Unit 4 - Is Hypothesis Supported by the Data?
In this GCSE Biology quiz we look at testing a hypothesis. During scientific investigations, it is usual to ask a question in the form of a hypothesis. The experiment then takes place and the results are obtained. After processing the results and drawing the conclusion, you need to decide if the data agrees with your original hypothesis. If the data you've gathered does agree with your prediction, you say that the hypothesis is supported by the data as part of the conclusion. If it doesn't, that's fine, you simply say that it doesn't support the hypothesis. If that is the case, it could be that the original hypothesis is wrong, the explanation you chose for the hypothesis is inappropriate or that the experiment you planned was unsuitable.
Imagine that you had carried out an experiment for the hypothesis that 'larger bean seeds will germinate faster than the smaller ones because they have larger cotyledons. Larger cotyledons have more food for the seedling'. When analysing the results, you found that only 25% of the larger seeds germinated faster than the smaller seeds. In this case, you would need to have said that "The larger seeds did not germinate faster than the small seeds so my original hypothesis is not supported by the results". If the results had been closer to 50:50, with a few more of the larger seeds germinating faster, you might have said "the large seeds do seem germinate faster but the results are so close I can't be sure if there is a real difference".
So be prepared to admit that your results are inconclusive or that your hypothesis is not supported by your experiment as you will still get full credit for the work if it has been carried out methodically and scientifically. It doesn't mean that your investigation wasn't a good one - even professional scientists don't always get the answers they want from their experiments and observations!
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