Psychology -> Definition of operational hypothesis
Definition of operational hypothesis
The IV and the DV in an experiment need to be operationalised. This refers to the precise way in which the variable has been measured. It is a statement of how the variable can be expressed as a quantity.
Before collecting any data, a hypothesis needs to be formulated. A hypothesis is an 'educated guess' about the relationship(s) between two or more variables which can be scientifically tested. Psychologists use the word 'educated' as the hypothesis is derived from some theory or previous research which educates the researcher when formulating a hypothesis for his/her study. A hypothesis is also a 'guess' because it is not a statement of fact or certainty and could be supported or refuted through the process of data collection.
• Initially, the hypothesis should be stated in general term
• A hypothesis is an educated guess
• Hypotheses are derived from theories or previous research
• Hypotheses need to be operationalised with the variables clearly defined and measured
Initially, the hypothesis may be stated in more general terms, e.g. 'that stress increases blood pressure'. This form is too broad to be tested statistically and must be expressed more precisely.
When designing the research, the hypothesis needs to be operationalised, i.e. the variables must be clearly defined and measurable. The operational hypothesis should include both the independent and dependent variables and predict a direction of the changes in the dependent variable.