Phase 2

Theory and Hypotheses


Phase 2 involves a general process that explains your research question. This process contains two related concepts. You should focus on answering the following questions:


I. What is the theory involved in your research project? How are the general concepts (e.g. X and Y) related? What is the theoretical connection between your concepts? You should use the variables that you have already chosen. If you are changing your variables, talk to the instructor.

First, state your theory for the main relationship between X1 and Y.


Example: Your theory should include statements pertaining to why your selected groups are expected to be different. For instance, if your topic involves attitudes toward health care (National vs. Private), you must explain why people have different attitudes. Is it class difference? If so, what is it about class differences that would impact attitudes towards health care? Is it because some classes would benefit more from health care? In what ways would different classes benefit?

In your theory section you may want to answer why concept Y is related to concept X1.

You can use academic and non-academic sources (articles and books) to support your argument, although this is not a requirement.


Second, derive your main hypothesis. This is the main hypothesis you will be testing. For example, you could hypothesize that people from lower classes will support a national health care system more than people from higher classes because they will tend to benefit the most. Indent and state your hypothesis. Your hypothesis should be single-spaced, although your paragraphs should be double-spaced. Do not forget to label your hypothesis. See the example below.


Main Hypothesis: Lower class people will favor a national care policy more than high class people.



II. Rival Explanation 1 (Rival theory)

Come up with an alternative explanation (X2) to your theory above. (Think another explanation that might account for the phenomenon of your interest.)


Derive a hypothesis based on the alternative explanation. You need to use another concept (i.e. X2) to write this hypothesis. Note that there is no mention of class differences (X1) in the example below.

Alternative Hypothesis 1: People who believe that a national health care policy hurts the economy are more likely to oppose than people who do not.


III. Second rival hypothesis.


Generate another explanation (X3). Create the second rival hypothesis.

Alternative Hypothesis 2:___________


Save your file and deposit it in Blackboard as a Word file. You have only a single attempt.



-Make sure to come up with three concepts to explain the phenomenon of your interest (i.e. three Xs). This also means that you will be dealing with four variables (Y, X1, X2, and X3) in your research paper.

-Each hypothesis should involve two concepts.

-Do not just state a null hypothesis. Each hypothesis should be a hypothesis with direction. 

Null hypothesis: There is no relationship between x and y.

              There is no direction in the following hypothesis: There is a relationship between gender and income.

             Directional hypothesis: Women are more likely to...

-Three independent variables should represent three different concepts.

-Label each hypothesis clearly (Main hypothesis, Alternative hypothesis 1, etc.)

-Each hypothesis should use the same dependent variable.

-You can only use a single dataset.

-You are not analyzing data in this phase.

-Check the datasets in SPSS and see if you can represent your concepts. In other words, you should check whether or not your hypotheses are testable.

-Watch how you are writing





            The use of I

            Is the focus of the paper clear?


            Awkward sentence



1. Phase 2 should be about 2 page(s) using 12 point font (Use either Times New Roman or Arial). Do not adjust margin sizes.

2. Save your work in multiple locations.

5. At the end of the semester, you will turn in your paper by combining and revising the phases.

6. Please do not send your assignments over e-mail.

7. Please do not forget to include your name and section number.

8. Overall, present your paper professionally.