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## 9.1: Null and Alternative Hypotheses

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The actual test begins by considering two hypotheses . They are called the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis . These hypotheses contain opposing viewpoints.

\(H_0\): The null hypothesis: It is a statement of no difference between the variables—they are not related. This can often be considered the status quo and as a result if you cannot accept the null it requires some action.

\(H_a\): The alternative hypothesis: It is a claim about the population that is contradictory to \(H_0\) and what we conclude when we reject \(H_0\). This is usually what the researcher is trying to prove.

Since the null and alternative hypotheses are contradictory, you must examine evidence to decide if you have enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis or not. The evidence is in the form of sample data.

After you have determined which hypothesis the sample supports, you make a decision. There are two options for a decision. They are "reject \(H_0\)" if the sample information favors the alternative hypothesis or "do not reject \(H_0\)" or "decline to reject \(H_0\)" if the sample information is insufficient to reject the null hypothesis.

\(H_{0}\) always has a symbol with an equal in it. \(H_{a}\) never has a symbol with an equal in it. The choice of symbol depends on the wording of the hypothesis test. However, be aware that many researchers (including one of the co-authors in research work) use = in the null hypothesis, even with > or < as the symbol in the alternative hypothesis. This practice is acceptable because we only make the decision to reject or not reject the null hypothesis.

## Example \(\PageIndex{1}\)

- \(H_{0}\): No more than 30% of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. \(p \leq 30\)
- \(H_{a}\): More than 30% of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. \(p > 30\)

## Exercise \(\PageIndex{1}\)

A medical trial is conducted to test whether or not a new medicine reduces cholesterol by 25%. State the null and alternative hypotheses.

- \(H_{0}\): The drug reduces cholesterol by 25%. \(p = 0.25\)
- \(H_{a}\): The drug does not reduce cholesterol by 25%. \(p \neq 0.25\)

## Example \(\PageIndex{2}\)

We want to test whether the mean GPA of students in American colleges is different from 2.0 (out of 4.0). The null and alternative hypotheses are:

- \(H_{0}: \mu = 2.0\)
- \(H_{a}: \mu \neq 2.0\)

## Exercise \(\PageIndex{2}\)

We want to test whether the mean height of eighth graders is 66 inches. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Fill in the correct symbol \((=, \neq, \geq, <, \leq, >)\) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- \(H_{0}: \mu \_ 66\)
- \(H_{a}: \mu \_ 66\)
- \(H_{0}: \mu = 66\)
- \(H_{a}: \mu \neq 66\)

## Example \(\PageIndex{3}\)

We want to test if college students take less than five years to graduate from college, on the average. The null and alternative hypotheses are:

- \(H_{0}: \mu \geq 5\)
- \(H_{a}: \mu < 5\)

## Exercise \(\PageIndex{3}\)

We want to test if it takes fewer than 45 minutes to teach a lesson plan. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Fill in the correct symbol ( =, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- \(H_{0}: \mu \_ 45\)
- \(H_{a}: \mu \_ 45\)
- \(H_{0}: \mu \geq 45\)
- \(H_{a}: \mu < 45\)

## Example \(\PageIndex{4}\)

In an issue of U. S. News and World Report , an article on school standards stated that about half of all students in France, Germany, and Israel take advanced placement exams and a third pass. The same article stated that 6.6% of U.S. students take advanced placement exams and 4.4% pass. Test if the percentage of U.S. students who take advanced placement exams is more than 6.6%. State the null and alternative hypotheses.

- \(H_{0}: p \leq 0.066\)
- \(H_{a}: p > 0.066\)

## Exercise \(\PageIndex{4}\)

On a state driver’s test, about 40% pass the test on the first try. We want to test if more than 40% pass on the first try. Fill in the correct symbol (\(=, \neq, \geq, <, \leq, >\)) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- \(H_{0}: p \_ 0.40\)
- \(H_{a}: p \_ 0.40\)
- \(H_{0}: p = 0.40\)
- \(H_{a}: p > 0.40\)

## COLLABORATIVE EXERCISE

Bring to class a newspaper, some news magazines, and some Internet articles . In groups, find articles from which your group can write null and alternative hypotheses. Discuss your hypotheses with the rest of the class.

In a hypothesis test , sample data is evaluated in order to arrive at a decision about some type of claim. If certain conditions about the sample are satisfied, then the claim can be evaluated for a population. In a hypothesis test, we:

- Evaluate the null hypothesis , typically denoted with \(H_{0}\). The null is not rejected unless the hypothesis test shows otherwise. The null statement must always contain some form of equality \((=, \leq \text{or} \geq)\)
- Always write the alternative hypothesis , typically denoted with \(H_{a}\) or \(H_{1}\), using less than, greater than, or not equals symbols, i.e., \((\neq, >, \text{or} <)\).
- If we reject the null hypothesis, then we can assume there is enough evidence to support the alternative hypothesis.
- Never state that a claim is proven true or false. Keep in mind the underlying fact that hypothesis testing is based on probability laws; therefore, we can talk only in terms of non-absolute certainties.

## Formula Review

\(H_{0}\) and \(H_{a}\) are contradictory.

- If \(\alpha \leq p\)-value, then do not reject \(H_{0}\).
- If\(\alpha > p\)-value, then reject \(H_{0}\).

\(\alpha\) is preconceived. Its value is set before the hypothesis test starts. The \(p\)-value is calculated from the data.References

Data from the National Institute of Mental Health. Available online at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/depression.cfm .

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- Null and Alternative Hypotheses | Definitions & Examples

## Null and Alternative Hypotheses | Definitions & Examples

Published on 5 October 2022 by Shaun Turney . Revised on 6 December 2022.

The null and alternative hypotheses are two competing claims that researchers weigh evidence for and against using a statistical test :

- Null hypothesis (H 0 ): There’s no effect in the population .
- Alternative hypothesis (H A ): There’s an effect in the population.

The effect is usually the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable .

