  ## How to Write a Null Hypothesis (5 Examples)

A hypothesis test uses sample data to determine whether or not some claim about a population parameter is true.

Whenever we perform a hypothesis test, we always write a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis, which take the following forms:

H 0 (Null Hypothesis): Population parameter =,  ≤, ≥ some value

H A  (Alternative Hypothesis): Population parameter <, >, ≠ some value

Note that the null hypothesis always contains the equal sign .

We interpret the hypotheses as follows:

Null hypothesis: The sample data provides no evidence to support some claim being made by an individual.

Alternative hypothesis: The sample data  does provide sufficient evidence to support the claim being made by an individual.

For example, suppose it’s assumed that the average height of a certain species of plant is 20 inches tall. However, one botanist claims the true average height is greater than 20 inches.

To test this claim, she may go out and collect a random sample of plants. She can then use this sample data to perform a hypothesis test using the following two hypotheses:

H 0 : μ ≤ 20 (the true mean height of plants is equal to or even less than 20 inches)

H A : μ > 20 (the true mean height of plants is greater than 20 inches)

If the sample data gathered by the botanist shows that the mean height of this species of plants is significantly greater than 20 inches, she can reject the null hypothesis and conclude that the mean height is greater than 20 inches.

Read through the following examples to gain a better understanding of how to write a null hypothesis in different situations.

## Example 1: Weight of Turtles

A biologist wants to test whether or not the true mean weight of a certain species of turtles is 300 pounds. To test this, he goes out and measures the weight of a random sample of 40 turtles.

Here is how to write the null and alternative hypotheses for this scenario:

H 0 : μ = 300 (the true mean weight is equal to 300 pounds)

H A : μ ≠ 300 (the true mean weight is not equal to 300 pounds)

## Example 2: Height of Males

It’s assumed that the mean height of males in a certain city is 68 inches. However, an independent researcher believes the true mean height is greater than 68 inches. To test this, he goes out and collects the height of 50 males in the city.

H 0 : μ ≤ 68 (the true mean height is equal to or even less than 68 inches)

H A : μ > 68 (the true mean height is greater than 68 inches)

A university states that 80% of all students graduate on time. However, an independent researcher believes that less than 80% of all students graduate on time. To test this, she collects data on the proportion of students who graduated on time last year at the university.

H 0 : p ≥ 0.80 (the true proportion of students who graduate on time is 80% or higher)

H A : μ < 0.80 (the true proportion of students who graduate on time is less than 80%)

## Example 4: Burger Weights

A food researcher wants to test whether or not the true mean weight of a burger at a certain restaurant is 7 ounces. To test this, he goes out and measures the weight of a random sample of 20 burgers from this restaurant.

H 0 : μ = 7 (the true mean weight is equal to 7 ounces)

H A : μ ≠ 7 (the true mean weight is not equal to 7 ounces)

## Example 5: Citizen Support

A politician claims that less than 30% of citizens in a certain town support a certain law. To test this, he goes out and surveys 200 citizens on whether or not they support the law.

H 0 : p ≥ .30 (the true proportion of citizens who support the law is greater than or equal to 30%)

H A : μ < 0.30 (the true proportion of citizens who support the law is less than 30%)

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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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• 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 August 15, 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.

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 .

## Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting

• Vague sentences
• Style consistency

See an example ## 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

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.

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

## Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

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.

## Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

McCombes, S. (2023, August 15). How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Steps & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved November 11, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/methodology/hypothesis/ ## Shona McCombes

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## Writing Null Hypotheses in Research and Statistics

Last Updated: July 24, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Joseph Quinones and by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD . Joseph Quinones is a High School Physics Teacher working at South Bronx Community Charter High School. Joseph specializes in astronomy and astrophysics and is interested in science education and science outreach, currently practicing ways to make physics accessible to more students with the goal of bringing more students of color into the STEM fields. He has experience working on Astrophysics research projects at the Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Joseph recieved his Bachelor's degree in Physics from Lehman College and his Masters in Physics Education from City College of New York (CCNY). He is also a member of a network called New York City Men Teach. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 16,535 times.

Are you working on a research project and struggling with how to write a null hypothesis? Well, you've come to the right place! Start by recognizing that the basic definition of "null" is "none" or "zero"—that's your biggest clue as to what a null hypothesis should say. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the null hypothesis, including how it relates to your research question and your alternative hypothesis as well as how to use it in different types of studies.

## Things You Should Know

• Write a research null hypothesis as a statement that the studied variables have no relationship to each other, or that there's no difference between 2 groups. • Adjust the format of your null hypothesis to match the statistical method you used to test it, such as using "mean" if you're comparing the mean between 2 groups.

## What is a null hypothesis? • Research hypothesis: States in plain language that there's no relationship between the 2 variables or there's no difference between the 2 groups being studied.
• Statistical hypothesis: States the predicted outcome of statistical analysis through a mathematical equation related to the statistical method you're using.

## Examples of Null Hypotheses ## Null Hypothesis vs. Alternative Hypothesis • For example, your alternative hypothesis could state a positive correlation between 2 variables while your null hypothesis states there's no relationship. If there's a negative correlation, then both hypotheses are false. • You need additional data or evidence to show that your alternative hypothesis is correct—proving the null hypothesis false is just the first step.
• In smaller studies, sometimes it's enough to show that there's some relationship and your hypothesis could be correct—you can leave the additional proof as an open question for other researchers to tackle.

