Research Question vs Hypothesis: Difference and Comparison

This kind of research is often called a research paper and includes various headings that are related to the given topic.

Key Takeaways

  1. A research question is a broad inquiry into a topic, while a hypothesis is a statement that explains a phenomenon.
  2. Research questions are open-ended and exploratory, while hypotheses are specific and testable.
  3. Research questions are often used in qualitative research, while hypotheses are used in quantitative research.

 Research Question vs Hypothesis

The difference between Research Question and Hypothesis is that the research question is the question whose answer needs to be found through the research paper, whereas a hypothesis is an assertion that either approves or negates the matter in question. The two also differ in their structure, aim, nature, and so on.

Research Question vs Hypothesis

The research question poses a question that is then to be solved or answered through the research paper. Since it puts forth a question, it is inquisitive.

Hypothesis, on the other hand, is an assumption on the possibility or impossibility of the task in question. It is a prediction of what the results of the research might yield.


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First step in measurement is:

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonResearch QuestionHypothesis
DefinitionResearch Questions is the question that the research tends to answer.Hypothesis is the statement that tends to predict the outcome of the research.
NatureIt has an inquisitive nature.It is an assumption.
StructureIt is written as a question. For example, “What will be the effect on the water when cooled up to its freezing point?”It is written in the form of a statement. For example, “Water turns into ice when cooled up to its freezing point.”
FieldsA research question is generally posed in the theory papers of subjects like sociology, literature, etc.Hypothesis is written in the research papers related to the fields of science, mathematics, etc.
OutcomesSince it is a question, it provides for the possibility of a great number of outcomes.Being a predictive statement, the number of outcomes is reduced to a minimum.

What is Research Question?

The research question is the question that forms the basis of the research. It is to find the answer to this question that one embarks on the journey of analyzing and researching a particular topic.

It can be incorporated in studies that are quantitative as well as qualitative. The research question should be concise and to the point.

The research question should be put forth or presented at the very beginning of the research study to give an idea about the topic and the answers it aims to find.

The format used to write it is that of posing a proper question. Depending on the subject, there are various methods using which one needs to frame the research question.

research question

What is Hypothesis?

Hypothesis is a statement that suggests or predicts the outcome of the research. It predicts how a certain thing or project will pan out or behave. 

The hypothesis is mostly used in experimental and quantitative research and studies.  It is used in scientific experiments and projects, and it can also be used in other fields such as mathematics, sociology, etc.

A hypothesis can be written or derived when ample research is conducted on a specific topic or the topic in question.

Since a hypothesis is a predictive statement, it does not allow for the possibility of multiple outcomes. It leaves very little space for diversified results.


Main Differences Between Research Question and Hypothesis

  1. A research question allows for the possibility of multiple and varied results. On the other hand, the hypothesis does not provide a multitude of possibilities.
  2. A research question is inquisitive since it puts forth a question, whereas a hypothesis is predictive as it assumes the experiment’s outcome or result based on prior studies.
Difference Between Research Question and Hypothesis

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