Hypothesis-Driven and Exploratory Data Analysis

Let's take a closer look at how a hypothesis is used, formed, and tested in scientific research.

Hypothesis-driven analysis, exploratory ..

Each kind of researchproject described above also can be evaluation research. [In makingpolicy decisions, findings from other kinds of research (i.e., researchnot initially designed for policy purposes) also is useful and used.]



Exploratory research, however, is driven more by hope and chance of discovery, Haufe writes.

Research Questions and Hypotheses

The article offers two explanations why the NIH prefers hypothesis testing: The research is driven by best practices (how to do and test science), and it's easy for peer reviewers to separate good from bad science based on the research methods.

Exploratory research, however, is driven more by hope and chance of discovery, Haufe writes.

For example, Haufe reports that the NIH guidelines for RO1 grants (described by the NIH as investigator-initiated or a response to a program announcement or request for application) to researchers advise applicants, "A strong grant application is driven by a strong, solid hypothesis with clear research objectives. The specific aims are a formal statement of objectives and milestones of the research project towards testing the hypothesis."

(We will address the topic of causality in research design in much more detail in future lessons.)


Exploratory, Descriptive, and Causal Research Designs …

There really aren't rules on which comes first: data-driven (hypothesis-generating) analyses then hypothesis-driven analyses, or hypothesis-driven followed by data-driven.

Hypothesis Testing In Exploratory Research - …

If you knowingly want to test hypotheses and then do knowledge discovery, then you can answer questions you have, and then learn from (data-driven analyses) a part of the data that is novel (never been studied before) in order to generate hypotheses.

Exploratory Research Hypothesis Example - …

It is appropriate to use a hypothesis when you are testing a theory. Your immediate answer to this may be 'I'm not testing a theory'; however, remember that our definition of theory is very broad - 'an idea about how things relate to each other'. If you have an expectation of how your research question will be answered (the outcome) then it is fair to say you have a theory in mind. If you ask of your research question 'What is the expected outcome?' and have an answer, you can ask why? What is my thinking behind this prediction? This is essentially the theory that you will be testing.

3 Types of Marketing Research Designs (Exploratory, Descriptive, ..

If you are not able to predict the answer to your question then your approach is not one of theory testing and you should not proceed with developing hypotheses to test. Your research questions remain as such. This will be the case if your research is descriptive or exploratory in nature.

2. Exploratory, Descriptive, and Causal Research Design …

In the scientific method, whether it involves research in psychology, biology, or some other area, a hypothesis represents what the researchers think will happen in an experiment.