## Table of contents

Answering your research question with hypotheses, what is a null hypothesis, what is an alternative hypothesis, differences between null and alternative hypotheses, how to write null and alternative hypotheses, frequently asked questions about null and alternative hypotheses.

The null and alternative hypotheses offer competing answers to your research question . When the research question asks “Does the independent variable affect the dependent variable?”, the null hypothesis (H 0 ) answers “No, there’s no effect in the population.” On the other hand, the alternative hypothesis (H A ) answers “Yes, there is an effect in the population.”

The null and alternative are always claims about the population. That’s because the goal of hypothesis testing is to make inferences about a population based on a sample . Often, we infer whether there’s an effect in the population by looking at differences between groups or relationships between variables in the sample.

You can use a statistical test to decide whether the evidence favors the null or alternative hypothesis. Each type of statistical test comes with a specific way of phrasing the null and alternative hypothesis. However, the hypotheses can also be phrased in a general way that applies to any test.

The null hypothesis is the claim that there’s no effect in the population.

If the sample provides enough evidence against the claim that there’s no effect in the population ( p ≤ α), then we can reject the null hypothesis . Otherwise, we fail to reject the null hypothesis.

Although “fail to reject” may sound awkward, it’s the only wording that statisticians accept. Be careful not to say you “prove” or “accept” the null hypothesis.

Null hypotheses often include phrases such as “no effect”, “no difference”, or “no relationship”. When written in mathematical terms, they always include an equality (usually =, but sometimes ≥ or ≤).

## Examples of null hypotheses

The table below gives examples of research questions and null hypotheses. There’s always more than one way to answer a research question, but these null hypotheses can help you get started.

*Note that some researchers prefer to always write the null hypothesis in terms of “no effect” and “=”. It would be fine to say that daily meditation has no effect on the incidence of depression and p 1 = p 2 .

The alternative hypothesis (H A ) is the other answer to your research question . It claims that there’s an effect in the population.

Often, your alternative hypothesis is the same as your research hypothesis. In other words, it’s the claim that you expect or hope will be true.

The alternative hypothesis is the complement to the null hypothesis. Null and alternative hypotheses are exhaustive, meaning that together they cover every possible outcome. They are also mutually exclusive, meaning that only one can be true at a time.

Alternative hypotheses often include phrases such as “an effect”, “a difference”, or “a relationship”. When alternative hypotheses are written in mathematical terms, they always include an inequality (usually ≠, but sometimes > or <). As with null hypotheses, there are many acceptable ways to phrase an alternative hypothesis.

## Examples of alternative hypotheses

The table below gives examples of research questions and alternative hypotheses to help you get started with formulating your own.

Null and alternative hypotheses are similar in some ways:

- They’re both answers to the research question
- They both make claims about the population
- They’re both evaluated by statistical tests.

However, there are important differences between the two types of hypotheses, summarized in the following table.

To help you write your hypotheses, you can use the template sentences below. If you know which statistical test you’re going to use, you can use the test-specific template sentences. Otherwise, you can use the general template sentences.

The only thing you need to know to use these general template sentences are your dependent and independent variables. To write your research question, null hypothesis, and alternative hypothesis, fill in the following sentences with your variables:

Does independent variable affect dependent variable ?

- Null hypothesis (H 0 ): Independent variable does not affect dependent variable .
- Alternative hypothesis (H A ): Independent variable affects dependent variable .

## Test-specific

Once you know the statistical test you’ll be using, you can write your hypotheses in a more precise and mathematical way specific to the test you chose. The table below provides template sentences for common statistical tests.

Note: The template sentences above assume that you’re performing one-tailed tests . One-tailed tests are appropriate for most studies.

The null hypothesis is often abbreviated as H 0 . When the null hypothesis is written using mathematical symbols, it always includes an equality symbol (usually =, but sometimes ≥ or ≤).

The alternative hypothesis is often abbreviated as H a or H 1 . When the alternative hypothesis is written using mathematical symbols, it always includes an inequality symbol (usually ≠, but sometimes < or >).

A research hypothesis is your proposed answer to your research question. The research hypothesis usually includes an explanation (‘ x affects y because …’).

A statistical hypothesis, on the other hand, is a mathematical statement about a population parameter. Statistical hypotheses always come in pairs: the null and alternative hypotheses. In a well-designed study , the statistical hypotheses correspond logically to the research hypothesis.

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Hypothesis Testing with One Sample

## Null and Alternative Hypotheses

OpenStaxCollege

[latexpage]

The actual test begins by considering two hypotheses . They are called the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis . These hypotheses contain opposing viewpoints.

H 0 : The null hypothesis: It is a statement about the population that either is believed to be true or is used to put forth an argument unless it can be shown to be incorrect beyond a reasonable doubt.

H a : The alternative hypothesis: It is a claim about the population that is contradictory to H 0 and what we conclude when we reject H 0 .

Since the null and alternative hypotheses are contradictory, you must examine evidence to decide if you have enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis or not. The evidence is in the form of sample data.

After you have determined which hypothesis the sample supports, you make a decision. There are two options for a decision. They are “reject H 0 ” if the sample information favors the alternative hypothesis or “do not reject H 0 ” or “decline to reject H 0 ” if the sample information is insufficient to reject the null hypothesis.

Mathematical Symbols Used in H 0 and H a :

H 0 always has a symbol with an equal in it. H a never has a symbol with an equal in it. The choice of symbol depends on the wording of the hypothesis test. However, be aware that many researchers (including one of the co-authors in research work) use = in the null hypothesis, even with > or < as the symbol in the alternative hypothesis. This practice is acceptable because we only make the decision to reject or not reject the null hypothesis.

H 0 : No more than 30% of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. p ≤ 30

A medical trial is conducted to test whether or not a new medicine reduces cholesterol by 25%. State the null and alternative hypotheses.

