In the scientific method, what is the term for an anticipated answer to the question being asked?

2 Answers

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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A hypothesis can be described as the answer that you expect to get when you ask a question.

A hypothesis is an educated guess. It is the researcher’s best guess about the relationship that they will find between two variables. For example, in the social sciences, we might ask what the relationship is between an increase in the minimum wage and levels of employment for young people.  Our hypothesis is our best guess at the answer. Someone might hypothesize that an increase in the minimum wage will lead to a decrease in employment for young people because employers will cut back on their hiring due to the higher cost of labor. This is the answer that we expect to find, but we will need to have an open mind so that we do not misinterpret data in order to make it fit with our expectation.

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zach9414 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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C. Hypothesis

To adequately answer this question, we must look at what each of these terms mean individually. The term “result” refers to the actual answer or solution that occurs. Secondly, we have the word conclusion. Conclusion is the outcome of something. So relating it to a question: a conclusion is the very last part of something; when we get our answer. Next, we have the word hypothesis. A hypothesis is an “educated-guess”. This is what we plan, or expect, to happen in a given situation. If it has to do with a question, then this is what the expected outcome, or answer, would be. Lastly, we have the term question. A question is just something that is asked to test the knowledge about a specific topic. I have also included the Merriam-Webster definitions for each of these words below.

Looking at these four words, it appears that the answer to this question has to be one of two answers: result or hypothesis. Since we know that a result is what the actual outcome of something is, and a hypothesis is just the expected outcome based on what someone already knows, then we know that hypothesis must be the term for what the expected answer to a question is. Therefore the answer would be C. Hypothesis.


Result – “to proceed or arise as a consequence, effect, or conclusion”
Conclusion – “The last part of something”
Hypothesis – “A tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences”
Question – “A sentence, phrase, or word that asks for information or is used to test someone’s knowledge”