Glossary of Statistical Terms: Definition Hypothesis

A hypothesis is a statement or conclusion based on, for example, statistical observations. A hypothesis must refer to at least two variables, otherwise a connection cannot be established.

The statement made in a hypothesis goes beyond the current state of actual knowledge, i.e., a hypothesis is a (new) established presumption. Hypotheses are to be phrased in a clear and precise manner, to ensure that their statement can be empirically confirmed or refuted.

A hypothesis based on statistical analysis, for example, would be "on average, people who smoke regularly, will die earlier than non-smokers". See also alternative - and null hypothesis.

Please note that the definitions in our statistics encyclopedia are simplified explanations of terms. Our goal is to make the definitions accessible for a broad audience; thus it is possible that some definitions do not adhere entirely to scientific standards.

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