## How do I test a null hypothesis? • Group means: Compare the mean of the variable in your sample with the mean of the variable in the general population.  X Research source
• Group proportions: Compare the proportion of the variable in your sample with the proportion of the variable in the general population.  X Research source
• Correlation: Correlation analysis looks at the relationship between 2 variables—specifically, whether they tend to happen together.  X Research source
• Regression: Regression analysis reveals the correlation between 2 variables while also controlling for the effect of other, interrelated variables.  X Research source

## Templates for Null Hypotheses • Research null hypothesis: There is no difference in the mean [dependent variable] between [group 1] and [group 2]. • Research null hypothesis: The proportion of [dependent variable] in [group 1] and [group 2] is the same. • Research null hypothesis: There is no correlation between [independent variable] and [dependent variable] in the population. • Research null hypothesis: There is no relationship between [independent variable] and [dependent variable] in the population. ## Expert Q&A ## You Might Also Like ## Expert Interview • ↑ https://www.collin.edu/studentresources/tutoring/What%20is%20a%20hypothesis.pdf
• ↑ https://online.stat.psu.edu/stat100/lesson/10/10.1
• ↑ https://online.stat.psu.edu/stat501/lesson/2/2.12
• ↑ https://support.minitab.com/en-us/minitab/21/help-and-how-to/statistics/basic-statistics/supporting-topics/basics/null-and-alternative-hypotheses/
• ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5635437/
• ↑ https://online.stat.psu.edu/statprogram/reviews/statistical-concepts/hypothesis-testing
• ↑ https://education.arcus.chop.edu/null-hypothesis-testing/
• ↑ https://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/mph-modules/bs/bs704_hypothesistest-means-proportions/bs704_hypothesistest-means-proportions_print.html • Send fan mail to authors Dec 3, 2022 ## Featured Articles ## Trending Articles ## Watch Articles • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
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• How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Guide & Examples

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

Published on 6 May 2022 by Shona McCombes .

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.

What is a hypothesis, developing a hypothesis (with example), hypothesis examples, 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 variables . An independent variable is something the researcher changes or controls. A dependent variable is something the researcher observes and measures.

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 .

## Prevent plagiarism, run a free check.

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

At this stage, you might construct a conceptual framework to identify which variables you will study and what you think the relationships are between them. Sometimes, you’ll have to operationalise 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.

## Step 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

## Step 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.

## Step 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 .

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 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).

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.

## Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

McCombes, S. (2022, May 06). How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 9 November 2023, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/research-methods/hypothesis-writing/ ## Shona McCombes

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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 differences between means or proportions or correlations or odds ratios or any other numerical summary of the population. The alternative hypothesis is typically the research hypothesis of interest. Here are some examples.

## Example 10.2: Hypotheses with One Sample of One Categorical Variable Section

About 10% of the human population is left-handed. Suppose a researcher at Penn State speculates that students in the College of Arts and Architecture are more likely to be left-handed than people found in the general population. We only have one sample since we will be comparing a population proportion based on a sample value to a known population value.

• Research Question : Are artists more likely to be left-handed than people found in the general population?
• Response Variable : Classification of the student as either right-handed or left-handed

## State Null and Alternative Hypotheses

• Null Hypothesis : Students in the College of Arts and Architecture are no more likely to be left-handed than people in the general population (population percent of left-handed students in the College of Art and Architecture = 10% or p = .10).
• Alternative Hypothesis : Students in the College of Arts and Architecture are more likely to be left-handed than people in the general population (population percent of left-handed students in the College of Arts and Architecture > 10% or p > .10). This is a one-sided alternative hypothesis. ## Example 10.3: Hypotheses with One Sample of One Measurement Variable Section A generic brand of the anti-histamine Diphenhydramine markets a capsule with a 50 milligram dose. The manufacturer is worried that the machine that fills the capsules has come out of calibration and is no longer creating capsules with the appropriate dosage.

• Research Question : Does the data suggest that the population mean dosage of this brand is different than 50 mg?
• Response Variable : dosage of the active ingredient found by a chemical assay.
• Null Hypothesis : On the average, the dosage sold under this brand is 50 mg (population mean dosage = 50 mg).
• Alternative Hypothesis : On the average, the dosage sold under this brand is not 50 mg (population mean dosage ≠ 50 mg). This is a two-sided alternative hypothesis.

## Example 10.4: Hypotheses with Two Samples of One Categorical Variable Section Many people are starting to prefer vegetarian meals on a regular basis. Specifically, a researcher believes that females are more likely than males to eat vegetarian meals on a regular basis.

• Research Question : Does the data suggest that females are more likely than males to eat vegetarian meals on a regular basis?
• Response Variable : Classification of whether or not a person eats vegetarian meals on a regular basis
• Explanatory (Grouping) Variable: Sex
• Null Hypothesis : There is no sex effect regarding those who eat vegetarian meals on a regular basis (population percent of females who eat vegetarian meals on a regular basis = population percent of males who eat vegetarian meals on a regular basis or p females = p males ).
• Alternative Hypothesis : Females are more likely than males to eat vegetarian meals on a regular basis (population percent of females who eat vegetarian meals on a regular basis > population percent of males who eat vegetarian meals on a regular basis or p females > p males ). This is a one-sided alternative hypothesis.

## Example 10.5: Hypotheses with Two Samples of One Measurement Variable Section Obesity is a major health problem today. Research is starting to show that people may be able to lose more weight on a low carbohydrate diet than on a low fat diet.

• Research Question : Does the data suggest that, on the average, people are able to lose more weight on a low carbohydrate diet than on a low fat diet?
• Response Variable : Weight loss (pounds)
• Explanatory (Grouping) Variable : Type of diet
• Null Hypothesis : There is no difference in the mean amount of weight loss when comparing a low carbohydrate diet with a low fat diet (population mean weight loss on a low carbohydrate diet = population mean weight loss on a low fat diet).
• Alternative Hypothesis : The mean weight loss should be greater for those on a low carbohydrate diet when compared with those on a low fat diet (population mean weight loss on a low carbohydrate diet > population mean weight loss on a low fat diet). This is a one-sided alternative hypothesis.

## Example 10.6: Hypotheses about the relationship between Two Categorical Variables Section

• Research Question : Do the odds of having a stroke increase if you inhale second hand smoke ? A case-control study of non-smoking stroke patients and controls of the same age and occupation are asked if someone in their household smokes.
• Variables : There are two different categorical variables (Stroke patient vs control and whether the subject lives in the same household as a smoker). Living with a smoker (or not) is the natural explanatory variable and having a stroke (or not) is the natural response variable in this situation.
• Null Hypothesis : There is no relationship between whether or not a person has a stroke and whether or not a person lives with a smoker (odds ratio between stroke and second-hand smoke situation is = 1).
• Alternative Hypothesis : There is a relationship between whether or not a person has a stroke and whether or not a person lives with a smoker (odds ratio between stroke and second-hand smoke situation is > 1). This is a one-tailed alternative.

This research question might also be addressed like example 11.4 by making the hypotheses about comparing the proportion of stroke patients that live with smokers to the proportion of controls that live with smokers.

