What are Variables and Hypotheses?

What are Variables and Hypotheses?

Variables are the different aspects of the product or the characteristics of the people buying it, while hypotheses are your best guesses about how those variables might be connected. Imagine you're curious about why some people prefer iPhones over Android phones.

Variables in this case could be things like the price of the phone, the brand, the operating system, or even the person's familiarity with technology.

Now, let's talk about hypotheses. These are educated guesses you make before you start your research. For our smartphone example, a hypothesis could be "People who value simplicity and user-friendliness might prefer iPhones because of their intuitive interface."

For further clarification, let's go to their core meanings and understand these terms better 

Variables and hypotheses are fundamental components of research, regardless of whether it's qualitative or quantitative. 



  • Variables are characteristics or properties that can take on different values and can be measured, manipulated, or controlled in research.

  • In research, variables are typically categorized into independent variables (the ones that are manipulated or controlled) and dependent variables (the ones that are measured or observed to see if they change as a result of the manipulation of the independent variable).

  • For example, in a study examining the effects of studying techniques on exam scores, the independent variable would be the studying technique (e.g., flashcards, summarization), and the dependent variable would be the exam scores. Related: What is Quantitative Research?


  • Hypotheses are specific, testable predictions or explanations about the relationship between variables.

  • In other words, hypotheses are statements that propose a relationship or difference between variables that can be tested through research.

  • In quantitative research, hypotheses are often formulated as null hypotheses (H0) and alternative hypotheses (H1). The null hypothesis typically states that there is no effect or no difference, while the alternative hypothesis proposes the effect or difference.

  • In qualitative research, hypotheses may be less formalized but still guide the research process. They can be exploratory and may evolve throughout the study. 

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research

  • Both variables and hypotheses are used in both qualitative and quantitative research.

  • In quantitative research, variables are typically measured using numerical data, and hypotheses are tested using statistical analysis.

  • In qualitative research, variables may not be as precisely defined or measured as in quantitative research, and hypotheses may be more open-ended or exploratory. However, qualitative research still involves identifying factors or concepts of interest and examining relationships between them. Check out this blog: What is Qualitative Research? Definition, Examples and Types

Variables and Hypothesis in Market Research

Imagine a company that wants to launch a new line of eco-friendly cleaning products. They want to know if people would buy them and what factors might influence their decision. This is where market researchers come in.

First, they identify variables that could affect consumer behaviour. These might include things like the price of the products, how effective they are at cleaning, how environmentally friendly they are, and where they're sold.

Then, they come up with hypotheses based on these variables. For example, they might hypothesize that if the products are competitively priced and clearly labelled as eco-friendly, more people will buy them. Or they might hypothesize that people are willing to pay a premium for products that are both effective and environmentally friendly.

Next, they gather data to test these hypotheses. They might conduct surveys asking people about their cleaning habits and preferences, or they might analyze sales data from similar products on the market.


Once they have enough data, they analyze it to see if their hypotheses hold up. If they find that people are indeed more likely to buy the products when they're competitively priced and clearly labelled as eco-friendly, then their hypotheses are supported. If not, they might need to go back to the drawing board and come up with new hypotheses to test.

By using variables and hypotheses in this way, market researchers can gain valuable insights into consumer behaviour and preferences, helping companies make informed decisions about their products and marketing strategies. It's like uncovering hidden patterns and trends in the market to help businesses succeed!


Final Word

Market research is a vast concept that involves many different elements. We have covered more such blogs that will throw more light on the elements of market and consumer research. Subscribe to our newsletter, because we love making such topics simpler for you to understand! 

Also Read: What is market research? Meaning, Types and Examples