Handout 3.4
Checklist for Evaluating Your Hypothesis

State your hypothesis (It should be a prediction rather than a question. It should probably be stated in one of the following forms:

   1.  Increasing______ variable causes an increase  in _______ variable


    2. Increasing ______ variable causes a decrease in _________ variable.

Of course, more complicated hypotheses are appreciated. For example, a great hypothesis might be in the form

The more  _____ variable, the (less/more)_____ variable, depending on ____________ variable.

Does your hypothesis involve psychological variables? (Please do not hypothesize that leaves will turn green.)


Is your predictor variable psychological? Try to avoid physiological manipulations such as drugs (e.g., caffeine).

 In addition, you should probably avoid manipulations like eating breakfast and sleep deprivation.


Are you predicting that participants differing on one variable will also differ on another?


Can your variables be objectively measured
or manipulated?

Can the hypothesis be tested without violating
APA's ethical standards?

Is there a reasonable chance that your hypothesis will be wrong?

Your hypothesis should be somewhat risky: It should not be an already established fact.

Can you produce sound reasons why the
hypothesis might be supported--
and do these reasons come from logic, theory, or past research?

If so, please outline those reasons on the back of this sheet.

If the results turn out as you expect,
will there be implications for theory, practice, or future research?

* Are you predicting that changing one variable will cause an effect on another variable?
* Can you manipulate your predictor variable?
That is, does it involve instructions, stimuli, or treatments that you can give to one set of participants, but not to another?

**Do you have a moderator variable?
The moderator variable would intensify, weaken, or reverse the relationship between two other variables.

* Necessary if you are going to do experimental research.
** Ask your professor whether you need to include a moderator variable.