Hypothesis.docx - Hypothesis A hypothesis is a trial idea...

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Hypothesis A hypothesis is a trial idea concerning the nature and connection of events. Hypotheses can be stated in a number of different forms (6). The declarative form states a relationship between the variables that the researcher expects will emerge. For example, “There will be a significant difference in the 3-day strength of concrete made with Type III (high early strength) cement compared with concrete made with Type I (ordinary Portland) cement”. Another form is the null hypothesis, or the hypothesis to be nullified. A special case of the null hypothesis is the nil hypothesis—which states that no relationship exists between the variables concerned. For example, in nil form, the hypothesis becomes, “There will be no significant difference in the 3-day strengths of concretes made with Type I and Type III cements”. The nil hypothesis does not necessarily reflect the researcher’s expectations, but is used because it is better suited to statistical techniques, many of which are designed to measure the likelihood that a difference found is truly greater than zero. In other words, the nil hypothesis, in the form usually used in science and engineering, states that no difference exists, and the statistical tools test this hypothesis by determining the probability that whatever difference is recorded by the experimental data is a true difference that will be present in the population from which the samples have been drawn. It is important to note that the form of the test hypothesis can favor, disadvantage, or be neutral to the challenging or alternative hypothesis. The researcher should be aware of the implications of the form of the nil and alternative hypotheses, and the practical implications of these choices. For instance, if the cost of conversion (from a standard method, procedure, etc.) is high, then the hypothesis might be chosen to put the challenger at a disadvantage, thereby helping to insure that change will occur only if the challenger is truly better.
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