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## Hypothesis Testing | A Step-by-Step Guide with Easy Examples

Published on November 8, 2019 by Rebecca Bevans . Revised on June 22, 2023.

Hypothesis testing is a formal procedure for investigating our ideas about the world using statistics . It is most often used by scientists to test specific predictions, called hypotheses, that arise from theories.

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.
• Present the findings in your results and discussion section.

Though the specific details might vary, the procedure you will use when testing a hypothesis will always follow some version of these steps.

Step 1: state your null and alternate hypothesis, step 2: collect data, step 3: perform a statistical test, step 4: decide whether to reject or fail to reject your null hypothesis, step 5: present your findings, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about hypothesis testing.

After developing your initial research hypothesis (the prediction that you want to investigate), it is important to restate it as a null (H o ) and alternate (H a ) hypothesis so that you can test it mathematically.

The alternate hypothesis is usually your initial hypothesis that predicts a relationship between variables. The null hypothesis is a prediction of no relationship between the variables you are interested in.

• H 0 : Men are, on average, not taller than women. H a : Men are, on average, taller than women.

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For a statistical test to be valid , it is important to perform sampling and collect data in a way that is designed to test your hypothesis. If your data are not representative, then you cannot make statistical inferences about the population you are interested in.

There are a variety of statistical tests available, but they are all based on the comparison of within-group variance (how spread out the data is within a category) versus between-group variance (how different the categories are from one another).

If the between-group variance is large enough that there is little or no overlap between groups, then your statistical test will reflect that by showing a low p -value . This means it is unlikely that the differences between these groups came about by chance.

Alternatively, if there is high within-group variance and low between-group variance, then your statistical test will reflect that with a high p -value. This means it is likely that any difference you measure between groups is due to chance.

Your choice of statistical test will be based on the type of variables and the level of measurement of your collected data .

• an estimate of the difference in average height between the two groups.
• a p -value showing how likely you are to see this difference if the null hypothesis of no difference is true.

Based on the outcome of your statistical test, you will have to decide whether to reject or fail to reject your null hypothesis.

In most cases you will use the p -value generated by your statistical test to guide your decision. And in most cases, your predetermined level of significance for rejecting the null hypothesis will be 0.05 – that is, when there is a less than 5% chance that you would see these results if the null hypothesis were true.

In some cases, researchers choose a more conservative level of significance, such as 0.01 (1%). This minimizes the risk of incorrectly rejecting the null hypothesis ( Type I error ).

The results of hypothesis testing will be presented in the results and discussion sections of your research paper , dissertation or thesis .

In the results section you should give a brief summary of the data and a summary of the results of your statistical test (for example, the estimated difference between group means and associated p -value). In the discussion , you can discuss whether your initial hypothesis was supported by your results or not.

In the formal language of hypothesis testing, we talk about rejecting or failing to reject the null hypothesis. You will probably be asked to do this in your statistics assignments.

However, when presenting research results in academic papers we rarely talk this way. Instead, we go back to our alternate hypothesis (in this case, the hypothesis that men are on average taller than women) and state whether the result of our test did or did not support the alternate hypothesis.

If your null hypothesis was rejected, this result is interpreted as “supported the alternate hypothesis.”

These are superficial differences; you can see that they mean the same thing.

You might notice that we don’t say that we reject or fail to reject the alternate hypothesis . This is because hypothesis testing is not designed to prove or disprove anything. It is only designed to test whether a pattern we measure could have arisen spuriously, or by chance.

If we reject the null hypothesis based on our research (i.e., we find that it is unlikely that the pattern arose by chance), then we can say our test lends support to our hypothesis . But if the pattern does not pass our decision rule, meaning that it could have arisen by chance, then we say the test is inconsistent with our hypothesis .

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

• Normal distribution
• Descriptive statistics
• Measures of central tendency
• Correlation coefficient

Methodology

• Cluster sampling
• Stratified sampling
• Types of interviews
• Cohort study
• Thematic analysis

Research bias

• Implicit bias
• Cognitive bias
• Survivorship bias
• Availability heuristic
• Nonresponse bias
• Regression to the mean

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.

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).

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.

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## Rebecca Bevans

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## Introduction to Hypothesis Testing and Confidence Intervals (Animal Science)

Contents Toggle Main Menu 1 The Outline for an Experiment 2 What is a Hypothesis test? 3 The Structure of a Hypothesis Test 3.1 Summary of Steps for a Hypothesis Test 4 How to Report your Findings 5 Parametric and Non-Parametric Hypothesis Tests 6 One- and two- tailed tests 7 Type I and Type II Errors 8 Confidence Intervals 9 Test Yourself 10 See Also

## The Outline for an Experiment

Before carrying out an experiment or trial the following steps must be carried out.

• Come up a hypothesis (see below).
• Collect data and carry out a hypothesis test .
• Decide whether you have statistically significant results, i.e. have you got sufficient evidence to support your hypothesis?

## What is a Hypothesis test?

A statistical hypothesis is an unproven statement which can be tested. A hypothesis test is used to test whether this statement is true.

## The Structure of a Hypothesis Test

• The first step of a hypothesis test is to state the null hypothesis $H_0$ and the alternative hypothesis $H_1$ . The null hypothesis is the statement or claim being made (which we are trying to disprove) and the alternative hypothesis is the hypothesis that we are trying to prove and which is accepted if we have sufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis.

For example, consider a person in court who is charged with murder. The jury needs to decide whether the person in innocent (the null hypothesis) or guilty (the alternative hypothesis). As usual, we assume the person is innocent unless the jury can provide sufficient evidence that the person is guilty. Similarly, we assume that $H_0$ is true unless we can provide sufficient evidence that it is false and that $H_1$ is true, in which case we reject $H_0$ and accept $H_1$.

To decide if we have sufficient evidence against the null hypothesis to reject it (in favour of the alternative hypothesis), we must first decide upon a significance level . The significance level is the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when it the null hypothesis is true and is denoted by $\alpha$. The $5\%$ significance level is a common choice for statistical test.

The next step is to collect data and calculate the test statistic and associated $p$-value using the data. Assuming that the null hypothesis is true, the $p$-value is the probability of obtaining a sample statistic equal to or more extreme than the observed test statistic.