H 0 : The drug reduces cholesterol by 25%. p = 0.25

H a : The drug does not reduce cholesterol by 25%. p ≠ 0.25

We want to test whether the mean GPA of students in American colleges is different from 2.0 (out of 4.0). The null and alternative hypotheses are:

H 0 : μ = 2.0

We want to test whether the mean height of eighth graders is 66 inches. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Fill in the correct symbol (=, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- H 0 : μ = 66
- H a : μ ≠ 66

We want to test if college students take less than five years to graduate from college, on the average. The null and alternative hypotheses are:

H 0 : μ ≥ 5

We want to test if it takes fewer than 45 minutes to teach a lesson plan. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Fill in the correct symbol ( =, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- H 0 : μ ≥ 45
- H a : μ < 45

In an issue of U. S. News and World Report , an article on school standards stated that about half of all students in France, Germany, and Israel take advanced placement exams and a third pass. The same article stated that 6.6% of U.S. students take advanced placement exams and 4.4% pass. Test if the percentage of U.S. students who take advanced placement exams is more than 6.6%. State the null and alternative hypotheses.

H 0 : p ≤ 0.066

On a state driver’s test, about 40% pass the test on the first try. We want to test if more than 40% pass on the first try. Fill in the correct symbol (=, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- H 0 : p = 0.40
- H a : p > 0.40

<!– ??? –>

Bring to class a newspaper, some news magazines, and some Internet articles . In groups, find articles from which your group can write null and alternative hypotheses. Discuss your hypotheses with the rest of the class.

## Chapter Review

In a hypothesis test , sample data is evaluated in order to arrive at a decision about some type of claim. If certain conditions about the sample are satisfied, then the claim can be evaluated for a population. In a hypothesis test, we:

## Formula Review

H 0 and H a are contradictory.

If α ≤ p -value, then do not reject H 0 .

If α > p -value, then reject H 0 .

α is preconceived. Its value is set before the hypothesis test starts. The p -value is calculated from the data.

You are testing that the mean speed of your cable Internet connection is more than three Megabits per second. What is the random variable? Describe in words.

The random variable is the mean Internet speed in Megabits per second.

You are testing that the mean speed of your cable Internet connection is more than three Megabits per second. State the null and alternative hypotheses.

The American family has an average of two children. What is the random variable? Describe in words.

The random variable is the mean number of children an American family has.

The mean entry level salary of an employee at a company is 💲58,000. You believe it is higher for IT professionals in the company. State the null and alternative hypotheses.

A sociologist claims the probability that a person picked at random in Times Square in New York City is visiting the area is 0.83. You want to test to see if the proportion is actually less. What is the random variable? Describe in words.

The random variable is the proportion of people picked at random in Times Square visiting the city.

A sociologist claims the probability that a person picked at random in Times Square in New York City is visiting the area is 0.83. You want to test to see if the claim is correct. State the null and alternative hypotheses.

In a population of fish, approximately 42% are female. A test is conducted to see if, in fact, the proportion is less. State the null and alternative hypotheses.

Suppose that a recent article stated that the mean time spent in jail by a first–time convicted burglar is 2.5 years. A study was then done to see if the mean time has increased in the new century. A random sample of 26 first-time convicted burglars in a recent year was picked. The mean length of time in jail from the survey was 3 years with a standard deviation of 1.8 years. Suppose that it is somehow known that the population standard deviation is 1.5. If you were conducting a hypothesis test to determine if the mean length of jail time has increased, what would the null and alternative hypotheses be? The distribution of the population is normal.

A random survey of 75 death row inmates revealed that the mean length of time on death row is 17.4 years with a standard deviation of 6.3 years. If you were conducting a hypothesis test to determine if the population mean time on death row could likely be 15 years, what would the null and alternative hypotheses be?

- H 0 : __________
- H a : __________
- H 0 : μ = 15
- H a : μ ≠ 15

The National Institute of Mental Health published an article stating that in any one-year period, approximately 9.5 percent of American adults suffer from depression or a depressive illness. Suppose that in a survey of 100 people in a certain town, seven of them suffered from depression or a depressive illness. If you were conducting a hypothesis test to determine if the true proportion of people in that town suffering from depression or a depressive illness is lower than the percent in the general adult American population, what would the null and alternative hypotheses be?

Some of the following statements refer to the null hypothesis, some to the alternate hypothesis.

State the null hypothesis, H 0 , and the alternative hypothesis. H a , in terms of the appropriate parameter ( μ or p ).

- The mean number of years Americans work before retiring is 34.
- At most 60% of Americans vote in presidential elections.
- The mean starting salary for San Jose State University graduates is at least 💲100,000 per year.
- Twenty-nine percent of high school seniors get drunk each month.
- Fewer than 5% of adults ride the bus to work in Los Angeles.
- The mean number of cars a person owns in her lifetime is not more than ten.
- About half of Americans prefer to live away from cities, given the choice.
- Europeans have a mean paid vacation each year of six weeks.
- The chance of developing breast cancer is under 11% for women.
- Private universities’ mean tuition cost is more than 💲20,000 per year.
- H 0 : μ = 34; H a : μ ≠ 34
- H 0 : p ≤ 0.60; H a : p > 0.60
- H 0 : μ ≥ 100,000; H a : μ < 100,000
- H 0 : p = 0.29; H a : p ≠ 0.29
- H 0 : p = 0.05; H a : p < 0.05
- H 0 : μ ≤ 10; H a : μ > 10
- H 0 : p = 0.50; H a : p ≠ 0.50
- H 0 : μ = 6; H a : μ ≠ 6
- H 0 : p ≥ 0.11; H a : p < 0.11
- H 0 : μ ≤ 20,000; H a : μ > 20,000

Over the past few decades, public health officials have examined the link between weight concerns and teen girls’ smoking. Researchers surveyed a group of 273 randomly selected teen girls living in Massachusetts (between 12 and 15 years old). After four years the girls were surveyed again. Sixty-three said they smoked to stay thin. Is there good evidence that more than thirty percent of the teen girls smoke to stay thin? The alternative hypothesis is:

