A hypothesis has classical been referred to as an educated guess. In the context of the scientific method, this description is somewhat correct. After a problem is identified, the scientist would typically conduct some research about the problem and then make a hypothesis about what will happen during his or her experiment. A better explanation of the purpose of a hypothesis is that a hypothesis is a proposed solution to a problem. Hypotheses have not yet been supported by any measurable data. In fact, we often confuse this term with the word theory in our everyday language. People say that they have theories about different situations and problems that occur in their lives but a theory implies that there has been much data to support the explanation. When we use this term we are actually referring to a hypothesis. For example, someone might say, "I have a theory about why Jane won't go out on a date with Billy." Since there is no data to support this explanation, this is actually a hypothesis. In the world of statistics and science, most hypotheses are written as "if...then" statements. For example someone performing experiments on plant growth might report this hypothesis: "If I give a plant an unlimited amount of sunlight, then the plant will grow to its largest possible size." Hypotheses cannot be proven correct from the data obtained in the experiment, instead hypotheses are either supported by the data collected or refuted by the data collected.
1. If I replace the battery in my car, then my car will get better gas mileage.
2. If I eat more vegetables, then I will lose weight faster.
3. If I add fertilizer to my garden, then my plants will grow faster.
4. If I brush my teeth every day, then I will not develop cavities.
5. If I take my vitamins every day, then I will not feel tired.
6. If 50 mL of water are added to my plants each day and they grow, then adding 100 mL of water each day will make them grow even more.