## Example 10.7: Hypotheses about the relationship between Two Measurement Variables Section

• Research Question : A financial analyst believes there might be a positive association between the change in a stock's price and the amount of the stock purchased by non-management employees the previous day (stock trading by management being under "insider-trading" regulatory restrictions).
• Variables : Daily price change information (the response variable) and previous day stock purchases by non-management employees (explanatory variable). These are two different measurement variables.
• Null Hypothesis : The correlation between the daily stock price change (\$) and the daily stock purchases by non-management employees (\$) = 0.
• Alternative Hypothesis : The correlation between the daily stock price change (\$) and the daily stock purchases by non-management employees (\$) > 0. This is a one-sided alternative hypothesis.

## Example 10.8: Hypotheses about comparing the relationship between Two Measurement Variables in Two Samples Section • Research Question : Is there a linear relationship between the amount of the bill (\$) at a restaurant and the tip (\$) that was left. Is the strength of this association different for family restaurants than for fine dining restaurants?
• Variables : There are two different measurement variables. The size of the tip would depend on the size of the bill so the amount of the bill would be the explanatory variable and the size of the tip would be the response variable.
• Null Hypothesis : The correlation between the amount of the bill (\$) at a restaurant and the tip (\$) that was left is the same at family restaurants as it is at fine dining restaurants.
• Alternative Hypothesis : The correlation between the amount of the bill (\$) at a restaurant and the tip (\$) that was left is the difference at family restaurants then it is at fine dining restaurants. This is a two-sided alternative hypothesis.

## Null Hypothesis Definition and Examples

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In a scientific experiment, the null hypothesis is the proposition that there is no effect or no relationship between phenomena or populations. If the null hypothesis is true, any observed difference in phenomena or populations would be due to sampling error (random chance) or experimental error. The null hypothesis is useful because it can be tested and found to be false, which then implies that there is a relationship between the observed data. It may be easier to think of it as a nullifiable hypothesis or one that the researcher seeks to nullify. The null hypothesis is also known as the H 0, or no-difference hypothesis.

The alternate hypothesis, H A or H 1 , proposes that observations are influenced by a non-random factor. In an experiment, the alternate hypothesis suggests that the experimental or independent variable has an effect on the dependent variable .

## How to State a Null Hypothesis

There are two ways to state a null hypothesis. One is to state it as a declarative sentence, and the other is to present it as a mathematical statement.

For example, say a researcher suspects that exercise is correlated to weight loss, assuming diet remains unchanged. The average length of time to achieve a certain amount of weight loss is six weeks when a person works out five times a week. The researcher wants to test whether weight loss takes longer to occur if the number of workouts is reduced to three times a week.

The first step to writing the null hypothesis is to find the (alternate) hypothesis. In a word problem like this, you're looking for what you expect to be the outcome of the experiment. In this case, the hypothesis is "I expect weight loss to take longer than six weeks."

This can be written mathematically as: H 1 : μ > 6

In this example, μ is the average.

Now, the null hypothesis is what you expect if this hypothesis does not happen. In this case, if weight loss isn't achieved in greater than six weeks, then it must occur at a time equal to or less than six weeks. This can be written mathematically as:

H 0 : μ ≤ 6

The other way to state the null hypothesis is to make no assumption about the outcome of the experiment. In this case, the null hypothesis is simply that the treatment or change will have no effect on the outcome of the experiment. For this example, it would be that reducing the number of workouts would not affect the time needed to achieve weight loss:

H 0 : μ = 6

• Null Hypothesis Examples

"Hyperactivity is unrelated to eating sugar " is an example of a null hypothesis. If the hypothesis is tested and found to be false, using statistics, then a connection between hyperactivity and sugar ingestion may be indicated. A significance test is the most common statistical test used to establish confidence in a null hypothesis.

Another example of a null hypothesis is "Plant growth rate is unaffected by the presence of cadmium in the soil ." A researcher could test the hypothesis by measuring the growth rate of plants grown in a medium lacking cadmium, compared with the growth rate of plants grown in mediums containing different amounts of cadmium. Disproving the null hypothesis would set the groundwork for further research into the effects of different concentrations of the element in soil.

## Why Test a Null Hypothesis?

You may be wondering why you would want to test a hypothesis just to find it false. Why not just test an alternate hypothesis and find it true? The short answer is that it is part of the scientific method. In science, propositions are not explicitly "proven." Rather, science uses math to determine the probability that a statement is true or false. It turns out it's much easier to disprove a hypothesis than to positively prove one. Also, while the null hypothesis may be simply stated, there's a good chance the alternate hypothesis is incorrect.

For example, if your null hypothesis is that plant growth is unaffected by duration of sunlight, you could state the alternate hypothesis in several different ways. Some of these statements might be incorrect. You could say plants are harmed by more than 12 hours of sunlight or that plants need at least three hours of sunlight, etc. There are clear exceptions to those alternate hypotheses, so if you test the wrong plants, you could reach the wrong conclusion. The null hypothesis is a general statement that can be used to develop an alternate hypothesis, which may or may not be correct.

• What Are Examples of a Hypothesis?
• What Is a Hypothesis? (Science)
• What 'Fail to Reject' Means in a Hypothesis Test
• What Are the Elements of a Good Hypothesis?
• Scientific Hypothesis Examples
• Null Hypothesis and Alternative Hypothesis
• What Is a Control Group?
• Understanding Simple vs Controlled Experiments
• Six Steps of the Scientific Method
• Scientific Method Vocabulary Terms
• Definition of a Hypothesis
• Type I and Type II Errors in Statistics
• An Example of a Hypothesis Test
• How to Conduct a Hypothesis Test
• Hypothesis Test Example

