The formulation of a hypothesis serves as the cornerstone of scientific inquiry, offering a clear and testable proposition.

The formulation of a hypothesis serves as the cornerstone of scientific inquiry, offering a clear and testable proposition that directs research endeavours towards uncovering new insights and understanding.


A hypothesis is a proposal, condition, or principle that is postulated, sometimes without certainty, to elucidate its logical ramifications and, thereby, to evaluate its concurrence with established or ascertainable facts.

It proposes a relationship between variables. It provides a solution to the problem which is verified empirically. The formulation of a hypothesis is a step towards the research process. It is an essential part of the research. In the words of Claude Bernard:

“The ideas are the seed; the method is the soil which provides it with the conditions to develop, to prosper and give better fruits following its nature. But just as the soil will never produce anything other than what has been sown, similarly only those ideas which have been put to the experimental methods will be developed by the latter.”

Definition of Hypothesis

The term hypothesis has been defined in several ways. Some of the definitions are as follows:

“A hypothesis is a tentative generalisation the validity of which remains to be tested. In its most elementary stage, the hypothesis may be any hunch, guess, imaginative idea which becomes the basis for further investigation.”..........Lungberg
“It is a tentative supposition or provisional guess which seems to explain the situation under observation.”.....James E. Greighton
“Science employs hypothesis in guiding the thinking process. When our experience tells us that a given phenomenon follows regularly upon the appearance of certain other phenomena, we conclude that the former is connected with the latter by some sort of relationship and we form a hypothesis concerning this relationship.”.....A.D. Carmichael

Importance of Hypothesis

The importance of the hypothesis is as follows:

a. Focuses on Research

There is a necessary link between theory and the investigation. If there is no hypothesis then the research will remain unfocused.

b. Specific Goals

A good hypothesis provides a specific and clarity in research. This will allow a researcher to select a sample and choose a research procedure to meet these results in research.

c. Prevents Blind Research

The use of a hypothesis in a research will provide an indiscrimination in gathering the data which may later prove as irrelevant to the problem under the research.

d. Framework to Draw Conclusions

The hypothesis allows the researcher to examine thoroughly and look into both factual and conceptual elements which will draw the solution to the problem in a research. Thus, a hypothesis acts like a map which guides and explores in a research study.

Key Characteristics of Hypothesis

1. Easy to understand

The ideas in the hypothesis should be clearly explained, both in a formal way and, if possible, in a way that shows how they work. By giving a formal definition of the concepts, we can see what each one means. On the other hand, an operational definition will make it clear what kind of proof or sign of the concept there is in the real world.

If the researcher doesn't have a clear idea of what the concept means, he won't be able to test his theory because he won't have a way to consistently find the facts. As much as possible, though, researchers should use terms and meanings that are easy for others to understand when they are defining ideas. As much as possible, it should be written in the simplest terms possible so that everyone can understand it.

2. Clarity

There should be clear language in a theory. When making a theory, you shouldn't use any vague or value-based language. It should be clear what kind of link is thought to exist between the variables. A clear statement of all the predictions and actions it makes should be included, and they should be spelt out exactly.

Clearly stating a hypothesis makes sure that the study is important. Additionally, it helps to make results more reliable because the more detailed the statement or prediction, the less likely it is that it will come true by accident or chance. So, a researcher should keep in mind that a narrower theory is usually easier to test, and he should come up with one.

3. Tested in the real world

This point emphasizes the importance of empirical testing and validation of hypothesis. It needs to be based on real-world examples so that rational conclusions and inferences can be drawn about it. Statements like "pigs are named after their dirty bodies" are not very good hypothesis because they don't have any real-world examples to test their truth.

4. Linked to techniques that are already available

It is beneficial to use existing research methods and techniques. One who is researching cannot test their theory if they do not know the methods that can be used to do so. During the formulation of the hypothesis, a researcher needs to have a clear understanding of data collection. This involves an important step to formulate a good hypothesis.

5. Theoretical Orientation

When a researcher tests his idea, he is trying to add to an existing fact, theory, or science. He has to stop and think about what the possible theoretical benefits of testing his theory might be while he is coming up with it. If you test a hypothesis, it can help to qualify, support, correct, or disprove an established theory, but only if it is related to or oriented toward a theory.


A hypothesis is a tentative explanation which is based on existing knowledge or observations. Proper formulation of hypothesis is helpful in our research. It needs to be tested based on the available evidence. If evidence consistently supports a hypothesis, it may become accepted as a theory, which is a well-substantiated explanation for a phenomenon.


[1] Bhavna Sharma, Fundamentals of Legal Research And Legal Research Methodology, Edition: 2020

[2] D. R. Kapoor & Puja Saigal, Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques, Edition: 2013

[3] Dr. S.R. Myneni, Legal Education, Research Methodology and Legal Writing, Edition: 2024

[4] J. Mahalakshmi & P. Balamurugan, Legal Research Methodology, Edition: 2023

[5] Manoj Kumar Sinha, Legal Research and Writing, Edition: 2022

[6] Ram Ahuja, Research Methods, Edition: 2023

[7] Prof Tushar Kanti Saha, Textbook on Legal Methods, Legal Systems and Research, Edition: 2021

[8] Prof (Dr) Khushal Vibhute & Filipos Aynalem, Legal Research Methods, Available Here

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Vanshika Kapoor

Vanshika Kapoor

Vanshika Kapoor, a committed writer and adept researcher, acquired her BBA-LLB from Amity University Chhattisgarh, followed by her LLM from UPES Dehradun.

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