- p < 0.30
- p > 0.30

A statistics instructor believes that fewer than 20% of Evergreen Valley College (EVC) students attended the opening night midnight showing of the latest Harry Potter movie. She surveys 84 of her students and finds that 11 attended the midnight showing. An appropriate alternative hypothesis is:

- p > 0.20
- p < 0.20

Previously, an organization reported that teenagers spent 4.5 hours per week, on average, on the phone. The organization thinks that, currently, the mean is higher. Fifteen randomly chosen teenagers were asked how many hours per week they spend on the phone. The sample mean was 4.75 hours with a sample standard deviation of 2.0. Conduct a hypothesis test. The null and alternative hypotheses are:

- H o : \(\overline{x}\) = 4.5, H a : \(\overline{x}\) > 4.5
- H o : μ ≥ 4.5, H a : μ < 4.5
- H o : μ = 4.75, H a : μ > 4.75
- H o : μ = 4.5, H a : μ > 4.5

Data from the National Institute of Mental Health. Available online at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/depression.cfm.

Null and Alternative Hypotheses Copyright © 2013 by OpenStaxCollege is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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## Keyboard Shortcuts

5.2 - writing hypotheses.

The first step in conducting a hypothesis test is to write the hypothesis statements that are going to be tested. For each test you will have a null hypothesis (\(H_0\)) and an alternative hypothesis (\(H_a\)).

When writing hypotheses there are three things that we need to know: (1) the parameter that we are testing (2) the direction of the test (non-directional, right-tailed or left-tailed), and (3) the value of the hypothesized parameter.

- At this point we can write hypotheses for a single mean (\(\mu\)), paired means(\(\mu_d\)), a single proportion (\(p\)), the difference between two independent means (\(\mu_1-\mu_2\)), the difference between two proportions (\(p_1-p_2\)), a simple linear regression slope (\(\beta\)), and a correlation (\(\rho\)).
- The research question will give us the information necessary to determine if the test is two-tailed (e.g., "different from," "not equal to"), right-tailed (e.g., "greater than," "more than"), or left-tailed (e.g., "less than," "fewer than").
- The research question will also give us the hypothesized parameter value. This is the number that goes in the hypothesis statements (i.e., \(\mu_0\) and \(p_0\)). For the difference between two groups, regression, and correlation, this value is typically 0.

Hypotheses are always written in terms of population parameters (e.g., \(p\) and \(\mu\)). The tables below display all of the possible hypotheses for the parameters that we have learned thus far. Note that the null hypothesis always includes the equality (i.e., =).

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Methodology

- How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Steps & Examples

## How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Steps & Examples

Published on May 6, 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on November 20, 2023.

A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested by scientific research. If you want to test a relationship between two or more variables, you need to write hypotheses before you start your experiment or data collection .

## Example: Hypothesis

Daily apple consumption leads to fewer doctor’s visits.

## Table of contents

What is a hypothesis, developing a hypothesis (with example), hypothesis examples, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing hypotheses.

A hypothesis states your predictions about what your research will find. It is a tentative answer to your research question that has not yet been tested. For some research projects, you might have to write several hypotheses that address different aspects of your research question.

A hypothesis is not just a guess – it should be based on existing theories and knowledge. It also has to be testable, which means you can support or refute it through scientific research methods (such as experiments, observations and statistical analysis of data).

## Variables in hypotheses

Hypotheses propose a relationship between two or more types of variables .

- An independent variable is something the researcher changes or controls.
- A dependent variable is something the researcher observes and measures.

If there are any control variables , extraneous variables , or confounding variables , be sure to jot those down as you go to minimize the chances that research bias will affect your results.

In this example, the independent variable is exposure to the sun – the assumed cause . The dependent variable is the level of happiness – the assumed effect .

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## Step 1. Ask a question

Writing a hypothesis begins with a research question that you want to answer. The question should be focused, specific, and researchable within the constraints of your project.

## Step 2. Do some preliminary research

Your initial answer to the question should be based on what is already known about the topic. Look for theories and previous studies to help you form educated assumptions about what your research will find.

At this stage, you might construct a conceptual framework to ensure that you’re embarking on a relevant topic . This can also help you identify which variables you will study and what you think the relationships are between them. Sometimes, you’ll have to operationalize more complex constructs.

## Step 3. Formulate your hypothesis

Now you should have some idea of what you expect to find. Write your initial answer to the question in a clear, concise sentence.

## 4. Refine your hypothesis

You need to make sure your hypothesis is specific and testable. There are various ways of phrasing a hypothesis, but all the terms you use should have clear definitions, and the hypothesis should contain:

- The relevant variables
- The specific group being studied
- The predicted outcome of the experiment or analysis

## 5. Phrase your hypothesis in three ways

To identify the variables, you can write a simple prediction in if…then form. The first part of the sentence states the independent variable and the second part states the dependent variable.

In academic research, hypotheses are more commonly phrased in terms of correlations or effects, where you directly state the predicted relationship between variables.

If you are comparing two groups, the hypothesis can state what difference you expect to find between them.

## 6. Write a null hypothesis

If your research involves statistical hypothesis testing , you will also have to write a null hypothesis . The null hypothesis is the default position that there is no association between the variables. The null hypothesis is written as H 0 , while the alternative hypothesis is H 1 or H a .

- H 0 : The number of lectures attended by first-year students has no effect on their final exam scores.
- H 1 : The number of lectures attended by first-year students has a positive effect on their final exam scores.

If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

- Sampling methods
- Simple random sampling
- Stratified sampling
- Cluster sampling
- Likert scales
- Reproducibility

Statistics

- Null hypothesis
- Statistical power
- Probability distribution
- Effect size
- Poisson distribution

Research bias

- Optimism bias
- Cognitive bias
- Implicit bias
- Hawthorne effect
- Anchoring bias
- Explicit bias

A hypothesis is not just a guess — it should be based on existing theories and knowledge. It also has to be testable, which means you can support or refute it through scientific research methods (such as experiments, observations and statistical analysis of data).