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• 9.1 Null and Alternative Hypotheses
• Introduction
• 1.1 Definitions of Statistics, Probability, and Key Terms
• 1.2 Data, Sampling, and Variation in Data and Sampling
• 1.3 Frequency, Frequency Tables, and Levels of Measurement
• 1.4 Experimental Design and Ethics
• 1.5 Data Collection Experiment
• 1.6 Sampling Experiment
• Chapter Review
• Bringing It Together: Homework
• 2.1 Stem-and-Leaf Graphs (Stemplots), Line Graphs, and Bar Graphs
• 2.2 Histograms, Frequency Polygons, and Time Series Graphs
• 2.3 Measures of the Location of the Data
• 2.4 Box Plots
• 2.5 Measures of the Center of the Data
• 2.6 Skewness and the Mean, Median, and Mode
• 2.7 Measures of the Spread of the Data
• 2.8 Descriptive Statistics
• Formula Review
• 3.1 Terminology
• 3.2 Independent and Mutually Exclusive Events
• 3.3 Two Basic Rules of Probability
• 3.4 Contingency Tables
• 3.5 Tree and Venn Diagrams
• 3.6 Probability Topics
• Bringing It Together: Practice
• 4.1 Probability Distribution Function (PDF) for a Discrete Random Variable
• 4.2 Mean or Expected Value and Standard Deviation
• 4.3 Binomial Distribution (Optional)
• 4.4 Geometric Distribution (Optional)
• 4.5 Hypergeometric Distribution (Optional)
• 4.6 Poisson Distribution (Optional)
• 4.7 Discrete Distribution (Playing Card Experiment)
• 4.8 Discrete Distribution (Lucky Dice Experiment)
• 5.1 Continuous Probability Functions
• 5.2 The Uniform Distribution
• 5.3 The Exponential Distribution (Optional)
• 5.4 Continuous Distribution
• 6.1 The Standard Normal Distribution
• 6.2 Using the Normal Distribution
• 6.3 Normal Distribution—Lap Times
• 6.4 Normal Distribution—Pinkie Length
• 7.1 The Central Limit Theorem for Sample Means (Averages)
• 7.2 The Central Limit Theorem for Sums (Optional)
• 7.3 Using the Central Limit Theorem
• 7.4 Central Limit Theorem (Pocket Change)
• 7.5 Central Limit Theorem (Cookie Recipes)
• 8.1 A Single Population Mean Using the Normal Distribution
• 8.2 A Single Population Mean Using the Student's t-Distribution
• 8.3 A Population Proportion
• 8.4 Confidence Interval (Home Costs)
• 8.5 Confidence Interval (Place of Birth)
• 8.6 Confidence Interval (Women's Heights)
• 9.2 Outcomes and the Type I and Type II Errors
• 9.3 Distribution Needed for Hypothesis Testing
• 9.4 Rare Events, the Sample, and the Decision and Conclusion
• 9.5 Additional Information and Full Hypothesis Test Examples
• 9.6 Hypothesis Testing of a Single Mean and Single Proportion
• 10.1 Two Population Means with Unknown Standard Deviations
• 10.2 Two Population Means with Known Standard Deviations
• 10.3 Comparing Two Independent Population Proportions
• 10.4 Matched or Paired Samples (Optional)
• 10.5 Hypothesis Testing for Two Means and Two Proportions
• 11.1 Facts About the Chi-Square Distribution
• 11.2 Goodness-of-Fit Test
• 11.3 Test of Independence
• 11.4 Test for Homogeneity
• 11.5 Comparison of the Chi-Square Tests
• 11.6 Test of a Single Variance
• 11.7 Lab 1: Chi-Square Goodness-of-Fit
• 11.8 Lab 2: Chi-Square Test of Independence
• 12.1 Linear Equations
• 12.2 The Regression Equation
• 12.3 Testing the Significance of the Correlation Coefficient (Optional)
• 12.4 Prediction (Optional)
• 12.5 Outliers
• 12.6 Regression (Distance from School) (Optional)
• 12.7 Regression (Textbook Cost) (Optional)
• 12.8 Regression (Fuel Efficiency) (Optional)
• 13.1 One-Way ANOVA
• 13.2 The F Distribution and the F Ratio
• 13.3 Facts About the F Distribution
• 13.4 Test of Two Variances
• 13.5 Lab: One-Way ANOVA
• A | Appendix A Review Exercises (Ch 3–13)
• B | Appendix B Practice Tests (1–4) and Final Exams
• C | Data Sets
• D | Group and Partner Projects
• E | Solution Sheets
• F | Mathematical Phrases, Symbols, and Formulas
• G | Notes for the TI-83, 83+, 84, 84+ Calculators

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.

H a —, the alternative hypothesis: 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 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 percent of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. p ≤ 30 H a : More than 30 percent 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 percent. State the null and alternative hypotheses.

## 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 the following: 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 fewer than five years to graduate from college, on the average. The null and alternative hypotheses are the following: 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

## Example 9.4

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

On a state driver’s test, about 40 percent pass the test on the first try. We want to test if more than 40 percent 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

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.

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## How to Write a Great Hypothesis

Hypothesis Format, Examples, and Tips

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book." Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time. Verywell / Alex Dos Diaz

• The Scientific Method

## Hypothesis Format

Falsifiability of a hypothesis, operational definitions, types of hypotheses, hypotheses examples.

• Collecting Data

A hypothesis is a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more  variables. It is a specific, testable prediction about what you expect to happen in a study.

One hypothesis example would be a study designed to look at the relationship between sleep deprivation and test performance might have a hypothesis that states: "This study is designed to assess the hypothesis that sleep-deprived people will perform worse on a test than individuals who are not sleep-deprived."

This article explores how a hypothesis is used in psychology research, how to write a good hypothesis, and the different types of hypotheses you might use.

## The Hypothesis in the Scientific Method

In the scientific method , whether it involves research in psychology, biology, or some other area, a hypothesis represents what the researchers think will happen in an experiment. The scientific method involves the following steps:

• Forming a question
• Performing background research
• Creating a hypothesis
• Designing an experiment
• Collecting data
• Analyzing the results
• Drawing conclusions
• Communicating the results

The hypothesis is a prediction, but it involves more than a guess. Most of the time, the hypothesis begins with a question which is then explored through background research. It is only at this point that researchers begin to develop a testable hypothesis. Unless you are creating an exploratory study, your hypothesis should always explain what you  expect  to happen.

In a study exploring the effects of a particular drug, the hypothesis might be that researchers expect the drug to have some type of effect on the symptoms of a specific illness. In psychology, the hypothesis might focus on how a certain aspect of the environment might influence a particular behavior.

