Step Three: Form a Hypothesis Step Three: Form a Hypothesis After developing a research question, collecting the information & identifying the variables, it is time to develop the research question before you experiment. A hypothesis is a special type of prediction that is a possible explanation for a set of observations or an answer to a scientific question. Just like a research question, a hypothesis must be testable. A hypothesis is not a fact; it is just a possible, logical way to explain a group of observations. A hypothesis does not just predict what will happen in an experiment, but it specifically tells how one variable (MV) might affect another (RV). A hypothesis can be written in a specific way to express this relationship between the manipulated variable and the responding variable. (Remember, a hypothesis is a guess about the results; it does not have to be correct.) A hypothesis can be written as an “If…then…” statement. When variables are added into the hypothesis, you will find that the “If MV, then RV” will be the format. Example: Research Question: Does salt water freeze faster than fresh water? MV: Type of water RV: Time water takes to freeze Possible hypothesis: If salt water and fresh water are tested to see which freezes faster, then fresh water will freeze faster. 1. Which type of music quiets a crying baby faster: jazz, classical, or rock? MV: type of music RV: time to quiet baby Possible hypothesis: If the type of music is jazz instead of classical or rock, then the baby will quiet quicker. 2. Does the color of the recycling bins; red or blue, affect the number of cans recycled at school? MV: color of bin RV: number of cans collected Possible hypothesis: If the color of the bin is red rather than blue, then the number of cans will be greater. 3. Does the temperature of water affect how fast food coloring spreads through it? MV: temperature of the water RV: time for food color to spread Possible hypothesis: If the temperature of the water is hot rather than cold, then the food coloring will spread faster. 4. Will a rubber band or string hold more weight without breaking? MV: rubber band or string RV: hold more weight without breaking Possible hypothesis: If the rubber band is used instead of the string, then more weight without breaking can be added.