated to the continent long before European colonization.
14. Flooding and distraction
In some areas low or close to rivers there are floods at times of the year with constant rainfall. This makes it difficult to build and use these areas. In addition, in areas where there are already constructions, floods make it difficult to move around and cause damage to buildings.
Hypothesis: If a flood park is designed, this space could be used both in the rainy season and throughout the year.
15. Education and the Internet
People spend much of their free time surfing the Internet. This time could be used to learn new skills.
Hypothesis: An attractive educational content for the different Internet platforms would stimulate the efficient use of the time spent browsing the Internet.
16. Online Classes Vs. face-to-face classes
The model of classes in schools is gradually being replaced by the model of teaching via the Internet.
Hypothesis: Students studying for online classes perform better than students receiving face-to-face classes.
17. Criminal investigation
The investigation is key to the police function. In a crime scene, investigating every detail provides key information to find out who the criminal is.
Hypothesis: If several crimes have factors in common, the perpetrator is probably the same person.
18. Education and crime
Most criminals are people with a low level of education. After serving his sentence, the return of the ex-prisoner to society often runs in parallel with the return to the wrong steps.
Hypothesis: Education programs in detention centers will benefit people who have served their sentences of punishment to reintegrate into society.
19. Remote work and rural areas
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have revolutionized the way we do many human activities. In this sense, many employees can do their work from home via the Internet.
Hypothesis: the implementation of ICTs for remote work drives the migration of people from overcrowded cities to rural villages with good connections.
20. Risk of financial crises
There have been many, many different economic crises in the world in different countries.
Hypothesis: Common factors in different financial crises over the years can serve as predictive indicators of new crises.
21. Work schedule and personal satisfaction
In many parts of the world, working hours are fixed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, there are people who are more productive at different times.
Hypothesis: If people can choose the schedule where they feel most comfortable then they will have a better exercise and work effectiveness.
22. The hospital environment in the mood of hospitalized children
Being sick is not a pleasant situation, even worse if you have to be hospitalized for a long time. Children may feel more frightened in a cold and unfriendly hospital environment.
Hypothesis: Introducing colors in pediatric wards improves the mood of hospitalized children.
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