Remember, a hypothesis does not have to be correct. While the hypothesis predicts what the researchers expect to see, the goal of the research is to determine whether this guess is right or wrong. When conducting an experiment, researchers might explore a number of factors to determine which ones might contribute to the ultimate outcome.

In many cases, researchers may find that the results of an experiment  do not  support the original hypothesis. When writing up these results, the researchers might suggest other options that should be explored in future studies.

In many cases, researchers might draw a hypothesis from a specific theory or build on previous research. For example, prior research has shown that stress can impact the immune system. So a researcher might hypothesize: "People with high-stress levels will be more likely to contract a common cold after being exposed to the virus than people who have low-stress levels."

In other instances, researchers might look at commonly held beliefs or folk wisdom. "Birds of a feather flock together" is one example of folk wisdom that a psychologist might try to investigate. The researcher might pose a specific hypothesis that "People tend to select romantic partners who are similar to them in interests and educational level."

## Elements of a Good Hypothesis

So how do you write a good hypothesis? When trying to come up with a hypothesis for your research or experiments, ask yourself the following questions:

• Can your hypothesis be tested?
• Does your hypothesis include independent and dependent variables?

Before you come up with a specific hypothesis, spend some time doing background research. Once you have completed a literature review, start thinking about potential questions you still have. Pay attention to the discussion section in the  journal articles you read . Many authors will suggest questions that still need to be explored.

To form a hypothesis, you should take these steps:

• Collect as many observations about a topic or problem as you can.
• Evaluate these observations and look for possible causes of the problem.
• Create a list of possible explanations that you might want to explore.
• After you have developed some possible hypotheses, think of ways that you could confirm or disprove each hypothesis through experimentation. This is known as falsifiability.

In the scientific method ,  falsifiability is an important part of any valid hypothesis. ﻿ ﻿ In order to test a claim scientifically, it must be possible that the claim could be proven false.

Students sometimes confuse the idea of falsifiability with the idea that it means that something is false, which is not the case. What falsifiability means is that  if  something was false, then it is possible to demonstrate that it is false.

One of the hallmarks of pseudoscience is that it makes claims that cannot be refuted or proven false.

A variable is a factor or element that can be changed and manipulated in ways that are observable and measurable. However, the researcher must also define how the variable will be manipulated and measured in the study.

For example, a researcher might operationally define the variable " test anxiety " as the results of a self-report measure of anxiety experienced during an exam. A "study habits" variable might be defined by the amount of studying that actually occurs as measured by time.

These precise descriptions are important because many things can be measured in a number of different ways. One of the basic principles of any type of scientific research is that the results must be replicable. ﻿ ﻿ By clearly detailing the specifics of how the variables were measured and manipulated, other researchers can better understand the results and repeat the study if needed.

Some variables are more difficult than others to define. How would you operationally define a variable such as aggression ? For obvious ethical reasons, researchers cannot create a situation in which a person behaves aggressively toward others.

In order to measure this variable, the researcher must devise a measurement that assesses aggressive behavior without harming other people. In this situation, the researcher might utilize a simulated task to measure aggressiveness.

## Hypothesis Checklist

• Does your hypothesis focus on something that you can actually test?
• Does your hypothesis include both an independent and dependent variable?
• Can you manipulate the variables?
• Can your hypothesis be tested without violating ethical standards?

The hypothesis you use will depend on what you are investigating and hoping to find. Some of the main types of hypotheses that you might use include:

• Simple hypothesis : This type of hypothesis suggests that there is a relationship between one independent variable and one dependent variable.
• Complex hypothesis : This type of hypothesis suggests a relationship between three or more variables, such as two independent variables and a dependent variable.
• Null hypothesis : This hypothesis suggests no relationship exists between two or more variables.
• Alternative hypothesis : This hypothesis states the opposite of the null hypothesis.
• Statistical hypothesis : This hypothesis uses statistical analysis to evaluate a representative sample of the population and then generalizes the findings to the larger group.
• Logical hypothesis : This hypothesis assumes a relationship between variables without collecting data or evidence.

A hypothesis often follows a basic format of "If {this happens} then {this will happen}." One way to structure your hypothesis is to describe what will happen to the  dependent variable  if you change the  independent variable .

The basic format might be: "If {these changes are made to a certain independent variable}, then we will observe {a change in a specific dependent variable}."

## A few examples of simple hypotheses:

• "Students who eat breakfast will perform better on a math exam than students who do not eat breakfast."
• Complex hypothesis: "Students who experience test anxiety before an English exam will get lower scores than students who do not experience test anxiety."​
• "Motorists who talk on the phone while driving will be more likely to make errors on a driving course than those who do not talk on the phone."

## Examples of a complex hypothesis include:

• "People with high-sugar diets and sedentary activity levels are more likely to develop depression."
• "Younger people who are regularly exposed to green, outdoor areas have better subjective well-being than older adults who have limited exposure to green spaces."

## Examples of a null hypothesis include:

• "Children who receive a new reading intervention will have scores different than students who do not receive the intervention."
• "There will be no difference in scores on a memory recall task between children and adults."

## Examples of an alternative hypothesis:

• "Children who receive a new reading intervention will perform better than students who did not receive the intervention."

## Collecting Data on Your Hypothesis

Once a researcher has formed a testable hypothesis, the next step is to select a research design and start collecting data. The research method depends largely on exactly what they are studying. There are two basic types of research methods: descriptive research and experimental research.

## Descriptive Research Methods

Descriptive research such as  case studies ,  naturalistic observations , and surveys are often used when it would be impossible or difficult to  conduct an experiment . These methods are best used to describe different aspects of a behavior or psychological phenomenon.

Once a researcher has collected data using descriptive methods, a correlational study can then be used to look at how the variables are related. This type of research method might be used to investigate a hypothesis that is difficult to test experimentally.

## Experimental Research Methods

Experimental methods  are used to demonstrate causal relationships between variables. In an experiment, the researcher systematically manipulates a variable of interest (known as the independent variable) and measures the effect on another variable (known as the dependent variable).

Unlike correlational studies, which can only be used to determine if there is a relationship between two variables, experimental methods can be used to determine the actual nature of the relationship—whether changes in one variable actually  cause  another to change.