Null and alternative hypotheses are used in statistical hypothesis testing . The null hypothesis of a test always predicts no effect or no relationship between variables, while the alternative hypothesis states your research prediction of an effect or relationship.

Hypothesis testing is a formal procedure for investigating our ideas about the world using statistics. It is used by scientists to test specific predictions, called hypotheses , by calculating how likely it is that a pattern or relationship between variables could have arisen by chance.

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## About the null and alternative hypotheses

The null and alternative hypotheses are two mutually exclusive statements about a population. A hypothesis test uses sample data to determine whether to reject the null hypothesis.

## One-sided and two-sided hypotheses

Examples of two-sided and one-sided hypotheses.

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## 10.2: Null and Alternative Hypotheses

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The actual test begins by considering two hypotheses. They are called the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. These hypotheses contain opposing viewpoints.

- The null hypothesis (\(H_{0}\)) is a statement about the population that either is believed to be true or is used to put forth an argument unless it can be shown to be incorrect beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The alternative hypothesis (\(H_{a}\)) is a claim about the population that is contradictory to \(H_{0}\) and what we conclude when we reject \(H_{0}\).

Since the null and alternative hypotheses are contradictory, you must examine evidence to decide if you have enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis or not. The evidence is in the form of sample data. After you have determined which hypothesis the sample supports, you make a decision. There are two options for a decision. They are "reject \(H_{0}\)" if the sample information favors the alternative hypothesis or "do not reject \(H_{0}\)" or "decline to reject \(H_{0}\)" if the sample information is insufficient to reject the null hypothesis.

\(H_{0}\) always has a symbol with an equal in it. \(H_{a}\) never has a symbol with an equal in it. The choice of symbol depends on the wording of the hypothesis test. However, be aware that many researchers (including one of the co-authors in research work) use = in the null hypothesis, even with > or < as the symbol in the alternative hypothesis. This practice is acceptable because we only make the decision to reject or not reject the null hypothesis.

Example \(\PageIndex{1}\)

- \(H_{0}\): No more than 30% of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. \(p \leq 30\)
- \(H_{a}\): More than 30% of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. \(p > 30\)

Exercise \(\PageIndex{1}\)

A medical trial is conducted to test whether or not a new medicine reduces cholesterol by 25%. State the null and alternative hypotheses.

- \(H_{0}\): The drug reduces cholesterol by 25%. \(p = 0.25\)
- \(H_{a}\): The drug does not reduce cholesterol by 25%. \(p \neq 0.25\)

Example \(\PageIndex{2}\)

We want to test whether the mean GPA of students in American colleges is different from 2.0 (out of 4.0). The null and alternative hypotheses are:

- \(H_{0}: \mu = 2.0\)
- \(H_{a}: \mu \neq 2.0\)

Exercise \(\PageIndex{2}\)

We want to test whether the mean height of eighth graders is 66 inches. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Fill in the correct symbol \((=, \neq, \geq, <, \leq, >)\) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- \(H_{0}: \mu \ \_ \ 66\)
- \(H_{a}: \mu \ \_ \ 66\)
- \(H_{0}: \mu = 66\)
- \(H_{a}: \mu \neq 66\)

Example \(\PageIndex{3}\)

We want to test if college students take less than five years to graduate from college, on the average. The null and alternative hypotheses are:

- \(H_{0}: \mu \geq 5\)
- \(H_{a}: \mu < 5\)

Exercise \(\PageIndex{3}\)

We want to test if it takes fewer than 45 minutes to teach a lesson plan. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Fill in the correct symbol ( =, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- \(H_{0}: \mu \ \_ \ 45\)
- \(H_{a}: \mu \ \_ \ 45\)
- \(H_{0}: \mu \geq 45\)
- \(H_{a}: \mu < 45\)

Example \(\PageIndex{4}\)

In an issue of U. S. News and World Report , an article on school standards stated that about half of all students in France, Germany, and Israel take advanced placement exams and a third pass. The same article stated that 6.6% of U.S. students take advanced placement exams and 4.4% pass. Test if the percentage of U.S. students who take advanced placement exams is more than 6.6%. State the null and alternative hypotheses.

- \(H_{0}: p \leq 0.066\)
- \(H_{a}: p > 0.066\)

Exercise \(\PageIndex{4}\)

On a state driver’s test, about 40% pass the test on the first try. We want to test if more than 40% pass on the first try. Fill in the correct symbol (\(=, \neq, \geq, <, \leq, >\)) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- \(H_{0}: p \ \_ \ 0.40\)
- \(H_{a}: p \ \_ \ 0.40\)
- \(H_{0}: p = 0.40\)
- \(H_{a}: p > 0.40\)

COLLABORATIVE EXERCISE

Bring to class a newspaper, some news magazines, and some Internet articles . In groups, find articles from which your group can write null and alternative hypotheses. Discuss your hypotheses with the rest of the class.

## Chapter Review

In a hypothesis test , sample data is evaluated in order to arrive at a decision about some type of claim. If certain conditions about the sample are satisfied, then the claim can be evaluated for a population. In a hypothesis test, we:

- Evaluate the null hypothesis , typically denoted with \(H_{0}\). The null is not rejected unless the hypothesis test shows otherwise. The null statement must always contain some form of equality \((=, \leq \text{or} \geq)\)
- Always write the alternative hypothesis , typically denoted with \(H_{a}\) or \(H_{1}\), using less than, greater than, or not equals symbols, i.e., \((\neq, >, \text{or} <)\).
- If we reject the null hypothesis, then we can assume there is enough evidence to support the alternative hypothesis.
- Never state that a claim is proven true or false. Keep in mind the underlying fact that hypothesis testing is based on probability laws; therefore, we can talk only in terms of non-absolute certainties.

## Formula Review

\(H_{0}\) and \(H_{a}\) are contradictory.

- If \(\alpha \leq p\)-value, then do not reject \(H_{0}\).
- If\(\alpha > p\)-value, then reject \(H_{0}\).

