Hypotheses and Research Question
Hypotheses and research questions are key components of all types of research studies. Accurate formulation of these components can help determine the most appropriate study design or methodology of the study. This paper discusses various aspects of hypotheses and research questions: the purpose and why they should be workable. It also provides the type of research for a case scenario and the relevance of hypotheses and research questions in the case scenario.
Purpose of Hypotheses and Research Questions
According to Barroga (2019), a hypothesis aims at predicting the relationship between dependent and independent variables of the research study. It is usually formulated in the form of a statement that can be approved or negated by the study (Barroga, 2019). Hypotheses are useful when significant information about the research topic is available. Hypotheses are commonly formulated for quantitative experimental research (Barroga, 2019). By so doing, they help to verify an established theory. When formulating a hypothesis, the research should incorporate dependent and independent variables and the target population.
A researcher can develop various types of hypotheses. A simple hypothesis is formulated when the focus is on a single dependent and independent variable. A complex hypothesis relates more than one dependent and independent variable (Barroga, 2019). The directional hypothesis provides a theoretical framework that will be used to establish how the dependent and independent variables relate (Barroga & Matanguihan, 2022). A non-directional hypothesis fails to provide a framework to evaluate the relationship between dependent and independent variables. A null hypothesis is stated negatively (Barroga, 2019). It predicts that no relationship exists between the variables. An alternative hypothesis is stated affirmatively. It predicts that a relationship exists between variables.
A research question refers to the specific aspect that the researcher seeks to answer during the study. Unlike the hypothesis, a study’s research questions can exceed one. The research question guides the researcher on the specific methodologies and data collection tools to be adopted (Barroga & Matanguihan, 2022). Research questions can be used in both qualitative and quantitative studies. However, they are commonly used in qualitative studies. They are preferred to the non-directional hypothesis when there is insignificant knowledge about the study topic (Barroga & Matanguihan, 2022). They enable the researcher to formulate open-ended questions and increase the diversified feedback provided by respondents. Research questions should be concise and unambiguous.
Importance of Workable Hypotheses and Research Questions
Workable hypotheses are essential when conducting research. Formulating a workable directional hypothesis enables the researcher to plan appropriate scientific methodologies (Barroga, 2019). It enables the researcher to predict the likelihood of the success or failure of the study. Accordingly, this is accomplished by evaluating the existing theory and how it relates to the research topic. A workable directional hypothesis enables the researcher to evaluate the research study’s reliability and validity (Barroga & Matanguihan, 2022). Furthermore, formulating a workable hypothesis facilitates the formulation of concise and unambiguous research questions.
A workable research question is important because it enables the researcher to choose the most appropriate study methodology. The study methodology is the backbone of the research. The selection of the best methodology ensures adequate data collection, analysis, and reporting of findings (Barroga & Matanguihan, 2022). Furthermore, a workable research question enables researchers to focus on the topic of concern and avoid other distractors. This is because it inquires and fulfills the study’s goals and objectives. Workable research questions ensure that the wide range of outcomes from the study is accurate and relevant to the study topic.
Type of Research
In this scenario, the Critical Care Unit has a visiting hour policy that promotes patient privacy and modesty. Many nurses believe that the presence of family members in the critical care unit is associated with better patient outcomes. Notably, there is an improvement in patient vitals and responsiveness to treatment. The type of research that would be more conducive in this scenario is a quantitative study.
According to Bloomfield and Fisher (2019), a quantitative study aims at determining the cause-effect relationships between independent and dependent variables. Numerical data is collected and analyzed to provide a causal description of the specific variables. They can be used to verify theories or hypotheses (Bloomfield & Fisher, 2019). The data collection method in quantitative studies can be experimental, through surveys, or observational. Experimental data collection involves manipulating the independent variable and evaluating its impact on the dependent variable (Bloomfield & Fisher, 2019). Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis is applied to quantitative data.