Next we must compare the $p$-value with the chosen significance level. If $p \lt \alpha$ then we reject $H_0$ and accept $H_1$. The lower $p$, the more evidence we have against $H_0$ and so the more confidence we can have that $H_0$ is false. If $p \geq \alpha$ then we do not have sufficient evidence to reject the $H_0$ and so must accept it.

Alternatively, we can compare our test statistic with the appropriate critical value for the chosen significance level. We can look up critical values in distribution tables (see worked examples below). If our test statistic is:

• positive and greater than the critical value, then we have sufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis.
• positive and lower than or equal to the critical value, we must accept the null hypothesis.
• negative and lower than the critical value, then we have sufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis.
• negative and greater than or equal to the critical value, we must accept the null hypothesis.

For either method:

Significant difference found: Reject the null hypothesis No significant difference found: Accept the null hypothesis

Finally, we must interpret our results and come to a conclusion. Returning to the example of the person in court, if the result of our hypothesis test indicated that we should accept $H_1$ and reject $H_0$, our conclusion would be that the jury should declare the person guilty of murder.

## Summary of Steps for a Hypothesis Test

• Specify the null and the alternative hypothesis
• Decide upon the significance level.
• Comparing the $p$-value to the significance level $\alpha$, or
• Comparing the test statistic to the critical value.
• Interpret your results and draw a conclusion

## How to Report your Findings

If you were writing about findings of a hypothesis test in a report/project, you would do so in the following way:

• You would state what the results mean in context of your experiment.
• Immediately after the statement, in brackets, you would include what test you used, the test statistic and the P value it yielded.
• It is not just at undergraduate level in which findings are reported in this way, published papers use this method too.

## Parametric and Non-Parametric Hypothesis Tests

There are parametric and non-parametric hypothesis tests.

• A parametric hypothesis assumes that the data follows a Normal probability distribution (with equal variances if we are working with more than one set of data) . A parametric hypothesis test is a statement about the parameters of this distribution (typically the mean).
• A non-parametric test assumes that the data does not follow any distribution and usually bases its calculations on the median . Note that although we assume the data does not follow a particular distribution it may do anyway. We do not cover non-parametric hypothesis tests in detail on the Animal Science area of the wiki, however if you would like to find out more about them you can look at the Psychology section .

## One- and two- tailed tests

Whether a test is One-tailed or Two-tailed is appropriate depends upon the alternative hypothesis $H_1$.

• One-tailed tests are used when the alternative hypothesis states that the parameter of interest is either bigger or smaller than the value stated in the null hypothesis. For example, the null hypothesis might state that the average weight of chocolate bars produced by a chocolate factory in Slough is 35g (as is printed on the wrapper), while the alternative hypothesis might state that the average weight of the chocolate bars is in fact lower than 35g.
• Two-tailed tests are used when the hypothesis states that the parameter of interest differs from the null hypothesis but does not specify in which direction. In the above example, a Two-tailed alternative hypothesis would be that the average weight of the chocolate bars is not equal to 35g.

## Type I and Type II Errors

• A Type I error is made if we reject the null hypothesis when it is true (so should have been accepted). Returning to the example of the person in court, a Type I error would be made if the jury declared the person guilty when they are in fact innocent. The probability of making a Type I error is equal to the significance level $\alpha$.
• A Type II error is made if we accept the null hypothesis when it is false i.e. we should have rejected the null hypothesis and accepted the alternative hypothesis. This would occur if the jury declared the person innocent when they are in fact guilty.

## Confidence Intervals

A confidence interval describes our uncertainty about where the population mean of a measurement lies, based on a sample. It's calculated using the of the mean. We first choose the confidence level of the interval; usually we choose the level to be 95%. This would mean that if we were to repeat our experiment 100 times and compute 100 corresponding confidence intervals, approximately 95 of the confidence intervals would contain the population mean.

A confidence interval consists of an upper and lower bound, calculated using the sample mean and sample standard deviation , and a t -value corresponding to the chosen significance level and the degrees of freedom in the sample.

\begin{align} \text{Upper bound} &= \bar{x} + (t\times\text{ Sample standard deviation}) \\ \text{Lower bound} &= \bar{x} - (t\times\text{ Sample standard deviation}) \end{align}

Minitab or R can calculate this range for you

## Test Yourself

Try our Numbas test on hypothesis testing: Practising confidence intervals and hypothesis tests .

To develop these ideas further see the other sections of Hypothesis Tests (Animal Science) .

For additional information on topics covered in this section see the main site's page on hypothesis testing .

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• Fundamental Analysis

## What Is Hypothesis Testing?

Hypothesis testing, sometimes called significance testing, is an act in statistics whereby an analyst tests an assumption regarding a population parameter. The methodology employed by the analyst depends on the nature of the data used and the reason for the analysis.

Hypothesis testing is used to assess the plausibility of a hypothesis by using sample data. Such data may come from a larger population, or from a data-generating process. The word "population" will be used for both of these cases in the following descriptions.

## Key Takeaways

• Hypothesis testing is used to assess the plausibility of a hypothesis by using sample data.
• The test provides evidence concerning the plausibility of the hypothesis, given the data.
• Statistical analysts test a hypothesis by measuring and examining a random sample of the population being analyzed.
• The four steps of hypothesis testing include stating the hypotheses, formulating an analysis plan, analyzing the sample data, and analyzing the result.

## How Hypothesis Testing Works

In hypothesis testing, an  analyst  tests a statistical sample, with the goal of providing evidence on the plausibility of the null hypothesis.

Statistical analysts test a hypothesis by measuring and examining a random sample of the population being analyzed. All analysts use a random population sample to test two different hypotheses: the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.

The null hypothesis is usually a hypothesis of equality between population parameters; e.g., a null hypothesis may state that the population mean return is equal to zero. The alternative hypothesis is effectively the opposite of a null hypothesis (e.g., the population mean return is not equal to zero). Thus, they are mutually exclusive , and only one can be true. However, one of the two hypotheses will always be true.

The null hypothesis is a statement about a population parameter, such as the population mean, that is assumed to be true.

