Research que stion .
A research question is the question that the research project sets out to response.
In actual fact, a research probe may set out to reaction several questions.
The methodology used for that explore, and the implements used to conduct the research, all depend upon the research questions being asked.
For example, in the example of a qualitative research examine, the following two research questions that underpin the probe, and also needed to be answered by the examine, are shown in the box below.
There are two research questions that will need to be answered by this phase of the research.
‘ Are the perceived needs of the patients and users of South Bedfordshire ‘s palliative care services being met?’
‘ If not, what needs to be done if these needs are to be met in the future?’
The very first question can be answered by a quantitative examine, whereas the 2nd one may require a qualitative probe to reaction it.
Research questions can therefore be used in quantitative and qualitative research studies.
Hypothesis (plural = hypotheses)
A hypothesis is not a question, but rather it is a statement about the relationship inbetween two or more variables.
So, for example, the very first question above could become a hypothesis by making this a statement rather than a question, namely:
The perceived needs of the patient and users of South Bedfordshire’s palliative care services are being met.
To be finish a hypothesis must include three components:
As you can see, the hypothesis translates the research question into a prediction of expected outcomes.
A hypothesis is the contraption of quantitative studies, and is only found in such studies.
In fact, a hypothesis is usually only found in experimental quantitative research studies.
You will be able to find out more about hypothesese when we look at them in more detail later in the session.
Sometimes, a research proposal will detail objectives.
- Objectives are another way of detailing the purpose of a explore.
They are set by the researcher to explain in detail what the explore is expected to achieve
For example, Dealey (1991), cited by Parahoo (1997:125), carried out a survey to find out the size of the pressure sore problem in a instructing hospital and set the following objectives for the examine:
To identify the numbers of patients with pressure sores
To detect the treatments being used
To detect if the sores were improving, deteriorating or static
To detect when the sores had occurred, i.e. prior to admission or on the ward
To list any support systems in use
To identify the degree of risk of pressure sore development of all patients in the hospital
To identify any factors which are of particular relevance to tissue breakdown.
What do you think is missing from the above?
Well, Dealey still had to ask specific questions to meet the objectives.
Reference: Parahoo, A. K (1997) Nursing Research: Principles, Process & Issues, London, Macmillan Press
A/B Testing: Example of a good hypothesis
Want to know the secret to always running successful tests?
Now when I say it’s always successful, I’m not talking about always enlargening your Key Spectacle Indicator (KPI). You can “lose” a test, but still be successful.
That sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s not. If you set up your test strategically, even if the test decreases your KPI, you build up a learning. which is a success! And, if you win, you at the same time achieve a lift and a learning. Dual win!
The way you ensure you have a strategic test that will produce a learning is by centering it around a strong hypothesis.
So, what is a hypothesis?
By definition, a hypothesis is a proposed statement made on the basis of limited evidence that can be proved or disproved and is used as a embarking point for further investigation.
Let’s break that down:
It is a proposed statement.
It is made on the basis of limited (but hopefully some ) evidence.
It can be proved or disproved.
It is used as a beginning point for further investigation.
How do I write a hypothesis?
The structure of your basic hypothesis goes after a Switch: EFFECT framework.
While this is a truly scientific and testable template, it is very open-ended. Even however this hypothesis, “Changing an English headline into a Spanish headline will increase clickthrough rate,” is ideally valid and testable, if your visitors are English-speaking, it most likely doesn’t make much sense.
So now the question is …
How do I write a GOOD hypothesis?
To quote my boss Tony Doty. “This isn’t Mad Libs.”
We can’t just commence plugging in nouns and verbs and conclude that we have a good hypothesis. Your hypothesis needs to be backed by a strategy. And, your strategy needs to be rooted in a solution to a problem .
So, a more accomplish version of the above template would be something like this:
In order to have a good hypothesis, you don’t necessarily have to go after this exact sentence structure, as long as it is centered around three main things:
- Presumed problem
- Proposed solution
- Anticipated result
After you’ve finished your analysis and research, identify the problem that you will address. While we need to be very clear about what we think the problem is, you should leave it out of the hypothesis since it is tighter to prove or disprove. You may want to come up with both a problem statementand a hypothesis .
Problem Statement: “The lead generation form is too long, causing unnecessaryfriction.”
Hypothesis: “By switching the amount of form fields from 20 to Ten, we will increase number of leads.”
When you are thinking about the solution you want to implement, you need to think about the psychology of the customer. What psychological influence is your proposed problem causing in the mind of the customer?
For example, if your proposed problem is “There is a lack of clarity in the sign-up process,” the psychological influence may be that the user is confused.
Now think about what solution is going to address the problem in the customer’s mind. If they are confused, we need to explain something better, or provide them with more information. For this example, we will say our proposed solution is to “Add a progress bar to the sign-up process.” This leads straight into the anticipated result.
If we reduce the confusion in the visitor’s mind (psychological influence) by adding the progress bar, what do we foresee to be the result? We are anticipating that it would be more people completing the sign-up process. Your proposed solution and your KPI need to be directly correlated.
Note: Some people will include the psychological influence in their hypothesis. This isn’t necessarily wrong, but we do have to be careful with assumptions. If we say that the effect will be “Reduced confusion and therefore increase in conversion rate,” we are assuming the diminished confusion is what made the influence. While this may be correct, it is not measureable and it is hard to prove or disprove.
To summarize, your hypothesis should go after a structure of: “If I switch this, it will have this effect,” but should always be informed by an analysis of the problems and rooted in the solution you deemed suitable.
Zac says Four years ago
Thanks for the article. I’ve been attempting to wrap my head around this type of testing because I’d like to use it to see the effectiveness on some ads. This article indeed helped. Thanks Again!
Hey Lauren, I am just getting to the point that I have something to perform A-B testing on. This post led me to this site which will and already has become a help in what to test and how to test.
Again, thanks for getting me here .
Kaya says Two years ago
Good article. I have been researching different approaches to writing testing hypotheses and this has been a help. The only thing I would add is that it can be useful to capture the insight/justification within the hypothesis statement. IF i do this, THEN I expect this result BECAUSE I have this insight.
Allan says Two years ago