The Most Difficult Step in Making a Hypothesis: Identifying the Independent Variable

Choose the step you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Mar 3, 2024 05:41
Step into the world of scientific exploration with StrawPoll's latest thought-provoking ranking: "What is the most difficult step in making a hypothesis?" Join thousands of curious minds as we delve into the complexities of formulating hypotheses, a crucial component in the pursuit of knowledge. Cast your vote alongside fellow researchers, educators, and enthusiasts to determine which aspect of hypothesis creation poses the greatest challenge. From brainstorming ideas to refining your predictions, every step matters in this quest for understanding. Don't see the hurdle you've encountered? Contribute to the discussion by suggesting a missing option and help shape this fascinating intellectual journey. Unravel the mysteries of the scientific process and engage with a community of inquisitive individuals by participating in this enlightening ranking. Your insights await - cast your vote now!

What Is the Most Difficult Step in Making a Hypothesis?

  1. 1
    The first step in making a hypothesis is to identify a research question that the hypothesis will attempt to answer. This can be difficult because the question must be specific enough to guide the research, but also broad enough to allow for exploration.
    Identifying the research question is the first and most crucial step in the process of making a hypothesis. It involves clearly defining the problem or topic that needs to be investigated and formulating a specific question that guides the research. This step provides a foundation for the entire hypothesis formation process.
    • Importance: Crucial
    • Purpose: To define the problem or topic requiring investigation
    • Guides: The research process
    • Provides: Foundation for hypothesis formation
    • Key skill: Critical thinking
  2. 2

    Conducting a literature review

    Researcher or Scientist
    Before making a hypothesis, researchers must review the existing literature to ensure that their research is novel and feasible. This can be challenging because the literature can be vast and contradictory, making it difficult to identify a gap in knowledge.
    Conducting a literature review is the process of systematically exploring and summarizing existing knowledge and research related to a specific topic. It involves searching, reviewing, and analyzing published academic articles, books, and other relevant sources to identify gaps in knowledge, understand the current state of research, and inform the development of a hypothesis.
    • Time-consuming: A literature review can require a significant amount of time and effort to thoroughly search and review available literature.
    • Critical thinking: It requires critical evaluation of research methods, findings, and conclusions presented in various sources.
    • Searching databases: Researchers utilize various academic databases such as PubMed, Google Scholar, or Scopus to search for relevant literature.
    • Identify key concepts: The process involves identifying key concepts and keywords related to the research question to narrow down search results.
    • Analyzing sources: Researchers need to carefully analyze and synthesize information from different sources to understand the existing knowledge on the topic.
    Conducting a literature review in other rankings
  3. 3
    A hypothesis must be specific, testable, and falsifiable. This can be difficult because researchers must balance specificity with generalizability, and must ensure that the hypothesis can be tested with available resources.
    Formulating a testable hypothesis is the step in the scientific method where a researcher develops a clear and specific statement that can be tested through observation or experimentation. This hypothesis serves as a proposed explanation for a phenomenon or a prediction about the relationship between variables.
    • Clear and specific: The hypothesis should be clearly defined and specific, focusing on a single research question or statement.
    • Testable: The hypothesis must be capable of being tested through empirical evidence or observations.
    • Observable: The hypothesis should involve variables or phenomena that can be observed or measured.
    • Logical: The hypothesis should be based on logical reasoning and previous knowledge or evidence.
    • Falsifiable: The hypothesis should be capable of being proven false if evidence contradicts it.
    Formulating a testable hypothesis in other rankings
  4. 4
    A conceptual framework is a model that outlines the relationships between variables and guides the research process. Developing a framework can be difficult because it requires a deep understanding of the underlying theory and concepts.
    Developing a conceptual framework is an important step in making a hypothesis. It involves creating a theoretical framework that helps to guide the research process and provides a structure for organizing and understanding the various components of the hypothesis.
    • 1: Provides a theoretical foundation for the hypothesis
    • 2: Helps to identify key variables and their relationships
    • 3: Guides the selection of appropriate research methods and data collection techniques
    • 4: Creates a framework for analysis and interpretation of research findings
    • 5: Helps to establish the scope and boundaries of the research
  5. 5
    The research design must be chosen based on the research question and hypothesis. This can be difficult because there are many different research designs, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
    Choosing the appropriate research design is an essential step in the process of hypothesis development in research. It involves selecting a methodology or approach that aligns with the research question and objectives, and enables the hypothesis to be tested effectively. The research design encompasses the overall plan and structure of the study, including data collection methods, sample selection, and statistical analysis techniques.
    • Methodology: Determining the approach, such as experimental, observational, or descriptive.
    • Sample Size: Deciding on the appropriate number of participants or data points for the study.
    • Data Collection: Identifying the methods and instruments to collect relevant data.
    • Sampling Technique: Selecting the appropriate sampling method, such as random sampling or stratified sampling.
    • Control Group: Determining whether a control group is necessary for the study.
  6. 6