## 4 Steps of Hypothesis Testing

All hypotheses are tested using a four-step process:

• The first step is for the analyst to state the hypotheses.
• The second step is to formulate an analysis plan, which outlines how the data will be evaluated.
• The third step is to carry out the plan and analyze the sample data.
• The final step is to analyze the results and either reject the null hypothesis, or state that the null hypothesis is plausible, given the data.

## Real-World Example of Hypothesis Testing

If, for example, a person wants to test that a penny has exactly a 50% chance of landing on heads, the null hypothesis would be that 50% is correct, and the alternative hypothesis would be that 50% is not correct.

Mathematically, the null hypothesis would be represented as Ho: P = 0.5. The alternative hypothesis would be denoted as "Ha" and be identical to the null hypothesis, except with the equal sign struck-through, meaning that it does not equal 50%.

A random sample of 100 coin flips is taken, and the null hypothesis is then tested. If it is found that the 100 coin flips were distributed as 40 heads and 60 tails, the analyst would assume that a penny does not have a 50% chance of landing on heads and would reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis.

If, on the other hand, there were 48 heads and 52 tails, then it is plausible that the coin could be fair and still produce such a result. In cases such as this where the null hypothesis is "accepted," the analyst states that the difference between the expected results (50 heads and 50 tails) and the observed results (48 heads and 52 tails) is "explainable by chance alone."

Some staticians attribute the first hypothesis tests to satirical writer John Arbuthnot in 1710, who studied male and female births in England after observing that in nearly every year, male births exceeded female births by a slight proportion. Arbuthnot calculated that the probability of this happening by chance was small, and therefore it was due to “divine providence.”

## What is Hypothesis Testing?

Hypothesis testing refers to a process used by analysts to assess the plausibility of a hypothesis by using sample data. In hypothesis testing, statisticians formulate two hypotheses: the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. A null hypothesis determines there is no difference between two groups or conditions, while the alternative hypothesis determines that there is a difference. Researchers evaluate the statistical significance of the test based on the probability that the null hypothesis is true.

## What are the Four Key Steps Involved in Hypothesis Testing?

Hypothesis testing begins with an analyst stating two hypotheses, with only one that can be right. The analyst then formulates an analysis plan, which outlines how the data will be evaluated. Next, they move to the testing phase and analyze the sample data. Finally, the analyst analyzes the results and either rejects the null hypothesis or states that the null hypothesis is plausible, given the data.

## What are the Benefits of Hypothesis Testing?

Hypothesis testing helps assess the accuracy of new ideas or theories by testing them against data. This allows researchers to determine whether the evidence supports their hypothesis, helping to avoid false claims and conclusions. Hypothesis testing also provides a framework for decision-making based on data rather than personal opinions or biases. By relying on statistical analysis, hypothesis testing helps to reduce the effects of chance and confounding variables, providing a robust framework for making informed conclusions.

## What are the Limitations of Hypothesis Testing?

Hypothesis testing relies exclusively on data and doesn’t provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject being studied. Additionally, the accuracy of the results depends on the quality of the available data and the statistical methods used. Inaccurate data or inappropriate hypothesis formulation may lead to incorrect conclusions or failed tests. Hypothesis testing can also lead to errors, such as analysts either accepting or rejecting a null hypothesis when they shouldn’t have. These errors may result in false conclusions or missed opportunities to identify significant patterns or relationships in the data.

## The Bottom Line

Hypothesis testing refers to a statistical process that helps researchers and/or analysts determine the reliability of a study. By using a well-formulated hypothesis and set of statistical tests, individuals or businesses can make inferences about the population that they are studying and draw conclusions based on the data presented. There are different types of hypothesis testing, each with their own set of rules and procedures. However, all hypothesis testing methods have the same four step process, which includes stating the hypotheses, formulating an analysis plan, analyzing the sample data, and analyzing the result. Hypothesis testing plays a vital part of the scientific process, helping to test assumptions and make better data-based decisions.

Sage. " Introduction to Hypothesis Testing. " Page 4.

Elder Research. " Who Invented the Null Hypothesis? "

Formplus. " Hypothesis Testing: Definition, Uses, Limitations and Examples. "

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## Statistics and probability

Course: statistics and probability   >   unit 12, hypothesis testing and p-values.

• One-tailed and two-tailed tests
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## Chapter 3: Hypothesis Testing

The previous two chapters introduced methods for organizing and summarizing sample data, and using sample statistics to estimate population parameters. This chapter introduces the next major topic of inferential statistics: hypothesis testing.

A hypothesis is a statement or claim about a property of a population.

## The Fundamentals of Hypothesis Testing

When conducting scientific research, typically there is some known information, perhaps from some past work or from a long accepted idea. We want to test whether this claim is believable. This is the basic idea behind a hypothesis test:

• State what we think is true.
• Quantify how confident we are about our claim.
• Use sample statistics to make inferences about population parameters.

For example, past research tells us that the average life span for a hummingbird is about four years. You have been studying the hummingbirds in the southeastern United States and find a sample mean lifespan of 4.8 years. Should you reject the known or accepted information in favor of your results? How confident are you in your estimate? At what point would you say that there is enough evidence to reject the known information and support your alternative claim? How far from the known mean of four years can the sample mean be before we reject the idea that the average lifespan of a hummingbird is four years?

Hypothesis testing is a procedure, based on sample evidence and probability, used to test claims regarding a characteristic of a population.

A hypothesis is a claim or statement about a characteristic of a population of interest to us. A hypothesis test is a way for us to use our sample statistics to test a specific claim.

The population mean weight is known to be 157 lb. We want to test the claim that the mean weight has increased.

Two years ago, the proportion of infected plants was 37%. We believe that a treatment has helped, and we want to test the claim that there has been a reduction in the proportion of infected plants.

## Components of a Formal Hypothesis Test

The null hypothesis is a statement about the value of a population parameter, such as the population mean (µ) or the population proportion ( p ). It contains the condition of equality and is denoted as H 0 (H-naught).

H 0 : µ = 157 or H 0 : p = 0.37

The alternative hypothesis is the claim to be tested, the opposite of the null hypothesis. It contains the value of the parameter that we consider plausible and is denoted as H 1 .

H 1 : µ > 157 or H 1 : p ≠ 0.37

The test statistic is a value computed from the sample data that is used in making a decision about the rejection of the null hypothesis. The test statistic converts the sample mean ( x̄ ) or sample proportion ( p̂ ) to a Z- or t-score under the assumption that the null hypothesis is true . It is used to decide whether the difference between the sample statistic and the hypothesized claim is significant.