In this scenario, quantitative research will be used to determine the relationship between the presence of family members and patient outcomes. The independent variable is the presence of family members or increasing visiting hours. The dependent variable is patient outcomes. The quantitative study will be used to verify the existing hypothesis: the presence of family members improves patient outcomes. Visiting hours (presence of family members) will be manipulated, and their impact on patient outcomes will be determined. An experimental data collection approach will be adopted. Descriptive statistics will analyze data and findings presented using percentages, standard deviations, tables, and graphs. By so doing, the quantitative research design will help to verify the existing hypothesis. Approval of the hypothesis will be the basis for modifying the existing visiting-hours policy at the critical care unit.
Formulation of Hypothesis or a Central Research Question
In this scenario, I will utilize both a hypothesis and research questions. A hypothesis is predictive and used where there is a significant understanding of a specific topic. In this context, evidence and knowledge that links the presence of family members and patient outcomes exist. Therefore, a hypothesis would be relevant in this scenario. The hypothesis: the presence of family members improves patient outcomes in the critical care unit.
Research questions can be used in both quantitative and qualitative studies. They are relevant in this scenario. They will enable the researcher to understand the study’s specific aspects to be answered. Research questions will facilitate the approval or disapproval of the hypothesis. Examples of research questions can be formulated: Does the presence of family members improve the patient’s vitals? Does the presence of family members improve a patient’s response to treatment? In this context, closed-ended questions. These research questions allow the researcher to conduct the study and find relevant answers.
A hypothesis aims at predicting the relationship between dependent and independent variables of the research study. It is usually formulated in the form of a statement that can be approved or negated by the study. A research question refers to the specific aspect that the researcher seeks to answer during the study. Unlike the hypothesis, a study’s research questions can exceed one. Formulating a workable directional hypothesis and research question enables the researcher to plan appropriate scientific methodologies and establish the reliability of the study. Quantitative research utilizing research questions and a hypothesis is applicable in the case of the critical care unit.
Barroga, E. (2019). Enhancing Clear Expression of Research Questions, Hypotheses, and Objectives Through Effective Use of Scientific English. Central Asian Journal of Medical Hypotheses and Ethics. https://doi.org/10.47316/cajmhe.2020.1.1.09
Barroga, E., Matanguihan, G. (2022). A Practical Guide to Writing Quantitative and Qualitative Research Questions and Hypotheses in Scholarly Articles. 37(16), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2022.37.e121
Bloomfield, J., & Fisher, M. (2019). Quantitative Research Design. https://search.informit.org/doi/epdf/10.3316/informit.738299924514584
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In this assignment, you will write a paper that analyzes a scenario and explains the purpose of hypotheses and research questions.
Step 1: Read the following scenario.
You are a nurse on 5 West who has concerns about visiting hours in the Critical Care Unit. The unit currently has a visiting-hours policy that allows patients to rest and the staff to provide care in an environment that protects patient privacy and modesty. However, many nurses now feel that family presence improves patient outcomes. You and other nurses on your unit have noted that vital signs are improved, and patients are more responsive when family is present. You are considering whether to use a quantitative or qualitative study to research this topic.
Step 2: Consider the following questions:
What is the purpose of hypotheses and research questions?
Why is it important to develop workable hypotheses and research questions in conducting research?
What type of research—qualitative or quantitative—would be most conducive to the scenario in Step 1? Why?
Which would be more appropriate given the scenario in Step 1: the development of a hypothesis a research question, or both? Why?
Step 3: Write a two-four-page paper.
Write a paper that describes the purpose of the hypotheses and research questions. Articulate the importance of developing workable hypotheses and research questions in conducting research. Based on the provided scenario, describe whether a qualitative or quantitative research study would be most appropriate and why. Explain whether and why you would develop a hypothesis or a central research question for this scenario.
Construct your paper and cite any sources in APA format.
Step 4: Save and submit your assignment.
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