    Selecting the appropriate sample

    Research Methodology
    The sample must be representative of the population being studied and must be large enough to provide statistically significant results. This can be challenging because it requires knowledge of statistical methods and sampling techniques.
    Selecting the appropriate sample is a crucial step in making a hypothesis. It involves choosing a subset of the population that represents the entire population accurately. The sample should be randomly selected and adequately sized to ensure reliable and valid findings.
    • Random Sampling: The sample should be randomly selected to avoid bias.
    • Representativeness: The sample should accurately represent the population being studied.
    • Sample Size: The sample should be large enough to yield statistically significant results.
    • Sampling Error: The sampling error should be minimized to ensure the accuracy of the findings.
    • Sampling Method: The sampling method should be appropriate for the research goals and population.
  7. 7
    Data collection and analysis can be difficult because it requires specialized skills and equipment. Researchers must also ensure that the data is reliable and valid.
    Collecting and analyzing data is a crucial step in making a hypothesis as it involves gathering relevant information, organizing it, and drawing meaningful conclusions from the collected data. It helps researchers to test the hypothesis and determine its validity or significance in a scientific study.
    • Data Collection: Collecting relevant data from various sources or conducting experiments to gather necessary information.
    • Data Analysis: Applying statistical or other analytical techniques to examine the collected data and extract meaningful insights.
    • Validity: Ensuring that the collected data is accurate, reliable, and relevant to the hypothesis being tested.
    • Sample Size: Determining the appropriate size of the sample population to ensure statistically significant results.
    • Data Interpretation: Interpreting the analyzed data and drawing conclusions based on the evidence.
    Collecting and analyzing data in other rankings
  8. 8

    Interpreting results

    Scientific research community
    The results of the study must be interpreted in the context of the hypothesis and research question. This can be difficult because statistical results can be complex and difficult to understand.
    Interpreting results is a crucial step in making a hypothesis as it involves analyzing and making sense of the data obtained from experiments or observations. It requires a deep understanding of the subject matter and the ability to draw meaningful conclusions based on the evidence gathered. Interpreting results often involves comparing the observed data with the expected outcomes and assessing the statistical significance of the findings.
    • Critical thinking: The ability to evaluate the data objectively and critically.
    • Domain knowledge: A solid understanding of the field of study and relevant concepts.
    • Statistical analysis: Proficiency in using statistical methods to analyze and interpret data.
    • Logical reasoning: The capacity to form logical connections between the data and the hypothesis.
    • Attention to details: The careful examination of data to identify patterns and anomalies.
    Interpreting results in other rankings
  9. 9
    The findings must be communicated clearly and accurately to the scientific community and the public. This can be difficult because researchers must balance scientific rigor with accessibility.
    Communicating findings refers to the process of effectively and clearly sharing the results and conclusions of a hypothesis with others. It involves presenting the data, analysis, and interpretation in a way that is understandable and accessible to different audiences, such as peers, stakeholders, or the general public. This step is crucial as it allows for the dissemination of knowledge and promotes transparency and accountability in the scientific process.
    • Clarity: The findings should be conveyed in a clear and concise manner, avoiding jargon or complex language.
    • Visualization: Using graphs, charts, or visual aids can enhance the understanding and retention of the findings.
    • Audience adaptation: Presenting the findings in a way that is tailored to the specific needs and background of the target audience.
    • Accuracy: Ensuring that the findings are represented accurately, without misinterpretation or exaggeration.
    • Reproducibility: Providing sufficient information and details to allow others to reproduce the findings.
  10. 10
    Research findings must be replicable in order to be considered valid. This can be difficult because replication requires resources and time, and may uncover new challenges or limitations.
    Replicating results is a crucial step in making a hypothesis where the original findings are tested by conducting the experiment again to validate the initial claim. The process involves following the same methodology, parameters, and conditions to understand if the original results can be consistently reproduced.
    • Validation: Verifying the accuracy and reliability of the original findings
    • Methodology: Following the same experimental procedures
    • Parameters: Recreating the same variables and constants
    • Conditions: Ensuring identical environmental and experimental conditions
    • Sample Size: Determining the number of replications to obtain statistically significant results

