Research Question and Hypothesis

The null hypothesis (H0) refers to the common view held by individuals about a particular phenomenon. The researcher attempts to disprove or reject the null hypothesis while conducting the research. Thus, the null hypothesis is required because while conducting a study, the researcher aims at testing the null hypothesis rather than the research hypothesis. When drawing conclusions, the null hypothesis helps the researcher to form an opinion about whether there is a relationship between variables in a sample population or whether there is no relationship. For instance, is there a relationship between the death penalty in various states and high cost expenditures in the criminal justice system? The relationship of the hypothesis to the identified problem is that the hypothesis translates the identified problem into expected outcomes of the research. The hypothesis affirms that the death penalty is costly compared to placing prisoners on parole, which helps explain the research problem.

Available data indicates that the death penalty is more expensive compared to the cost of a life sentence (Alarcon & Mitchell, 2012). The hypothesis is feasible since it is both testable and falsifiable. Testability refers to the capability of the researcher to apply scientifically proven methods in examining whether the hypothesis is true or not. Falsifiable relates to the ability of the researcher to conclude whether the hypothesis is true or false through experimentation. The hypothesis is both testable and falsifiable since it is possible to conduct a scientific investigation to prove it as true or not. The hypothesis is measurable since it is possible to evaluate costs of the death penalty in various states by examining the budget costs for a specific period. The hypothesis is also testable since it is possible to determine whether it is accurate or inaccurate.


Alarcon, A, & Mitchell, P. (2012). Death Penalty Information Center, retrieved November

19, 2016, from:


Psychopathology and Criminality