The p-value is the area under the curve to the left or right of the test statistic. It is compared to the level of significance ( α ).

The critical value is the value that defines the rejection zone (the test statistic values that would lead to rejection of the null hypothesis). It is defined by the level of significance.

The level of significance ( α ) is the probability that the test statistic will fall into the critical region when the null hypothesis is true. This level is set by the researcher.

The conclusion is the final decision of the hypothesis test. The conclusion must always be clearly stated, communicating the decision based on the components of the test. It is important to realize that we never prove or accept the null hypothesis. We are merely saying that the sample evidence is not strong enough to warrant the rejection of the null hypothesis. The conclusion is made up of two parts:

1) Reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis, and 2) there is or is not enough evidence to support the alternative claim.

Option 1) Reject the null hypothesis (H 0 ). This means that you have enough statistical evidence to support the alternative claim (H 1 ).

Option 2) Fail to reject the null hypothesis (H 0 ). This means that you do NOT have enough evidence to support the alternative claim (H 1 ).

Another way to think about hypothesis testing is to compare it to the US justice system. A defendant is innocent until proven guilty (Null hypothesis—innocent). The prosecuting attorney tries to prove that the defendant is guilty (Alternative hypothesis—guilty). There are two possible conclusions that the jury can reach. First, the defendant is guilty (Reject the null hypothesis). Second, the defendant is not guilty (Fail to reject the null hypothesis). This is NOT the same thing as saying the defendant is innocent! In the first case, the prosecutor had enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis (innocent) and support the alternative claim (guilty). In the second case, the prosecutor did NOT have enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis (innocent) and support the alternative claim of guilty.

## The Null and Alternative Hypotheses

There are three different pairs of null and alternative hypotheses:

where c is some known value.

## A Two-sided Test

This tests whether the population parameter is equal to, versus not equal to, some specific value.

H o : μ = 12 vs. H 1 : μ ≠ 12

The critical region is divided equally into the two tails and the critical values are ± values that define the rejection zones.

Figure 1. The rejection zone for a two-sided hypothesis test.

A forester studying diameter growth of red pine believes that the mean diameter growth will be different if a fertilization treatment is applied to the stand.

• H o : μ = 1.2 in./ year
• H 1 : μ ≠ 1.2 in./ year

This is a two-sided question, as the forester doesn’t state whether population mean diameter growth will increase or decrease.

## A Right-sided Test

This tests whether the population parameter is equal to, versus greater than, some specific value.

H o : μ = 12 vs. H 1 : μ > 12

The critical region is in the right tail and the critical value is a positive value that defines the rejection zone.

Figure 2. The rejection zone for a right-sided hypothesis test.

A biologist believes that there has been an increase in the mean number of lakes infected with milfoil, an invasive species, since the last study five years ago.

• H o : μ = 15 lakes
• H 1 : μ >15 lakes

This is a right-sided question, as the biologist believes that there has been an increase in population mean number of infected lakes.

## A Left-sided Test

This tests whether the population parameter is equal to, versus less than, some specific value.

H o : μ = 12 vs. H 1 : μ < 12

The critical region is in the left tail and the critical value is a negative value that defines the rejection zone.

Figure 3. The rejection zone for a left-sided hypothesis test.

A scientist’s research indicates that there has been a change in the proportion of people who support certain environmental policies. He wants to test the claim that there has been a reduction in the proportion of people who support these policies.

• H o : p = 0.57
• H 1 : p < 0.57

This is a left-sided question, as the scientist believes that there has been a reduction in the true population proportion.

## Statistically Significant

When the observed results (the sample statistics) are unlikely (a low probability) under the assumption that the null hypothesis is true, we say that the result is statistically significant, and we reject the null hypothesis. This result depends on the level of significance, the sample statistic, sample size, and whether it is a one- or two-sided alternative hypothesis.

## Types of Errors

When testing, we arrive at a conclusion of rejecting the null hypothesis or failing to reject the null hypothesis. Such conclusions are sometimes correct and sometimes incorrect (even when we have followed all the correct procedures). We use incomplete sample data to reach a conclusion and there is always the possibility of reaching the wrong conclusion. There are four possible conclusions to reach from hypothesis testing. Of the four possible outcomes, two are correct and two are NOT correct.

Table 1. Possible outcomes from a hypothesis test.

A Type I error is when we reject the null hypothesis when it is true. The symbol α (alpha) is used to represent Type I errors. This is the same alpha we use as the level of significance. By setting alpha as low as reasonably possible, we try to control the Type I error through the level of significance.

A Type II error is when we fail to reject the null hypothesis when it is false. The symbol β (beta) is used to represent Type II errors.

In general, Type I errors are considered more serious. One step in the hypothesis test procedure involves selecting the significance level ( α ), which is the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when it is correct. So the researcher can select the level of significance that minimizes Type I errors. However, there is a mathematical relationship between α, β , and n (sample size).

• As α increases, β decreases
• As α decreases, β increases
• As sample size increases (n), both α and β decrease

The natural inclination is to select the smallest possible value for α, thinking to minimize the possibility of causing a Type I error. Unfortunately, this forces an increase in Type II errors. By making the rejection zone too small, you may fail to reject the null hypothesis, when, in fact, it is false. Typically, we select the best sample size and level of significance, automatically setting β .

Figure 4. Type 1 error.

## Power of the Test

A Type II error ( β ) is the probability of failing to reject a false null hypothesis. It follows that 1- β is the probability of rejecting a false null hypothesis. This probability is identified as the power of the test, and is often used to gauge the test’s effectiveness in recognizing that a null hypothesis is false.

The probability that at a fixed level α significance test will reject H 0 , when a particular alternative value of the parameter is true is called the power of the test.

Power is also directly linked to sample size. For example, suppose the null hypothesis is that the mean fish weight is 8.7 lb. Given sample data, a level of significance of 5%, and an alternative weight of 9.2 lb., we can compute the power of the test to reject μ = 8.7 lb. If we have a small sample size, the power will be low. However, increasing the sample size will increase the power of the test. Increasing the level of significance will also increase power. A 5% test of significance will have a greater chance of rejecting the null hypothesis than a 1% test because the strength of evidence required for the rejection is less. Decreasing the standard deviation has the same effect as increasing the sample size: there is more information about μ .

