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12 - Formulating Hypotheses and Predictions and Designing a Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 September 2019

Joanna M. Setchell
Affiliation:
Durham University
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Summary

A clearly defined research question allows us to formulate hypotheses that propose possible answers to that question. From these hypotheses, we can then derive specific, unambiguous predictions that allow us to test their validity with empirical data. Hypotheses and predictions serve to narrow down the infinite possibilities for data collection and determine the data we need to collect. In this chapter I cover formulating hypotheses and predictions, then explain that we often use proxies to test predictions and how practical constraints influence our thinking.

Type
Chapter
Information
Studying Primates
How to Design, Conduct and Report Primatological Research
, pp. 157 - 166
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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References

Barnard, C, Gilbert, F, McGregor, P. 2011. Asking Questions in Biology: A Guide to Hypothesis Testing, Experimental Design and Presentation in Practical Work and Research Projects. 4th edn. Harlow: Benjamin Cummings. An excellent introduction to the research process in biology. Chapter 2 covers the art of framing hypotheses and predictions.Google Scholar
Field, A, Hole, G. 2003. How to Design and Report Experiments. London: Sage Publications Ltd. Chapter 3 includes simple and more sophisticated experimental designs.Google Scholar
Hailman, JP, Strier, KB. 2006. Planning, Proposing, and Presenting Science Effectively. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 1 includes formulating hypotheses and devising testable predictions.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stamp, Dawkins M. 2007. Observing Animal Behaviour: Design and Analysis of Quantitative Data. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 2 covers formulating hypotheses, with a specific focus on observational studies of animal behaviour.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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