What is a hypothesis?
In general terms it’s an educated or best guess to a question. It’s what you think will happen.
For example: a simple hypothesis is based on four tenets
- Question (Usually if-then)
- Hypothesis (Best or educated guess)
- Experiment (To test the outcome)
- Results (The results of the test)
A hypothesis often follows a basic format of “If [this happens] then [this will happen].”
They often include a Dependent Variable and an Independent Variable
- Dependent Variable: The variable that is being measured in an experiment.
- Independent Variable: The characteristic of an experiment that is changed.
One way to structure your hypothesis is to describe what will happen to the dependent variable if you make changes to the independent variable.
Example: “Workers who eat breakfast will make less mistakes on intake forms than workers who do not eat breakfast.”
From this question a test could be setup to measure the actual effects of eating breakfast and making mistakes on forms. Research would be done and the outcomes calculated. The results would be posted and help us ascertain whether our hypothesis was true or not.
For our purposes in personal development, we can easily ask questions, form a hypothesis, and conduct experiments. To help you do this, I’ve created a basic hypothesis worksheet, and two specific ones you can use for collecting ideas and testing the outcomes. These are great for planning new projects and testing ideas.
Our basic worksheet covers the four basic tenets and looks like this
For personal development, you’ll find this sheet is almost like a blank canvas, with four areas to ask your question, devise a hypothesis, create a testing experiment and record the results. While you could do this with a blank sheet of paper, this gives you a quick guide to help you find results quickly.
In our next post we’ll look at some question/answer scenarios to setup your perfect Hypothesis and two specialized worksheets. You’ll see how asking the right questions and testing the answers can help you open the door to personal success.
Question: What hypothetical questions would you ask?