## Hypothesis Test about the Population Mean ( μ ) when the Population Standard Deviation ( σ ) is Known

We are going to examine two equivalent ways to perform a hypothesis test: the classical approach and the p-value approach. The classical approach is based on standard deviations. This method compares the test statistic (Z-score) to a critical value (Z-score) from the standard normal table. If the test statistic falls in the rejection zone, you reject the null hypothesis. The p-value approach is based on area under the normal curve. This method compares the area associated with the test statistic to alpha ( α ), the level of significance (which is also area under the normal curve). If the p-value is less than alpha, you would reject the null hypothesis.

As a past student poetically said: If the p-value is a wee value, Reject Ho

Both methods must have:

• Data from a random sample.
• Verification of the assumption of normality.
• A null and alternative hypothesis.
• A criterion that determines if we reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis.
• A conclusion that answers the question.

There are four steps required for a hypothesis test:

• State the null and alternative hypotheses.
• State the level of significance and the critical value.
• Compute the test statistic.
• State a conclusion.

## The Classical Method for Testing a Claim about the Population Mean ( μ ) when the Population Standard Deviation ( σ ) is Known

A forester studying diameter growth of red pine believes that the mean diameter growth will be different from the known mean growth of 1.35 inches/year if a fertilization treatment is applied to the stand. He conducts his experiment, collects data from a sample of 32 plots, and gets a sample mean diameter growth of 1.6 in./year. The population standard deviation for this stand is known to be 0.46 in./year. Does he have enough evidence to support his claim?

Step 1) State the null and alternative hypotheses.

• H o : μ = 1.35 in./year
• H 1 : μ ≠ 1.35 in./year

Step 2) State the level of significance and the critical value.

• We will choose a level of significance of 5% ( α = 0.05).
• For a two-sided question, we need a two-sided critical value – Z α /2 and + Z α /2 .
• The level of significance is divided by 2 (since we are only testing “not equal”). We must have two rejection zones that can deal with either a greater than or less than outcome (to the right (+) or to the left (-)).
• We need to find the Z-score associated with the area of 0.025. The red areas are equal to α /2 = 0.05/2 = 0.025 or 2.5% of the area under the normal curve.
• Go into the body of values and find the negative Z-score associated with the area 0.025.

Figure 5. The rejection zone for a two-sided test.

• The negative critical value is -1.96. Since the curve is symmetric, we know that the positive critical value is 1.96.
• ±1.96 are the critical values. These values set up the rejection zone. If the test statistic falls within these red rejection zones, we reject the null hypothesis.

Step 3) Compute the test statistic.

• The test statistic is the number of standard deviations the sample mean is from the known mean. It is also a Z-score, just like the critical value.

• For this problem, the test statistic is

Step 4) State a conclusion.

• Compare the test statistic to the critical value. If the test statistic falls into the rejection zones, reject the null hypothesis. In other words, if the test statistic is greater than +1.96 or less than -1.96, reject the null hypothesis.

Figure 6. The critical values for a two-sided test when α = 0.05.

In this problem, the test statistic falls in the red rejection zone. The test statistic of 3.07 is greater than the critical value of 1.96.We will reject the null hypothesis. We have enough evidence to support the claim that the mean diameter growth is different from (not equal to) 1.35 in./year.

A researcher believes that there has been an increase in the average farm size in his state since the last study five years ago. The previous study reported a mean size of 450 acres with a population standard deviation ( σ ) of 167 acres. He samples 45 farms and gets a sample mean of 485.8 acres. Is there enough information to support his claim?

• H o : μ = 450 acres
• H 1 : μ >450 acres
• For a one-sided question, we need a one-sided positive critical value Z α .
• The level of significance is all in the right side (the rejection zone is just on the right side).
• We need to find the Z-score associated with the 5% area in the right tail.

Figure 7. Rejection zone for a right-sided hypothesis test.

• Go into the body of values in the standard normal table and find the Z-score that separates the lower 95% from the upper 5%.
• The critical value is 1.645. This value sets up the rejection zone.

• Compare the test statistic to the critical value.

Figure 8. The critical value for a right-sided test when α = 0.05.

• The test statistic does not fall in the rejection zone. It is less than the critical value.

We fail to reject the null hypothesis. We do not have enough evidence to support the claim that the mean farm size has increased from 450 acres.

A researcher believes that there has been a reduction in the mean number of hours that college students spend preparing for final exams. A national study stated that students at a 4-year college spend an average of 23 hours preparing for 5 final exams each semester with a population standard deviation of 7.3 hours. The researcher sampled 227 students and found a sample mean study time of 19.6 hours. Does this indicate that the average study time for final exams has decreased? Use a 1% level of significance to test this claim.

• H o : μ = 23 hours
• H 1 : μ < 23 hours
• This is a left-sided test so alpha (0.01) is all in the left tail.

Figure 9. The rejection zone for a left-sided hypothesis test.

• Go into the body of values in the standard normal table and find the Z-score that defines the lower 1% of the area.
• The critical value is -2.33. This value sets up the rejection zone.

Figure 10. The critical value for a left-sided test when α = 0.01.

• The test statistic falls in the rejection zone. The test statistic of -7.02 is less than the critical value of -2.33.

We reject the null hypothesis. We have sufficient evidence to support the claim that the mean final exam study time has decreased below 23 hours.

## Testing a Hypothesis using P-values

The p-value is the probability of observing our sample mean given that the null hypothesis is true. It is the area under the curve to the left or right of the test statistic. If the probability of observing such a sample mean is very small (less than the level of significance), we would reject the null hypothesis. Computations for the p-value depend on whether it is a one- or two-sided test.

Steps for a hypothesis test using p-values:

• State the level of significance.
• Compute the test statistic and find the area associated with it (this is the p-value).
• Compare the p-value to alpha ( α ) and state a conclusion.

Instead of comparing Z-score test statistic to Z-score critical value, as in the classical method, we compare area of the test statistic to area of the level of significance.

