What Is A Cause And Effect Hypothesis?


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A cause and effect hypothesis is a prediction based on knowledge about what the result will be of a given action. The hypothesis states the action - the cause - of the event taking place, and then states what the predicted result is.

• Cause and effect hypotheses

Cause and effect hypotheses are used widely in scientific experimentation. When an investigation is carried out, the scientist will write a cause and effect hypothesis, stating what they are about to do and what results they expect to find. They will then carry out an investigation to see whether their hypothesis is correct or not. For instance, an experiment may be carried out to discover how much water a potato can absorb. The person carrying out such an experiment will create a hypothesis. This will state what they plan to do (expose a potato to water to find out how much water it absorbs) and what they expect to see. The person may predict the potato will absorb around 20 milliliters of water. It should be noted that predictions such as these are not made up; they have been concluded in the majority of cases through theoretical knowledge. After the person has undertaken the experiment and has found out how much water a potato absorbs, they can state whether or not their initial hypothesis based on theory was correct.

• Correlation hypotheses

The other main type of hypothesis, besides the cause and effect hypothesis, is the correlation hypothesis. This hypothesis is used in an experiment where the relationship between two variables is being investigated. The hypothesis will state the two factors being looked at, and the experimenter will predict whether they are causal/related or not. For instance, correlation between increased ice cream sales and incidents of drowning may be investigated. The hypothesis will firstly predict whether the two factors are related, and then whether one is caused by the other.

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