I’m in a conundrum trying to generate hypotheses for a research project looking at the effects of the personality trait “openness to experience” on couple relationship satisfaction.
There is virtually no theory linking the two constructs (a major criticism of the field). Some scholars hypothesise that open individuals should have more satisfying relationships because they will find creative ways to deal with relationship problems.
Yet by far the majority of past research shows there is no association between openness and relationship satisfaction.
My understanding is that hypotheses should be based on theory and not on past empirical findings.
If I were to generate a hypothesis based on theory, I would predict openness leads to increased satisfaction. If I base it on past findings, I would predict no association.
Which path is the correct one for me to follow here please?
Thanks in advance