The Decision Rule: If the p-value is less than alpha, we reject the null hypothesis

## Computing P-values

If it is a two-sided test (the alternative claim is ≠), the p-value is equal to two times the probability of the absolute value of the test statistic. If the test is a left-sided test (the alternative claim is “<”), then the p-value is equal to the area to the left of the test statistic. If the test is a right-sided test (the alternative claim is “>”), then the p-value is equal to the area to the right of the test statistic.

Let’s look at Example 6 again.

A forester studying diameter growth of red pine believes that the mean diameter growth will be different from the known mean growth of 1.35 in./year if a fertilization treatment is applied to the stand. He conducts his experiment, collects data from a sample of 32 plots, and gets a sample mean diameter growth of 1.6 in./year. The population standard deviation for this stand is known to be 0.46 in./year. Does he have enough evidence to support his claim?

Step 2) State the level of significance.

• For this problem, the test statistic is:

The p-value is two times the area of the absolute value of the test statistic (because the alternative claim is “not equal”).

Figure 11. The p-value compared to the level of significance.

• Look up the area for the Z-score 3.07 in the standard normal table. The area (probability) is equal to 1 – 0.9989 = 0.0011.
• Multiply this by 2 to get the p-value = 2 * 0.0011 = 0.0022.

Step 4) Compare the p-value to alpha and state a conclusion.

• Use the Decision Rule (if the p-value is less than α , reject H 0 ).
• In this problem, the p-value (0.0022) is less than alpha (0.05).
• We reject the H 0 . We have enough evidence to support the claim that the mean diameter growth is different from 1.35 inches/year.

Let’s look at Example 7 again.

The p-value is the area to the right of the Z-score 1.44 (the hatched area).

• This is equal to 1 – 0.9251 = 0.0749.
• The p-value is 0.0749.

Figure 12. The p-value compared to the level of significance for a right-sided test.

• Use the Decision Rule.
• In this problem, the p-value (0.0749) is greater than alpha (0.05), so we Fail to Reject the H 0 .
• The area of the test statistic is greater than the area of alpha ( α ).

We fail to reject the null hypothesis. We do not have enough evidence to support the claim that the mean farm size has increased.

Let’s look at Example 8 again.

• H 0 : μ = 23 hours

The p-value is the area to the left of the test statistic (the little black area to the left of -7.02). The Z-score of -7.02 is not on the standard normal table. The smallest probability on the table is 0.0002. We know that the area for the Z-score -7.02 is smaller than this area (probability). Therefore, the p-value is <0.0002.

Figure 13. The p-value compared to the level of significance for a left-sided test.

• In this problem, the p-value (p<0.0002) is less than alpha (0.01), so we Reject the H 0 .
• The area of the test statistic is much less than the area of alpha ( α ).

We reject the null hypothesis. We have enough evidence to support the claim that the mean final exam study time has decreased below 23 hours.

Both the classical method and p-value method for testing a hypothesis will arrive at the same conclusion. In the classical method, the critical Z-score is the number on the z-axis that defines the level of significance ( α ). The test statistic converts the sample mean to units of standard deviation (a Z-score). If the test statistic falls in the rejection zone defined by the critical value, we will reject the null hypothesis. In this approach, two Z-scores, which are numbers on the z-axis, are compared. In the p-value approach, the p-value is the area associated with the test statistic. In this method, we compare α (which is also area under the curve) to the p-value. If the p-value is less than α , we reject the null hypothesis. The p-value is the probability of observing such a sample mean when the null hypothesis is true. If the probability is too small (less than the level of significance), then we believe we have enough statistical evidence to reject the null hypothesis and support the alternative claim.

## Software Solutions

(referring to Ex. 8)

## One-Sample Z

Excel does not offer 1-sample hypothesis testing.

## Hypothesis Test about the Population Mean ( μ ) when the Population Standard Deviation ( σ ) is Unknown

Frequently, the population standard deviation (σ) is not known. We can estimate the population standard deviation (σ) with the sample standard deviation (s). However, the test statistic will no longer follow the standard normal distribution. We must rely on the student’s t-distribution with n-1 degrees of freedom. Because we use the sample standard deviation (s), the test statistic will change from a Z-score to a t-score.

Steps for a hypothesis test are the same that we covered in Section 2.

Just as with the hypothesis test from the previous section, the data for this test must be from a random sample and requires either that the population from which the sample was drawn be normal or that the sample size is sufficiently large (n≥30). A t-test is robust, so small departures from normality will not adversely affect the results of the test. That being said, if the sample size is smaller than 30, it is always good to verify the assumption of normality through a normal probability plot.

We will still have the same three pairs of null and alternative hypotheses and we can still use either the classical approach or the p-value approach.

Selecting the correct critical value from the student’s t-distribution table depends on three factors: the type of test (one-sided or two-sided alternative hypothesis), the sample size, and the level of significance.

For a two-sided test (“not equal” alternative hypothesis), the critical value (t α /2 ), is determined by alpha ( α ), the level of significance, divided by two, to deal with the possibility that the result could be less than OR greater than the known value.

• If your level of significance was 0.05, you would use the 0.025 column to find the correct critical value (0.05/2 = 0.025).
• If your level of significance was 0.01, you would use the 0.005 column to find the correct critical value (0.01/2 = 0.005).

For a one-sided test (“a less than” or “greater than” alternative hypothesis), the critical value (t α ) , is determined by alpha ( α ), the level of significance, being all in the one side.

• If your level of significance was 0.05, you would use the 0.05 column to find the correct critical value for either a left or right-side question. If you are asking a “less than” (left-sided question, your critical value will be negative. If you are asking a “greater than” (right-sided question), your critical value will be positive.

Find the critical value you would use to test the claim that μ ≠ 112 with a sample size of 18 and a 5% level of significance.

In this case, the critical value (t α /2 ) would be 2.110. This is a two-sided question (≠) so you would divide alpha by 2 (0.05/2 = 0.025) and go down the 0.025 column to 17 degrees of freedom.

What would the critical value be if you wanted to test that μ < 112 for the same data?

In this case, the critical value would be 1.740. This is a one-sided question (<) so alpha would be divided by 1 (0.05/1 = 0.05). You would go down the 0.05 column with 17 degrees of freedom to get the correct critical value.

