Scientific Hypothesis Examples

A blue beaker poured into a yellow beaker
An experiment in progress. Getty Images

A hypothesis is an educated guess about what you think will happen in a scientific experiment, based on your observations. Before conducting the experiment, you propose a hypothesis so that you can determine if your prediction is supported.

There are several ways you can state a hypothesis, but the best hypotheses are ones you can test and easily refute. Why would you want to disprove or discard your own hypothesis? Well, it is the easiest way to demonstrate that two factors are related. Here are some good scientific hypothesis examples:

Scientific Hypothesis Examples

  • Hypothesis: All forks have three tines. This would be disproven if you find any fork with a different number of tines.
  • Hypothesis: There is no relationship between smoking and lung cancer. While it is difficult to establish cause and effect in health issues, you can apply statistics to data to discredit or support this hypothesis.
  • Hypothesis: Plants require liquid water to survive. This would be disproven if you find a plant that doesn't need it.
  • Hypothesis: Cats do not show a paw preference (equivalent to being right- or left-handed). You could gather data around the number of times cats bat at a toy with either paw and analyze the data to determine whether cats, on the whole, favor one paw over the other. Be careful here, because individual cats, like people, might (or might not) express a preference. A large sample size would be helpful.
  • Hypothesis: If plants are watered with a 10% detergent solution, their growth will be negatively affected. Some people prefer to state a hypothesis in an "If, then" format. An alternate hypothesis might be: Plant growth will be unaffected by water with a 10% detergent solution.