Missing your favorite step?


Ranking factors for difficult step

  1. Research question
    The first step in making a hypothesis is to identify the research question you want to answer. This question should be specific, testable, and answerable within your given constraints (time, money, etc.). Consider whether the question is relevant, significant, and if answering it will contribute new knowledge to the field.
  2. Literature review
    To make an informed hypothesis, review the existing literature related to your research question. This helps you understand the current state of knowledge, identify gaps, and gather relevant information so you can avoid duplicating previous work. The more difficult it is to find similar research, the more challenging it is to make a hypothesis.
  3. Clarity and simplicity
    A good hypothesis should be clear, concise, and simple. Developing a hypothesis that is straightforward and without unnecessary complexity may be challenging, but it is crucial to ensure that your research can be realistically conducted and that others can understand your intent.
  4. Creativity and originality
    When making a hypothesis, try to think creatively and develop original ideas. A hypothesis that presents novel perspectives or new ways of thinking about an issue can increase the potential impact of your findings. It can be challenging to generate innovative hypotheses, especially in well-established fields.
  5. Testability and falsifiability
    A useful hypothesis must be testable and falsifiable, which means that it should be possible to collect data to support or refute it. Consider whether your hypothesis can be tested using available methods and if the data obtained can potentially disprove it. The more difficult it is to design a testable hypothesis, the more challenging it is to make a hypothesis.
  6. Ethical considerations
    Your hypothesis should comply with ethical standards for conducting research. Consider whether collecting data to test your hypothesis may put participants at risk or involve any ethical concerns. Making a hypothesis that is ethically sound while addressing your research question can be challenging.
  7. Feasibility
    When making a hypothesis, consider the feasibility of testing it. Think about the time, funding, and resources required to put your hypothesis to the test. Hypotheses that are difficult to examine due to a lack of resources or practical constraints can be challenging to develop.
  8. Anticipating potential outcomes
    Making a hypothesis involves anticipating potential results and their implications. Try to envision the possible outcomes of testing your hypothesis and what they could imply for your research field. The more challenging it is to imagine various scenarios, the harder it is to make a hypothesis.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult step in making a hypothesis. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or step is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 199 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each step once every 24 hours. The rank of each step is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

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More information on most difficult step in making a hypothesis

Background information: Hypothesis is an essential element of any scientific study or research project. It is a tentative explanation or prediction that is based on existing knowledge and observations. However, creating a hypothesis is not a simple task; it requires critical thinking, careful observation, and a deep understanding of the subject matter. The most difficult step in making a hypothesis is formulating a clear and testable statement. A hypothesis should be specific, measurable, and capable of being tested through experimentation or observation. This means that the researcher must have a clear understanding of the variables involved in the study and the methods that will be used to test the hypothesis. Another challenge in making a hypothesis is avoiding bias and assumptions. A hypothesis should be based on empirical evidence and not on personal beliefs or biases. It is important to remain objective and open-minded when developing a hypothesis and to consider all possible explanations for the observed phenomenon. In summary, making a hypothesis is a crucial step in scientific research, and it requires careful consideration and critical thinking. A well-crafted hypothesis can lead to significant discoveries and advancements in various fields of study.

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