In 2005, the mean pH level of rain in a county in northern New York was 5.41. A biologist believes that the rain acidity has changed. He takes a random sample of 11 rain dates in 2010 and obtains the following data. Use a 1% level of significance to test his claim.

4.70, 5.63, 5.02, 5.78, 4.99, 5.91, 5.76, 5.54, 5.25, 5.18, 5.01

The sample size is small and we don’t know anything about the distribution of the population, so we examine a normal probability plot. The distribution looks normal so we will continue with our test.

Figure 14. A normal probability plot for Example 9.

The sample mean is 5.343 with a sample standard deviation of 0.397.

• H o : μ = 5.41
• H 1 : μ ≠ 5.41
• This is a two-sided question so alpha is divided by two.

Figure 15. The rejection zones for a two-sided test.

• t α /2 is found by going down the 0.005 column with 14 degrees of freedom.
• t α /2 = ±3.169.
• The test statistic is a t-score.

Figure 16. The critical values for a two-sided test when α = 0.01.

• The test statistic does not fall in the rejection zone.

We will fail to reject the null hypothesis. We do not have enough evidence to support the claim that the mean rain pH has changed.

## A One-sided Test

Cadmium, a heavy metal, is toxic to animals. Mushrooms, however, are able to absorb and accumulate cadmium at high concentrations. The government has set safety limits for cadmium in dry vegetables at 0.5 ppm. Biologists believe that the mean level of cadmium in mushrooms growing near strip mines is greater than the recommended limit of 0.5 ppm, negatively impacting the animals that live in this ecosystem. A random sample of 51 mushrooms gave a sample mean of 0.59 ppm with a sample standard deviation of 0.29 ppm. Use a 5% level of significance to test the claim that the mean cadmium level is greater than the acceptable limit of 0.5 ppm.

The sample size is greater than 30 so we are assured of a normal distribution of the means.

• H o : μ = 0.5 ppm
• H 1 : μ > 0.5 ppm
• This is a right-sided question so alpha is all in the right tail.

Figure 17. Rejection zone for a right-sided test.

• t α is found by going down the 0.05 column with 50 degrees of freedom.
• t α = 1.676

Step 4) State a Conclusion.

Figure 18. Critical value for a right-sided test when α = 0.05.

The test statistic falls in the rejection zone. We will reject the null hypothesis. We have enough evidence to support the claim that the mean cadmium level is greater than the acceptable safe limit.

BUT, what happens if the significance level changes to 1%?

The critical value is now found by going down the 0.01 column with 50 degrees of freedom. The critical value is 2.403. The test statistic is now LESS THAN the critical value. The test statistic does not fall in the rejection zone. The conclusion will change. We do NOT have enough evidence to support the claim that the mean cadmium level is greater than the acceptable safe limit of 0.5 ppm.

The level of significance is the probability that you, as the researcher, set to decide if there is enough statistical evidence to support the alternative claim. It should be set before the experiment begins.

## P-value Approach

We can also use the p-value approach for a hypothesis test about the mean when the population standard deviation ( σ ) is unknown. However, when using a student’s t-table, we can only estimate the range of the p-value, not a specific value as when using the standard normal table. The student’s t-table has area (probability) across the top row in the table, with t-scores in the body of the table.

• To find the p-value (the area associated with the test statistic), you would go to the row with the number of degrees of freedom.
• Go across that row until you find the two values that your test statistic is between, then go up those columns to find the estimated range for the p-value.

Estimating P-value from a Student’s T-table

If your test statistic is 3.789 with 3 degrees of freedom, you would go across the 3 df row. The value 3.789 falls between the values 3.482 and 4.541 in that row. Therefore, the p-value is between 0.02 and 0.01. The p-value will be greater than 0.01 but less than 0.02 (0.01<p<0.02).

If your level of significance is 5%, you would reject the null hypothesis as the p-value (0.01-0.02) is less than alpha ( α ) of 0.05.

If your level of significance is 1%, you would fail to reject the null hypothesis as the p-value (0.01-0.02) is greater than alpha ( α ) of 0.01.

Software packages typically output p-values. It is easy to use the Decision Rule to answer your research question by the p-value method.

(referring to Ex. 12)

## One-Sample T

Test of mu = 0.5 vs. > 0.5

## Hypothesis Test for a Population Proportion ( p )

Frequently, the parameter we are testing is the population proportion.

• We are studying the proportion of trees with cavities for wildlife habitat.
• We need to know if the proportion of people who support green building materials has changed.
• Has the proportion of wolves that died last year in Yellowstone increased from the year before?

Recall that the best point estimate of p , the population proportion, is given by

when np (1 – p )≥10. We can use both the classical approach and the p-value approach for testing.

The steps for a hypothesis test are the same that we covered in Section 2.

The test statistic follows the standard normal distribution. Notice that the standard error (the denominator) uses p instead of p̂ , which was used when constructing a confidence interval about the population proportion. In a hypothesis test, the null hypothesis is assumed to be true, so the known proportion is used.

• The critical value comes from the standard normal table, just as in Section 2. We will still use the same three pairs of null and alternative hypotheses as we used in the previous sections, but the parameter is now p instead of μ :

• For a two-sided test, alpha will be divided by 2 giving a ± Z α /2 critical value.
• For a left-sided test, alpha will be all in the left tail giving a – Z α critical value.
• For a right-sided test, alpha will be all in the right tail giving a Z α critical value.

A botanist has produced a new variety of hybrid soy plant that is better able to withstand drought than other varieties. The botanist knows the seed germination for the parent plants is 75%, but does not know the seed germination for the new hybrid. He tests the claim that it is different from the parent plants. To test this claim, 450 seeds from the hybrid plant are tested and 321 have germinated. Use a 5% level of significance to test this claim that the germination rate is different from 75%.

• H o : p = 0.75
• H 1 : p ≠ 0.75

This is a two-sided question so alpha is divided by 2.

• Alpha is 0.05 so the critical values are ± Z α /2 = ± Z .025 .
• Look on the negative side of the standard normal table, in the body of values for 0.025.
• The critical values are ± 1.96.

Figure 19. Critical values for a two-sided test when α = 0.05.

The test statistic does not fall in the rejection zone. We fail to reject the null hypothesis. We do not have enough evidence to support the claim that the germination rate of the hybrid plant is different from the parent plants.

