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    Discussion Question: Use of hypotheses and hypothesis testing

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    Review the following articles given under your week 1 Articles - Electronic Reserve Readings link, and write a short synopsis (200 -300 words) of the main points and learning takeaways. In your response, refer to your Seward text readings for week 1, to support your analysis.

    THE PURPOSE OF HYPOTHESES
    Hypotheses are the central tool of scientific observation. Because the core method of scientific investigation is the comparison of expectations against observations of the world, scientists need to make clear statements about their expectations. A hypothesis is a concise, falsifiable statement that is subjected to observational testing as part of a scientific investigation.
    Scientific research generally starts with a question about the observable world. In the social sciences research questions focus on human behavior—especially behavior related to groups (e.g., communities, countries, or societies). The scientific method says nothing about the origins of these research questions (just as it says nothing about the content of the areas of research). The scientific method simply requires that a scientist state an answer to this question (the hypothesis) that can be tested with observations (hypothesis testing).
    There is a bewildering array of potential research questions—and thus hypotheses—in the domain of social science. Hypotheses can focus on expectations about voting behavior, the tendency of nations to go to war, or the factors that contribute to juvenile delinquency or to decisions about where to live (among many, many other hypotheses).
    The purpose of the hypothesis is to ease the task of testing an expectation with observations of the world. A good hypothesis, then, is one that is easily tested. The ease of testing contributes to a second key aspect of the scientific method: reproducibility of testing. A clearly worded hypothesis can be tested repeatedly by a scientist and, maybe more important, by other scientists (King, Keohane, and Verba 1994, pp. 28-29).
    Consider the following example. A social scientist may hypothesize that smaller class sizes in secondary schools will lead to higher performance on standardized tests. Because it is easy to observe the number of students in a class and the standardized tests scores are also easily observable (though there may be questions of the validity of the test as a measure of "intelligence" or even "academic achievement"), this hypothesis is easy to test. The test itself is also easy to replicate by the original social scientist or by other investigators. The hypothesis is sufficiently clear that any observer would be able to tell whether people in the smaller classes actually performed better on standardized tests. The judgment, then, is not a product of the specific observer but is instead independent of the identity of the scientist (a subject of some controversy that is discussed in a later section).

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    Discussion Question 2

    The main point of the articles is to discuss the use of hypotheses and hypothesis testing. The articles cover quantitative and qualitative research in relation to the hypothesis testing with the focus being on social science concepts for comparing and testing. A good hypothesis will be adequately versed or well-founded. Scientists do agree that utilizing quantitative or qualitative ...

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    This solution discusses the use of hypotheses and hypothesis testing.

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