A directional hypothesis is a prediction made by a researcher regarding a positive or negative change, relationship, or difference between two variables of a population. This prediction is typically based on past research, accepted theory, extensive experience, or literature on the topic. Key words that distinguish a directional hypothesis are: higher, lower, more, less, increase, decrease, positive, and negative. A researcher typically develops a directional hypothesis from research questions and uses statistical methods to check the validity of the hypothesis.
A general format of a directional hypothesis would be the following: For (Population A), (Independent Variable 1) will be higher than (Independent Variable 2) in terms of (Dependent Variable). For example, “For ninth graders in Central High School, test scores of Group 1 ...
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