Let’s answer this question using the p-value approach. Remember, for a two-sided alternative hypothesis (“not equal”), the p-value is two times the area of the test statistic. The test statistic is -1.81 and we want to find the area to the left of -1.81 from the standard normal table.

• On the negative page, find the Z-score -1.81. Find the area associated with this Z-score.
• The area = 0.0351.
• This is a two-sided test so multiply the area times 2 to get the p-value = 0.0351 x 2 = 0.0702.

Now compare the p-value to alpha. The Decision Rule states that if the p-value is less than alpha, reject the H 0 . In this case, the p-value (0.0702) is greater than alpha (0.05) so we will fail to reject H 0 . We do not have enough evidence to support the claim that the germination rate of the hybrid plant is different from the parent plants.

You are a biologist studying the wildlife habitat in the Monongahela National Forest. Cavities in older trees provide excellent habitat for a variety of birds and small mammals. A study five years ago stated that 32% of the trees in this forest had suitable cavities for this type of wildlife. You believe that the proportion of cavity trees has increased. You sample 196 trees and find that 79 trees have cavities. Does this evidence support your claim that there has been an increase in the proportion of cavity trees?

Use a 10% level of significance to test this claim.

• H o : p = 0.32
• H 1 : p > 0.32

This is a one-sided question so alpha is divided by 1.

• Alpha is 0.10 so the critical value is Z α = Z .10
• Look on the positive side of the standard normal table, in the body of values for 0.90.
• The critical value is 1.28.

Figure 20. Critical value for a right-sided test where α = 0.10.

• The test statistic is the number of standard deviations the sample proportion is from the known proportion. It is also a Z-score, just like the critical value.

Figure 21. Comparison of the test statistic and the critical value.

The test statistic is larger than the critical value (it falls in the rejection zone). We will reject the null hypothesis. We have enough evidence to support the claim that there has been an increase in the proportion of cavity trees.

Now use the p-value approach to answer the question. This is a right-sided question (“greater than”), so the p-value is equal to the area to the right of the test statistic. Go to the positive side of the standard normal table and find the area associated with the Z-score of 2.49. The area is 0.9936. Remember that this table is cumulative from the left. To find the area to the right of 2.49, we subtract from one.

p-value = (1 – 0.9936) = 0.0064

The p-value is less than the level of significance (0.10), so we reject the null hypothesis. We have enough evidence to support the claim that the proportion of cavity trees has increased.

(referring to Ex. 15)

## Test and CI for One Proportion

Test of p = 0.32 vs. p > 0.32

## Hypothesis Test about a Variance

When people think of statistical inference, they usually think of inferences involving population means or proportions. However, the particular population parameter needed to answer an experimenter’s practical questions varies from one situation to another, and sometimes a population’s variability is more important than its mean. Thus, product quality is often defined in terms of low variability.

Sample variance S 2 can be used for inferences concerning a population variance σ 2 . For a random sample of n measurements drawn from a normal population with mean μ and variance σ 2 , the value S 2 provides a point estimate for σ 2 . In addition, the quantity ( n – 1) S 2 / σ 2 follows a Chi-square ( χ 2 ) distribution, with df = n – 1.

The properties of Chi-square ( χ 2 ) distribution are:

• Unlike Z and t distributions, the values in a chi-square distribution are all positive.
• The chi-square distribution is asymmetric, unlike the Z and t distributions.
• There are many chi-square distributions. We obtain a particular one by specifying the degrees of freedom (df = n – 1) associated with the sample variances S 2 .

Figure 22. The chi-square distribution.

## One-sample χ 2 test for testing the hypotheses:

Alternative hypothesis:

where the χ 2 critical value in the rejection region is based on degrees of freedom df = n – 1 and a specified significance level of α .

As with previous sections, if the test statistic falls in the rejection zone set by the critical value, you will reject the null hypothesis.

A forester wants to control a dense understory of striped maple that is interfering with desirable hardwood regeneration using a mist blower to apply an herbicide treatment. She wants to make sure that treatment has a consistent application rate, in other words, low variability not exceeding 0.25 gal./acre (0.06 gal. 2 ). She collects sample data (n = 11) on this type of mist blower and gets a sample variance of 0.064 gal. 2 Using a 5% level of significance, test the claim that the variance is significantly greater than 0.06 gal. 2

H 0 : σ 2 = 0.06

H 1 : σ 2 >0.06

The critical value is 18.307. Any test statistic greater than this value will cause you to reject the null hypothesis.

The test statistic is

We fail to reject the null hypothesis. The forester does NOT have enough evidence to support the claim that the variance is greater than 0.06 gal. 2 You can also estimate the p-value using the same method as for the student t-table. Go across the row for degrees of freedom until you find the two values that your test statistic falls between. In this case going across the row 10, the two table values are 4.865 and 15.987. Now go up those two columns to the top row to estimate the p-value (0.1-0.9). The p-value is greater than 0.1 and less than 0.9. Both are greater than the level of significance (0.05) causing us to fail to reject the null hypothesis.

(referring to Ex. 16)

Test and CI for One Variance

The chi-square method is only for the normal distribution.

Excel does not offer 1-sample χ 2 testing.

## Putting it all Together Using the Classical Method

To test a claim about μ when σ is known.

• Write the null and alternative hypotheses.
• State the level of significance and get the critical value from the standard normal table.

• Compare the test statistic to the critical value (Z-score) and write the conclusion.

## To Test a Claim about μ When σ is Unknown

• State the level of significance and get the critical value from the student’s t-table with n-1 degrees of freedom.

• Compare the test statistic to the critical value (t-score) and write the conclusion.

## To Test a Claim about p

• State the level of significance and get the critical value from the standard normal distribution.

Table 4. A summary table for critical Z-scores.

## To Test a Claim about Variance

• State the level of significance and get the critical value from the chi-square table using n-1 degrees of freedom.

• Compare the test statistic to the critical value and write the conclusion.
• Natural Resources Biometrics. Authored by : Diane Kiernan. Located at : https://textbooks.opensuny.org/natural-resources-biometrics/ . Project : Open SUNY Textbooks. License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

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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., =).

## 2. What Is Hypothesis?

2.2. what is hypothesis testing.

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