\(\alpha\) is preconceived. Its value is set before the hypothesis test starts. The \(p\)-value is calculated from the data.References

Data from the National Institute of Mental Health. Available online at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/depression.cfm .

## Contributors

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## AP®︎/College Statistics

Course: ap®︎/college statistics > unit 10.

- Idea behind hypothesis testing

## Examples of null and alternative hypotheses

- Writing null and alternative hypotheses
- P-values and significance tests
- Comparing P-values to different significance levels
- Estimating a P-value from a simulation
- Estimating P-values from simulations
- Using P-values to make conclusions

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## Statistics Resources

- Excel - Tutorials
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- Central Tendency
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- Correlation
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- One-Way ANOVA
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- Repeated Measures ANOVA
- Goodness-of-Fit
- Test of Association
- Pearson's r
- Point Biserial
- Mediation and Moderation
- Simple Linear Regression
- Multiple Linear Regression
- Binomial Logistic Regression
- Multinomial Logistic Regression
- Independent Samples T-test
- Dependent Samples T-test
- Testing Assumptions
- T-tests using SPSS
- T-Test Practice
- Predictive Analytics This link opens in a new window
- Quantitative Research Questions
- Null & Alternative Hypotheses
- One-Tail vs. Two-Tail
- Alpha & Beta
- Associated Probability
- Decision Rule
- Statement of Conclusion
- Statistics Group Sessions

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Once you have developed a clear and focused research question or set of research questions, you’ll be ready to conduct further research, a literature review, on the topic to help you make an educated guess about the answer to your question(s). This educated guess is called a hypothesis.

In research, there are two types of hypotheses: null and alternative. They work as a complementary pair, each stating that the other is wrong.

- Null Hypothesis (H 0 ) – This can be thought of as the implied hypothesis. “Null” meaning “nothing.” This hypothesis states that there is no difference between groups or no relationship between variables. The null hypothesis is a presumption of status quo or no change.
- Alternative Hypothesis (H a ) – This is also known as the claim. This hypothesis should state what you expect the data to show, based on your research on the topic. This is your answer to your research question.

Null Hypothesis: H 0 : There is no difference in the salary of factory workers based on gender. Alternative Hypothesis : H a : Male factory workers have a higher salary than female factory workers.

Null Hypothesis : H 0 : There is no relationship between height and shoe size. Alternative Hypothesis : H a : There is a positive relationship between height and shoe size.

Null Hypothesis : H 0 : Experience on the job has no impact on the quality of a brick mason’s work. Alternative Hypothesis : H a : The quality of a brick mason’s work is influenced by on-the-job experience.

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## 9.1 Null and Alternative Hypotheses

The actual test begins by considering two hypotheses . They are called the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis . These hypotheses contain opposing viewpoints.

H 0 : The null hypothesis: It is a statement of no difference between the variables—they are not related. This can often be considered the status quo and as a result if you cannot accept the null it requires some action.

H a : The alternative hypothesis: It is a claim about the population that is contradictory to H 0 and what we conclude when we reject H 0 . This is usually what the researcher is trying to prove.

Since the null and alternative hypotheses are contradictory, you must examine evidence to decide if you have enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis or not. The evidence is in the form of sample data.

After you have determined which hypothesis the sample supports, you make a decision. There are two options for a decision. They are "reject H 0 " if the sample information favors the alternative hypothesis or "do not reject H 0 " or "decline to reject H 0 " if the sample information is insufficient to reject the null hypothesis.

Mathematical Symbols Used in H 0 and H a :

H 0 always has a symbol with an equal in it. H a never has a symbol with an equal in it. The choice of symbol depends on the wording of the hypothesis test. However, be aware that many researchers (including one of the co-authors in research work) use = in the null hypothesis, even with > or < as the symbol in the alternative hypothesis. This practice is acceptable because we only make the decision to reject or not reject the null hypothesis.

## Example 9.1

H 0 : No more than 30% of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. p ≤ .30 H a : More than 30% of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. p > 30

## Example 9.2

We want to test whether the mean GPA of students in American colleges is different from 2.0 (out of 4.0). The null and alternative hypotheses are: H 0 : μ = 2.0 H a : μ ≠ 2.0

We want to test whether the mean height of eighth graders is 66 inches. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Fill in the correct symbol (=, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- H 0 : μ __ 66
- H a : μ __ 66

## Example 9.3

We want to test if college students take less than five years to graduate from college, on the average. The null and alternative hypotheses are: H 0 : μ ≥ 5 H a : μ < 5

- H 0 : μ __ 45
- H a : μ __ 45

## Example 9.4

In an issue of U. S. News and World Report , an article on school standards stated that about half of all students in France, Germany, and Israel take advanced placement exams and a third pass. The same article stated that 6.6% of U.S. students take advanced placement exams and 4.4% pass. Test if the percentage of U.S. students who take advanced placement exams is more than 6.6%. State the null and alternative hypotheses. H 0 : p ≤ 0.066 H a : p > 0.066

On a state driver’s test, about 40% pass the test on the first try. We want to test if more than 40% pass on the first try. Fill in the correct symbol (=, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses.

- H 0 : p __ 0.40
- H a : p __ 0.40

## Collaborative Exercise

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## Module 9: Hypothesis Testing With One Sample

Null and alternative hypotheses.

H 0 : The null hypothesis: It is a statement about the population that either is believed to be true or is used to put forth an argument unless it can be shown to be incorrect beyond a reasonable doubt.

H a : The alternative hypothesis : It is a claim about the population that is contradictory to H 0 and what we conclude when we reject H 0 .

After you have determined which hypothesis the sample supports, you make adecision. There are two options for a decision . They are “reject H 0 ” if the sample information favors the alternative hypothesis or “do not reject H 0 ” or “decline to reject H 0 ” if the sample information is insufficient to reject the null hypothesis.

Mathematical Symbols Used in H 0 and H a :

H 0 always has a symbol with an equal in it. H a never has a symbol with an equal in it. The choice of symbol depends on the wording of the hypothesis test. However, be aware that many researchers (including one of the co-authors in research work) use = in the null hypothesis, even with > or < as the symbol in the alternative hypothesis. This practice is acceptable because we only make the decision to reject or not reject the null hypothesis.

