An important condition of every hypothesis is that it can be tested, meaning that it can be shown to be true or false. For example, saying that a phenomenon is generated by an imaginary being cannot be verified, therefore, it does not serve as a hypothesis.
Examples of hypotheses in natural sciences
1. Biological decomposition of plastics
Cows are herbivorous mammals with a diet based on plant molecules similar to plastic polymers. In the stomach of these animals there are different microorganisms responsible for the digestion of plant cellulose polymers.
Hypothesis: If bacteria can break down cellulose polymers, they might be able to break down some types of synthetic plastics.
2. Presence of water in outer space
On Earth, clouds are created by the condensation of water in the atmosphere.
Hypothesis: If there are clouds on some planets, then it is due to the presence of water.
3. Extraterrestrial origin of life on Earth
Organic molecules that are similar to some components of cell membranes have been detected in several meteorites.
Hypothesis: The beginning of life on Earth may come from meteorites that hit the planet.
4. Gray hair and stress
Generally, gray hair or white hair is a product of aging and heredity. But, public situations are known such as some presidents who when they begin their mandate have dark hair and after a few years they begin to go gray.
Hypothesis: Stress increases hair color loss.
5. Education and the brain
Dementia is a mental illness characterized by memory impairment and behavioral changes. People who do activities that require greater mental concentration have better brain structure.
Hypothesis: People with a high educational level have a lower risk of suffering from dementia.
6. Bird migration
Different species of birds move from one region of the Earth to another to escape low temperatures and prepare for the reproductive stage. Climate change due to global warming is changing the temperature conditions of various places.
Hypothesis: Temperature changes due to climate change may be changing due to bird migration patterns.
7. Future of coral reefs
Coral reefs are environments of great value to people. The fundamental structure is made of calcium carbonate, a salt created by calcium, carbon and oxygen. This salt reacts with carbon dioxide to form a compound that dissolves in water.
Hypothesis: The growth of carbon dioxide in the oceans will generate the dissolution of calcium carbonate in the reefs, causing the support for life in this ecosystem to disappear.
8. Cleaning and allergies
Allergies are heightened reactions of the immune system against foods or other substances when they come into contact with the body, which has been on the rise in recent years. Currently, health conditions, particularly in relation to care and the environment where babies develop, have improved worldwide.
Hypothesis: The most inspected environments and the greatest hygiene measures during infancy and childhood are found in the growth of allergies in recent decades.
9. Heat-tolerant plants and food safety
Different parts of the world have problems with the water supply for crops, a case that will worsen with global warming and that can endanger food security.
Hypothesis: If edible plants are developed so that they can grow in dry environments, we can ensure the production of food for the human and animal population in the future.
10. Solar power at night
Solar panels produce electricity during the day while collecting solar radiation. But, at night or on very cloudy days, this option is not very effective.
Hypothesis: The discovery or development of a construction material that works to store solar energy during the day will serve to shelter and generate energy in a stable way.
11. Vaccination and cancer
Cancer is a very difficult disease that is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Vaccines are substances that activate immune cells, those responsible for attacking invaders of the human body.
Hypothesis: The creation of a vaccine that has certain components of an abnormal cell could prevent the appearance of tumor cells and prevent cancer.
Examples of hypotheses in social sciences
12. The decline of indigenous cultures in America
In pre-Columbian America, the Mayan, Aztec and Inca cultures were born, which came into contact with Europeans at the end of the 15th century. The colonizers, in addition to having new technologies and knowledge, also had with them new pathogens.
Hypothesis: The indigenous populations of the American continent were dominated after the colonization by the Europeans due to diseases transmitted by the colonizers.
13. The origin of the domesticated dog in America
There is a theory that the dog was brought by the European conquerors to the American continent during the colonization phase. But, figurines and paintings of dog-like animals have been found in Aztec cultures.
Hypothesis: the dog arrived in America together with the human populations that migrated to the continent long before colonization by Europeans.
14. Flooding and distraction
In several low places or near rivers, floods are generated at times of the year with simultaneous rainfall. This complicates the construction and use of these zones. In addition, in areas where there are already constructions, the floods make circulation difficult and cause damage to the buildings.
Hypothesis: If a floodable park is created, this space could be used both in the rainy season and in any season of the year.
15. Education and the Internet
People spend much of their free time browsing social networks. This time could be used to learn new and different skills.
Hypothesis: An educational content for the different Internet sites would stimulate the efficient use of the time spent browsing the Internet.
16. Online classes vs. face-to-face classes
The method of classes in schools is gradually being displaced by the model of teaching through the Internet.
Hypothesis: Students who receive online classes have better performance than students who receive face-to-face classes.
17. Criminal investigation
The investigation is the important step in the police function. At a crime scene, investigating every detail provides key information to discover who the culprit is.
Hypothesis: If different crimes have similar factors, the perpetrator is probably the same person.
18. Education and crime
Most of the delinquents are people with a low level of education. After serving their sentence, the ex-convict’s return to society often runs in parallel with the return to bad steps.
Hypothesis: Education methods in detention centers will help people who have served their sentences to reintegrate into society.
19. Remote work and rural areas
Information and communication technologies (ICT) have advanced the way of performing many human activities. In this aspect, many employees can carry out their work from home through the Internet.
Hypothesis: ICT methods for remote work promote the migration of people from overcrowded cities to well-connected rural towns.
20. Risk of financial crises
In the world there have been many different economic crises in different countries.
Hypothesis: Common aspects in different financial crises over the years can serve as predictive indicators of new crises.
21. Work hours and personal satisfaction
In different parts of the world, working hours are fixed from 9 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday. But, there are people who are more productive at different times.
Hypothesis: If people can choose the hours where they feel most comfortable, then they will have better performance and work efficiency.
22. The hospital environment in the mood of hospitalized children
Being sick is not so pleasant many times, even worse if you have to be hospitalized for a long time. Children may be more frightened in a cold and unwelcoming hospital environment.