## A Word From Verywell

The hypothesis is a critical part of any scientific exploration. It represents what researchers expect to find in a study or experiment. In situations where the hypothesis is unsupported by the research, the research still has value. Such research helps us better understand how different aspects of the natural world relate to one another. It also helps us develop new hypotheses that can then be tested in the future.

Some examples of how to write a hypothesis include:

• "Staying up late will lead to worse test performance the next day."
• "People who consume one apple each day will visit the doctor fewer times each year."
• "Breaking study sessions up into three 20-minute sessions will lead to better test results than a single 60-minute study session."

The four parts of a hypothesis are:

• The research question
• The independent variable (IV)
• The dependent variable (DV)
• The proposed relationship between the IV and DV

Castillo M. The scientific method: a need for something better? . AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2013;34(9):1669-71. doi:10.3174/ajnr.A3401

Nevid J. Psychology: Concepts and Applications. Wadworth, 2013.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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## Hypothesis Examples A hypothesis is a prediction of the outcome of a test. It forms the basis for designing an experiment in the scientific method . A good hypothesis is testable, meaning it makes a prediction you can check with observation or experimentation. Here are different hypothesis examples.

## Null Hypothesis Examples

The null hypothesis (H 0 ) is also known as the zero-difference or no-difference hypothesis. It predicts that changing one variable ( independent variable ) will have no effect on the variable being measured ( dependent variable ). Here are null hypothesis examples:

• Plant growth is unaffected by temperature.
• If you increase temperature, then solubility of salt will increase.
• Incidence of skin cancer is unrelated to ultraviolet light exposure.
• All brands of light bulb last equally long.
• Cats have no preference for the color of cat food.
• All daisies have the same number of petals.

Sometimes the null hypothesis shows there is a suspected correlation between two variables. For example, if you think plant growth is affected by temperature, you state the null hypothesis: “Plant growth is not affected by temperature.” Why do you do this, rather than say “If you change temperature, plant growth will be affected”? The answer is because it’s easier applying a statistical test that shows, with a high level of confidence, a null hypothesis is correct or incorrect.

## Research Hypothesis Examples

A research hypothesis (H 1 ) is a type of hypothesis used to design an experiment. This type of hypothesis is often written as an if-then statement because it’s easy identifying the independent and dependent variables and seeing how one affects the other. If-then statements explore cause and effect. In other cases, the hypothesis shows a correlation between two variables. Here are some research hypothesis examples:

• If you leave the lights on, then it takes longer for people to fall asleep.
• If you refrigerate apples, they last longer before going bad.
• If you keep the curtains closed, then you need less electricity to heat or cool the house (the electric bill is lower).
• If you leave a bucket of water uncovered, then it evaporates more quickly.
• Goldfish lose their color if they are not exposed to light.
• Workers who take vacations are more productive than those who never take time off.

## Is It Okay to Disprove a Hypothesis?

Yes! You may even choose to write your hypothesis in such a way that it can be disproved because it’s easier to prove a statement is wrong than to prove it is right. In other cases, if your prediction is incorrect, that doesn’t mean the science is bad. Revising a hypothesis is common. It demonstrates you learned something you did not know before you conducted the experiment.

Test yourself with a Scientific Method Quiz .

• Mellenbergh, G.J. (2008). Chapter 8: Research designs: Testing of research hypotheses. In H.J. Adèr & G.J. Mellenbergh (eds.), Advising on Research Methods: A Consultant’s Companion . Huizen, The Netherlands: Johannes van Kessel Publishing.
• Popper, Karl R. (1959). The Logic of Scientific Discovery . Hutchinson & Co. ISBN 3-1614-8410-X.
• Schick, Theodore; Vaughn, Lewis (2002). How to think about weird things: critical thinking for a New Age . Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education. ISBN 0-7674-2048-9.
• Tobi, Hilde; Kampen, Jarl K. (2018). “Research design: the methodology for interdisciplinary research framework”. Quality & Quantity . 52 (3): 1209–1225. doi: 10.1007/s11135-017-0513-8

## Research Hypothesis In Psychology: Types, & Examples

Saul Mcleod, PhD

Educator, Researcher

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MRes, PhD, University of Manchester

Saul Mcleod, Ph.D., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years experience of working in further and higher education. He has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Olivia Guy-Evans, MSc

Associate Editor for Simply Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MSc Psychology of Education

Olivia Guy-Evans is a writer and associate editor for Simply Psychology. She has previously worked in healthcare and educational sectors.

A research hypothesis, in its plural form “hypotheses,” is a specific, testable prediction about the anticipated results of a study, established at its outset.

The research hypothesis is often referred to as the alternative hypothesis, or the “experimental hypothesis” in experimental research.

It typically suggests a potential relationship between two key variables: the independent variable, which the researcher manipulates, and the dependent variable, which is measured based on those changes.

For a hypothesis to be valid, it must be testable against empirical evidence, leading to its potential confirmation or refutation.

## Types of Research Hypotheses

Alternative hypothesis.

The alternative hypothesis states a relationship exists between the two variables being studied (one variable has an effect on the other).

An experimental hypothesis predicts what change(s) will occur in the dependent variable when the independent variable is manipulated.

It states that the results are not due to chance and are significant in supporting the theory being investigated.

The alternative hypothesis can be directional, indicating a specific direction of the effect, or non-directional, suggesting a difference without specifying its nature. It’s what researchers aim to support or demonstrate through their study.

## Null Hypothesis

The null hypothesis states no relationship exists between the two variables being studied (one variable does not affect the other). There will be no changes in the dependent variable due to manipulating the independent variable.

It states results are due to chance and are not significant in supporting the idea being investigated.

The null hypothesis, positing no effect or relationship, is a foundational contrast to the research hypothesis in scientific inquiry. It establishes a baseline for statistical testing, promoting objectivity by initiating research from a neutral stance.

Many statistical methods are tailored to test the null hypothesis, determining the likelihood of observed results if no true effect exists.

This dual-hypothesis approach provides clarity, ensuring that research intentions are explicit, and fosters consistency across scientific studies, enhancing the standardization and interpretability of research outcomes.

## Nondirectional Hypothesis

A non-directional hypothesis, also known as a two-tailed hypothesis, predicts that there is a difference or relationship between two variables but does not specify the direction of this relationship.

It merely indicates that a change or effect will occur without predicting which group will have higher or lower values.

