I conducted an experiment, where all participants were tested for verbosity under a low and under a moderate stress situation. My primary hypothesis was "Low stress situations, compared to moderate stress situations, significantly reduce verbal capacity in participants." To explain possible individual differences, I did literature research to identify potential moderators. Based on this research I want to check if conscientiousness (as a personality trait) is explaining individual differences in verbosity when comparing situations, and also – in a separate analysis – I want to check if cultural background (as a contextual factor) may explain individual differences in verbosity. Due to mixed empirical findings, both explorative questions have to be formulated two-tailed without assuming any direction.

Since I'm not familiar with the formulation of explorative research questions, I would be glad to get some advice.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not really understanding what you are asking for. It sounds like you have articulated your research questions. Beware data dredging/p-hacking, but other than that what do you need,? $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 26 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ My question is, how can I formulate the explorative part of the question just in a similar manner as I formulated the hypothesis. In university I only learned how to formulate hypotheses, but not how to formulate the explorative questions. Hope I could clarify. $\endgroup$ Feb 26 at 20:21
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    $\begingroup$ Explorative questions are also hypotheses; the differences are in the interpretation only. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 26 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, thank you, wasn't clear on that. So this would be a valid formulation "The analysis will explore whether cultural background serves as a significant explanatory variable for individual differences in verbal capacity across different stress levels (low vs. moderate), acknowledging mixed empirical findings without predicting the direction of effect."? $\endgroup$ Feb 26 at 21:04
  • $\begingroup$ I probably wouldn't state it exactly that way but this isn't a site about English writing. I'd recommend reading papers as the best way to learn writing. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 26 at 21:06


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