The problem question might be ‘Why are the numbers of Cod in the North Atlantic declining?
’This is too broad as a statement and is not testable by any reasonable scientific means.
Scientists must generate a realistic and testable hypothesis around which they can build the experiment.
This might be a question, a statement or an ‘If/Or’ statement.
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), so making a mistake here could ruin the whole design.Some examples could be: These are acceptable statements and they all give the researcher a focus for constructing a research experiment.The last example formalizes things and uses an ‘If’ statement, measuring the effect that manipulating one variable has upon another.Scientists then use a large battery of deductive methods to arrive at a hypothesis that is testable, falsifiable and realistic.The precursor to a hypothesis is a research problem, usually framed as a question. For example, we might wonder why the stocks of cod in the North Atlantic are declining.Note: if you are designing a research study, explore the Research Methods Information guide for helpful resources.See also: What is the difference between a thesis statement and a hypothesis statement?Though the other one is perfectly acceptable, an ideal research hypothesis should contain a prediction, which is why the more formal ones are favored.A scientist who becomes fixated on proving a research hypothesis loses their impartiality and credibility.It is just about making sure that you are asking the right questions and wording your hypothesis statements correctly.Once you have nailed down a promising hypothesis, the rest of the process will flow a lot more easily.