What is a hypothesis

Copyright © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Chapter 4

Research Problems, Research Questions, and Hypothese

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Question

Tell whether the following statement is true or false:

A research problem is perplexing or enigmatic situation that a researcher wants to address through disciplined inquiry.

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Answer

True

A research problem is perplexing or enigmatic situation that a researcher wants to address through disciplined inquiry.

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Question

What is a hypothesis?

A. An enigmatic, perplexing, or troubling condition

A statement articulating the research problem and indicating the need for a study

The specific queries the researcher wants to answer in addressing the research problem

The researcher’s predictions about relationships among variables

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Answer

D

Research problem: an enigmatic, perplexing, or troubling condition

Problem statement: a statement articulating the research problem and indicating the need for a study

Research questions: the specific queries the researcher wants to answer in addressing the research problem

Hypotheses: the researcher’s predictions about relationships among variables

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Basic Terminology

Research problem

An enigmatic, perplexing, or troubling condition

Problem statement

A statement articulating the research problem and indicating the need for a study

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Basic Terminology (cont.)

Research questions

The specific queries the researcher wants to answer in addressing the research problem

Hypotheses

The researcher’s predictions about relationships among variables

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Basic Terminology (cont.)

Statement of purpose

The researcher’s summary of the overall study goal

Research aims or objectives

The specific accomplishments to be achieved by conducting the study

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Sources of Research Problems

  • Experience and clinical fieldwork
  • Nursing literature
  • Quality improvement initiatives
  • Social issues
  • Theory
  • External suggestions

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Developing and Refining Research Problems

  • Selecting a broad topic area (e.g., patient compliance, caregiver stress)
  • Narrowing the topic—asking questions to help focus the inquiry

Examples:

  • What is going on with . . .?
  • What factors contribute to . . .?

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Evaluating Research Problems

  • Significance of the problem
  • Researchability of the problem
  • Feasibility of addressing the problem (e.g., time, resources, ethics, cooperation of others)
  • Interest to the researcher

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Problem Statements

  • Should identify the nature, context, and significance of the problem being addressed
  • Should be broad enough to include central concerns
  • Should be narrow enough to serve as a guide to study design

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Statement of Purpose—Quantitative Studies

  • Identifies key study variables
  • Identifies possible relationships among variables
  • Indicates the population of interest
  • Suggests, through use of verbs, the nature of the inquiry (e.g., to test…, to compare…, to evaluate…)

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Statement of Purpose—Qualitative Studies

  • Identifies the central phenomenon
  • Indicates the research tradition (e.g., grounded theory, ethnography)
  • Indicates the group, community, or setting of interest
  • Suggests, through use of verbs, the nature of the inquiry (e.g., to describe . . ., to discover . . ., to explore . . .)

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Question

Statements of purpose in qualitative studies may “encode” the tradition of inquiry, not only through the researcher’s choice of verbs but also through the use of “buzzwords” associated with those traditions. What is a grounded theory?

Process questions

Meaning questions

Cultural description questions

Experience questions

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Answer

A

Grounded theory: process questions

Phenomenology: meaning questions

Ethnography: cultural description questions

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Research Questions

  • Are sometimes direct rewordings of statements of purpose, worded as questions
  • Are sometimes used to clarify or lend specificity to the purpose statement
  • In quantitative studies, pose queries about the relationships among variables

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Research Questions (cont.)

  • In qualitative studies, pose queries linked to the research tradition:

Grounded theory: process questions

Phenomenology: meaning questions

Ethnography: cultural description questions

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Question

Tell whether the statement is true or false:

A simple hypothesis expresses a predicted relationship between one independent variable and one dependent variable.

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Answer

True

A simple hypothesis expresses a predicted relationship between one independent variable and one dependent variable.

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Hypothesis

  • States a prediction
  • Must always involve at least two variables
  • Must suggest a predicted relationship between the independent variable and the dependent variable
  • Must contain terms that indicate a relationship (e.g., more than, different from, associated with)

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Simple versus Complex Hypotheses

Simple hypothesis

Expresses a predicted relationship between one independent variable and one dependent variable

Complex hypothesis

States a predicted relationship between two or more independent variables and/or two or more dependent variables

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Directional versus Nondirectional Hypotheses

Directional hypothesis

Predicts the direction of a relationship

Nondirectional hypothesis

Predicts the existence of a relationship, not its direction

*

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Research versus Null Hypotheses

Research hypothesis

States the actual prediction of a relationship

Statistical or null hypothesis

Expresses the absence of a relationship (used only in statistical testing)

*