H 0 : No more than 30% of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. p ≤ 30

H a : More than 30% of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. p > 30

H 0 : The drug reduces cholesterol by 25%. p = 0.25

H a : The drug does not reduce cholesterol by 25%. p ≠ 0.25

H 0 : μ = 2.0

H a : μ ≠ 2.0

We want to test whether the mean height of eighth graders is 66 inches. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Fill in the correct symbol (=, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses. H 0 : μ __ 66 H a : μ __ 66

- H 0 : μ = 66
- H a : μ ≠ 66

H 0 : μ ≥ 5

H a : μ < 5

We want to test if it takes fewer than 45 minutes to teach a lesson plan. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Fill in the correct symbol ( =, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses. H 0 : μ __ 45 H a : μ __ 45

- H 0 : μ ≥ 45
- H a : μ < 45

In an issue of U.S. News and World Report , an article on school standards stated that about half of all students in France, Germany, and Israel take advanced placement exams and a third pass. The same article stated that 6.6% of U.S. students take advanced placement exams and 4.4% pass. Test if the percentage of U.S. students who take advanced placement exams is more than 6.6%. State the null and alternative hypotheses.

H 0 : p ≤ 0.066

H a : p > 0.066

On a state driver’s test, about 40% pass the test on the first try. We want to test if more than 40% pass on the first try. Fill in the correct symbol (=, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses. H 0 : p __ 0.40 H a : p __ 0.40

- H 0 : p = 0.40
- H a : p > 0.40

## Concept Review

In a hypothesis test , sample data is evaluated in order to arrive at a decision about some type of claim. If certain conditions about the sample are satisfied, then the claim can be evaluated for a population. In a hypothesis test, we: Evaluate the null hypothesis , typically denoted with H 0 . The null is not rejected unless the hypothesis test shows otherwise. The null statement must always contain some form of equality (=, ≤ or ≥) Always write the alternative hypothesis , typically denoted with H a or H 1 , using less than, greater than, or not equals symbols, i.e., (≠, >, or <). If we reject the null hypothesis, then we can assume there is enough evidence to support the alternative hypothesis. Never state that a claim is proven true or false. Keep in mind the underlying fact that hypothesis testing is based on probability laws; therefore, we can talk only in terms of non-absolute certainties.

## Formula Review

H 0 and H a are contradictory.

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Statistics Made Easy

## Understanding the Null Hypothesis for ANOVA Models

A one-way ANOVA is used to determine if there is a statistically significant difference between the mean of three or more independent groups.

A one-way ANOVA uses the following null and alternative hypotheses:

- H 0 : μ 1 = μ 2 = μ 3 = … = μ k (all of the group means are equal)
- H A : At least one group mean is different from the rest

To decide if we should reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis, we must refer to the p-value in the output of the ANOVA table.

If the p-value is less than some significance level (e.g. 0.05) then we can reject the null hypothesis and conclude that not all group means are equal.

A two-way ANOVA is used to determine whether or not there is a statistically significant difference between the means of three or more independent groups that have been split on two variables (sometimes called “factors”).

A two-way ANOVA tests three null hypotheses at the same time:

- All group means are equal at each level of the first variable
- All group means are equal at each level of the second variable
- There is no interaction effect between the two variables

To decide if we should reject or fail to reject each null hypothesis, we must refer to the p-values in the output of the two-way ANOVA table.

The following examples show how to decide to reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis in both a one-way ANOVA and two-way ANOVA.

## Example 1: One-Way ANOVA

Suppose we want to know whether or not three different exam prep programs lead to different mean scores on a certain exam. To test this, we recruit 30 students to participate in a study and split them into three groups.

The students in each group are randomly assigned to use one of the three exam prep programs for the next three weeks to prepare for an exam. At the end of the three weeks, all of the students take the same exam.

The exam scores for each group are shown below:

When we enter these values into the One-Way ANOVA Calculator , we receive the following ANOVA table as the output:

Notice that the p-value is 0.11385 .

For this particular example, we would use the following null and alternative hypotheses:

- H 0 : μ 1 = μ 2 = μ 3 (the mean exam score for each group is equal)

Since the p-value from the ANOVA table is not less than 0.05, we fail to reject the null hypothesis.

This means we don’t have sufficient evidence to say that there is a statistically significant difference between the mean exam scores of the three groups.

## Example 2: Two-Way ANOVA

Suppose a botanist wants to know whether or not plant growth is influenced by sunlight exposure and watering frequency.

She plants 40 seeds and lets them grow for two months under different conditions for sunlight exposure and watering frequency. After two months, she records the height of each plant. The results are shown below:

In the table above, we see that there were five plants grown under each combination of conditions.

For example, there were five plants grown with daily watering and no sunlight and their heights after two months were 4.8 inches, 4.4 inches, 3.2 inches, 3.9 inches, and 4.4 inches:

She performs a two-way ANOVA in Excel and ends up with the following output:

We can see the following p-values in the output of the two-way ANOVA table:

- The p-value for watering frequency is 0.975975 . This is not statistically significant at a significance level of 0.05.
- The p-value for sunlight exposure is 3.9E-8 (0.000000039) . This is statistically significant at a significance level of 0.05.
- The p-value for the interaction between watering frequency and sunlight exposure is 0.310898 . This is not statistically significant at a significance level of 0.05.

These results indicate that sunlight exposure is the only factor that has a statistically significant effect on plant height.

And because there is no interaction effect, the effect of sunlight exposure is consistent across each level of watering frequency.

That is, whether a plant is watered daily or weekly has no impact on how sunlight exposure affects a plant.

## Additional Resources

The following tutorials provide additional information about ANOVA models:

How to Interpret the F-Value and P-Value in ANOVA How to Calculate Sum of Squares in ANOVA What Does a High F Value Mean in ANOVA?