For example, “There is a difference in performance between Group A and Group B” is a non-directional hypothesis.

## Directional Hypothesis

A directional (one-tailed) hypothesis predicts the nature of the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable. It predicts in which direction the change will take place. (i.e., greater, smaller, less, more)

It specifies whether one variable is greater, lesser, or different from another, rather than just indicating that there’s a difference without specifying its nature.

For example, “Exercise increases weight loss” is a directional hypothesis. ## Falsifiability

The Falsification Principle, proposed by Karl Popper , is a way of demarcating science from non-science. It suggests that for a theory or hypothesis to be considered scientific, it must be testable and irrefutable.

Falsifiability emphasizes that scientific claims shouldn’t just be confirmable but should also have the potential to be proven wrong.

It means that there should exist some potential evidence or experiment that could prove the proposition false.

However many confirming instances exist for a theory, it only takes one counter observation to falsify it. For example, the hypothesis that “all swans are white,” can be falsified by observing a black swan.

For Popper, science should attempt to disprove a theory rather than attempt to continually provide evidence to support a research hypothesis.

## Can a Hypothesis be Proven?

We can never 100% prove the alternative hypothesis. Instead, we see if we can disprove, or reject the null hypothesis.

If we reject the null hypothesis, this doesn’t mean that our alternative hypothesis is correct but does support the alternative/experimental hypothesis.

Upon analysis of the results, an alternative hypothesis can be rejected or supported, but it can never be proven to be correct. We must avoid any reference to results proving a theory as this implies 100% certainty, and there is always a chance that evidence may exist which could refute a theory.

## How to Write a Hypothesis

• Identify variables . The researcher manipulates the independent variable and the dependent variable is the measured outcome.
• Operationalized the variables being investigated . Operationalization of a hypothesis refers to the process of making the variables physically measurable or testable, e.g. if you are about to study aggression, you might count the number of punches given by participants.
• Decide on a direction for your prediction . If there is evidence in the literature to support a specific effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable, write a directional (one-tailed) hypothesis. If there are limited or ambiguous findings in the literature regarding the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable, write a non-directional (two-tailed) hypothesis.
• Make it Testable : Ensure your hypothesis can be tested through experimentation or observation. It should be possible to prove it false (principle of falsifiability).
• Clear & concise language . A strong hypothesis is concise (typically one to two sentences long), and formulated using clear and straightforward language, ensuring it’s easily understood and testable.

Consider a hypothesis many teachers might subscribe to: students work better on Monday morning than on Friday afternoon (IV=Day, DV= Standard of work).

Now, if we decide to study this by giving the same group of students a lesson on a Monday morning and a Friday afternoon and then measuring their immediate recall of the material covered in each session, we would end up with the following:

• The alternative hypothesis states that students will recall significantly more information on a Monday morning than on a Friday afternoon.
• The null hypothesis states that there will be no significant difference in the amount recalled on a Monday morning compared to a Friday afternoon. Any difference will be due to chance or confounding factors.

## More Examples

• Memory : Participants exposed to classical music during study sessions will recall more items from a list than those who studied in silence.
• Social Psychology : Individuals who frequently engage in social media use will report higher levels of perceived social isolation compared to those who use it infrequently.
• Developmental Psychology : Children who engage in regular imaginative play have better problem-solving skills than those who don’t.
• Clinical Psychology : Cognitive-behavioral therapy will be more effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety over a 6-month period compared to traditional talk therapy.
• Cognitive Psychology : Individuals who multitask between various electronic devices will have shorter attention spans on focused tasks than those who single-task.
• Health Psychology : Patients who practice mindfulness meditation will experience lower levels of chronic pain compared to those who don’t meditate.
• Organizational Psychology : Employees in open-plan offices will report higher levels of stress than those in private offices.
• Behavioral Psychology : Rats rewarded with food after pressing a lever will press it more frequently than rats who receive no reward. ## Null Hypothesis

Null hypothesis is used to make decisions based on data and by using statistical tests. Null hypothesis is represented using H o and it states that there is no difference between the characteristics of two samples. Null hypothesis is generally a statement of no difference. The rejection of null hypothesis is equivalent to the acceptance of the alternate hypothesis.

Let us learn more about null hypotheses, tests for null hypotheses, the difference between null hypothesis and alternate hypothesis, with the help of examples, FAQs.

## What Is Null Hypothesis?

Null hypothesis states that there is no significant difference between the observed characteristics across two sample sets. Null hypothesis states the observed population parameters or variables is the same across the samples. The null hypothesis states that there is no relationship between the sample parameters, the independent variable, and the dependent variable. The term null hypothesis is used in instances to mean that there is no differences in the two means, or that the difference is not so significant. If the experimental outcome is the same as the theoretical outcome then the null hypothesis holds good. But if there are any differences in the observed parameters across the samples then the null hypothesis is rejected, and we consider an alternate hypothesis. The rejection of the null hypothesis does not mean that there were flaws in the basic experimentation, but it sets the stage for further research. Generally, the strength of the evidence is tested against the null hypothesis.

Null hypothesis and alternate hypothesis are the two approaches used across statistics. The alternate hypothesis states that there is a significant difference between the parameters across the samples. The alternate hypothesis is the inverse of null hypothesis. An important reason to reject the null hypothesis and consider the alternate hypothesis is due to experimental or sampling errors.

## Tests For Null Hypothesis

The two important approaches of statistical interference of null hypothesis are significance testing and hypothesis testing. The null hypothesis is a theoretical hypothesis and is based on insufficient evidence, which requires further testing to prove if it is true or false.

## Significance Testing

The aim of significance testing is to provide evidence to reject the null hypothesis. If the difference is strong enough then reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternate hypothesis. The testing is designed to test the strength of the evidence against the hypothesis. The four important steps of significance testing are as follows.

• First state the null and alternate hypotheses.
• Calculate the test statistics.
• Find the p-value.
• Test the p-value with the α and decide if the null hypothesis should be rejected or accepted.

If the p-value is lesser than the significance level α, then the null hypothesis is rejected. And if the p-value is greater than the significance level α, then the null hypothesis is accepted.

• Hypothesis Testing

Hypothesis testing takes the parameters from the sample and makes a derivation about the population. A hypothesis is an educated guess about a sample, which can be tested either through an experiment or an observation. Initially, a tentative assumption is made about the sample in the form of a null hypothesis.

