The Five Steps of the Hypothesis Theory


There are many different steps to take when conducting an experiment. In order to properly test your theory, you must develop a hypothesis before beginning your experiment. This helps you to define exactly what variables you are testing so you know what to measure. It is important to follow the five steps in the hypothesis theory, because each one is essential in order to come to a proper conclusion that ends with results that you can use to support your theory.

Define the Problem

  • State the problem, indicating what variables will be tested and what will be used to collect the sample data. An example would be, 50 percent of people working for Company X are female.


  • Create both a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis. The null hypothesis will correlate with your research parameter. For example, your null hypothesis would state that 50 percent of the people working for Company X are female. The alternative hypothesis states that the result will be higher or lower than what was stated in the null hypothesis. For example, the alternative hypothesis could be that 60 percent of the people working for Company X are female.

Test Statistic

  • Calculate the test statistic. To divide the sum of the sample mean, subtract the mean by the sum of the standard deviation divided by the sample size.


  • Calculate the probability value, or "p-value." Reject the null hypothesis if the probability is less than or equal to the significance level, and accept it if the probability is greater than the significance level.


  • Interpret your results. State whether the null hypothesis or the alternative hypothesis proved correct.

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