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The null hypothesis (H 0) answers "No, there's no effect in the population." The alternative hypothesis (H a) answers "Yes, there is an effect in the population." The null and alternative are always claims about the population. That's because the goal of hypothesis testing is to make inferences about a population based on a sample.

The actual test begins by considering two hypotheses.They are called the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.These hypotheses contain opposing viewpoints. H 0, the —null hypothesis: a statement of no difference between sample means or proportions or no difference between a sample mean or proportion and a population mean or proportion. In other words, the difference equals 0.

The actual test begins by considering two hypotheses.They are called the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.These hypotheses contain opposing viewpoints. H 0: The null hypothesis: It is a statement about the population that either is believed to be true or is used to put forth an argument unless it can be shown to be incorrect beyond a reasonable doubt.

Review. In a hypothesis test, sample data is evaluated in order to arrive at a decision about some type of claim.If certain conditions about the sample are satisfied, then the claim can be evaluated for a population. In a hypothesis test, we: Evaluate the null hypothesis, typically denoted with \(H_{0}\).The null is not rejected unless the hypothesis test shows otherwise.

The null and alternative hypotheses are two competing claims that researchers weigh evidence for and against using a statistical test: Null hypothesis (H0): There's no effect in the population. Alternative hypothesis (HA): There's an effect in the population. The effect is usually the effect of the independent variable on the dependent ...

Some of the following statements refer to the null hypothesis, some to the alternate hypothesis. State the null hypothesis, H 0, and the alternative hypothesis. H a, in terms of the appropriate parameter (μ or p). The mean number of years Americans work before retiring is 34. At most 60% of Americans vote in presidential elections.

10.1 - Setting the Hypotheses: Examples. A significance test examines whether the null hypothesis provides a plausible explanation of the data. The null hypothesis itself does not involve the data. It is a statement about a parameter (a numerical characteristic of the population). These population values might be proportions or means or ...

Alternative Hypothesis. The statement that there is some difference in the population (s), denoted as H a or H 1. When writing hypotheses there are three things that we need to know: (1) the parameter that we are testing (2) the direction of the test (non-directional, right-tailed or left-tailed), and (3) the value of the hypothesized parameter.

The null states that there is no correlation between this pair of variables. As screen time increases, test performance does not tend to increase or decrease. Null Hypothesis H 0: The correlation in the population is zero: ρ = 0. Alternative Hypothesis H A: The correlation in the population is not zero: ρ ≠ 0.

Whenever we perform a hypothesis test, we always write a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis, which take the following forms: H0 (Null Hypothesis): Population parameter =, ≤, ≥ some value. HA (Alternative Hypothesis): Population parameter <, >, ≠ some value. Note that the null hypothesis always contains the equal sign.

There are 5 main steps in hypothesis testing: State your research hypothesis as a null hypothesis and alternate hypothesis (H o) and (H a or H 1). Collect data in a way designed to test the hypothesis. Perform an appropriate statistical test. Decide whether to reject or fail to reject your null hypothesis.

6. Write a null hypothesis. If your research involves statistical hypothesis testing, you will also have to write a null hypothesis. The null hypothesis is the default position that there is no association between the variables. The null hypothesis is written as H 0, while the alternative hypothesis is H 1 or H a.

The null and alternative hypotheses are two mutually exclusive statements about a population. A hypothesis test uses sample data to determine whether to reject the null hypothesis. The null hypothesis states that a population parameter (such as the mean, the standard deviation, and so on) is equal to a hypothesized value.

The null and alternative hypotheses are: H 0: μ = 2.0. H a: μ ≠ 2.0. Exercise 10.2. 2. We want to test whether the mean height of eighth graders is 66 inches. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Fill in the correct symbol ( =, ≠, ≥, <, ≤, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses. H 0: μ _ 66.

It is the opposite of your research hypothesis. The alternative hypothesis--that is, the research hypothesis--is the idea, phenomenon, observation that you want to prove. If you suspect that girls take longer to get ready for school than boys, then: Alternative: girls time > boys time. Null: girls time <= boys time.

Null Hypothesis (H0) - This can be thought of as the implied hypothesis. "Null" meaning "nothing.". This hypothesis states that there is no difference between groups or no relationship between variables. The null hypothesis is a presumption of status quo or no change. Alternative Hypothesis (Ha) - This is also known as the claim.

This statistics video tutorial provides a basic introduction into hypothesis testing. It provides examples and practice problems that explains how to state ...

Step 1: Figure out the hypothesis from the problem. The hypothesis is usually hidden in a word problem, and is sometimes a statement of what you expect to happen in the experiment. The hypothesis in the above question is "I expect the average recovery period to be greater than 8.2 weeks.". Step 2: Convert the hypothesis to math.

The actual test begins by considering two hypotheses.They are called the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.These hypotheses contain opposing viewpoints. H 0: The null hypothesis: It is a statement of no difference between the variables—they are not related. This can often be considered the status quo and as a result if you cannot accept the null it requires some action.

The actual test begins by considering two hypotheses.They are called the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.These hypotheses contain opposing viewpoints. H 0: The null hypothesis: It is a statement about the population that either is believed to be true or is used to put forth an argument unless it can be shown to be incorrect beyond a reasonable doubt.

The general procedure for testing the null hypothesis is as follows: State the null and alternative hypotheses. Specify α and the sample size. Select an appropriate statistical test. Collect data (note that the previous steps should be done before collecting data) Compute the test statistic based on the sample data.

14. The rule for the proper formulation of a hypothesis test is that the alternative or research hypothesis is the statement that, if true, is strongly supported by the evidence furnished by the data. The null hypothesis is generally the complement of the alternative hypothesis. Frequently, it is (or contains) the assumption that you are making ...

A one-way ANOVA uses the following null and alternative hypotheses: H 0: ... To decide if we should reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis, we must refer to the p-value in the output of the ANOVA table. If the p-value is less than some significance level (e.g. 0.05) then we can reject the null hypothesis and conclude that not all group ...