There are four steps to perform hypothesis testing. They are:

• Identify the null hypothesis.
• Define the null hypothesis statement.
• Choose the test to be performed.
• Accept the null hypothesis or the alternate hypothesis.

There are often errors in the process of testing the hypothesis. The two important errors observed in hypothesis testing is as follows.

• Type - I error is rejecting the null hypothesis when the null hypothesis is actually true.
• Type - II error is accepting the null hypothesis when the null hypothesis is actually false.

## Difference Between Null Hypothesis And Alternate Hypothesis

The difference between null hypothesis and alternate hypothesis can be understood through the following points.

• The opposite of the null hypothesis is the alternate hypothesis and it is the claim which is being proved by research to be true.
• The null hypothesis states that the two samples of the population are the same, and the alternate hypothesis states that there is a significant difference between the two samples of the population.
• The null hypothesis is designated as H o and the alternate hypothesis is designated as H a .
• For the null hypothesis, the same means are assumed to be equal, and we have H 0 : µ 1 = µ 2. And for the alternate hypothesis, the sample means are unequal, and we have H a : µ 1 ≠ µ 2.
• The observed population parameters and variables are the same across the samples, for a null hypothesis, but in an alternate hypothesis, there is a significant difference between the observed parameters and variables across the samples.

☛ Related Topics

The following topics help in a better understanding of the null hypothesis.

• Probability and Statistics
• Basic Statistics Formula
• Sample Space

## Examples on Null Hypothesis

Example 1: A medical experiment and trial is conducted to check if a particular drug can serve as the vaccine for Covid-19, and can prevent from occurrence of Corona. Write the null hypothesis and the alternate hypothesis for this situation.

The given situation refers to a possible new drug and its effectiveness of being a vaccine for Covid-19 or not. The null hypothesis (H o ) and alternate hypothesis (H a ) for this medical experiment is as follows.

• H 0 : The use of the new drug is not helpful for the prevention of Covid-19.
• H a : The use of the new drug serves as a vaccine and helps for the prevention of Covid-19.

Example 2: The teacher has prepared a set of important questions and informs the student that preparing these questions helps in scoring more than 60% marks in the board exams. Write the null hypothesis and the alternate hypothesis for this situation.

The given situation refers to the teacher who has claimed that her important questions helps to score more than 60% marks in the board exams. The null hypothesis(H o ) and alternate hypothesis(H a ) for this situation is as follows.

• H o : The important questions given by the teacher does not really help the students to get a score of more than 60% in the board exams.
• H a : The important questions given by the teacher is helpful for the students to score more than 60% marks in the board exams.

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## Practice Questions on Null Hypothesis

Faqs on null hypothesis, what is null hypothesis in maths.

Null hypothesis is used in statistics and it states if there is any significant difference between the two samples. The acceptance of null hypothesis mean that there is no significant difference between the two samples. And the rejection of null hypothesis means that the two samples are different, and we need to accept the alternate hypothesis. The null hypothesis statement is represented as H 0 and the alternate hypothesis is represented as H a .

## How Do You Test Null Hypothesis?

The null hypothesis is broadly tested using two methods. The null hypothesis can be tested using significance testing and hypothesis testing.Broadly the test for null hypothesis is performed across four stages. First the null hypothesis is identified, secondly the null hypothesis is defined. Next a suitable test is used to test the hypothesis, and finally either the null hypothesis or the alternate hypothesis is accepted.

## How To Accept or Reject Null Hypothesis?

The null hypothesis is accepted or rejected based on the result of the hypothesis testing. The p value is found and the significance level is defined. If the p-value is lesser than the significance level α, then the null hypothesis is rejected. And if the p-value is greater than the significance level α, then the null hypothesis is accepted.

## What Is the Difference Between Null Hypothesis And Alternate Hypothesis?

The null hypothesis states that there is no significant difference between the two samples, and the alternate hypothesis states that there is a significant difference between the two samples. The null hypothesis is referred using H o and the alternate hypothesis is referred using H a . As per null hypothesis the observed variables and parameters are the same across the samples, but as per alternate hypothesis there is a significant difference between the observed variables and parameters across the samples.

## What Is Null Hypothesis Example?

A few quick examples of null hypothesis are as follows.

• The salary of a person is independent of his profession, is an example of null hypothesis. And the salary is dependent on the profession of a person, is an alternate hypothesis.
• The performance of the students in Maths from two different classes is a null hypothesis. And the performance of the students from each of the classes is different, is an example of alternate hypothesis.
• The nutrient content of mango and a mango milk shake is equal and it can be taken as a null hypothesis. The test to prove the different nutrient content of the two is referred to as alternate hypothesis.
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## What Is a Null Hypothesis?

How a null hypothesis works, the alternative hypothesis, examples of a null hypothesis.

• Null Hypothesis and Investments
• Null Hypothesis FAQs
• Corporate Finance
• Financial Ratios

## Null Hypothesis: What Is It and How Is It Used in Investing?

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. A null hypothesis is a type of statistical hypothesis that proposes that no statistical significance exists in a set of given observations. Hypothesis testing is used to assess the credibility of a hypothesis by using sample data. Sometimes referred to simply as the "null," it is represented as H 0 .

The null hypothesis, also known as the conjecture, is used in quantitative analysis to test theories about markets, investing strategies, or economies to decide if an idea is true or false.

## Key Takeaways

• A null hypothesis is a type of conjecture in statistics that proposes that there is no difference between certain characteristics of a population or data-generating process.
• The alternative hypothesis proposes that there is a difference.
• Hypothesis testing provides a method to reject a null hypothesis within a certain confidence level.
• If you can reject the null hypothesis, it provides support for the alternative hypothesis.
• Null hypothesis testing is the basis of the principle of falsification in science.

Investopedia / Alex Dos Diaz

A null hypothesis is a type of conjecture in statistics that proposes that there is no difference between certain characteristics of a population or data-generating process. For example, a gambler may be interested in whether a game of chance is fair. If it is fair, then the expected earnings per play come to zero for both players. If the game is not fair, then the expected earnings are positive for one player and negative for the other. To test whether the game is fair, the gambler collects earnings data from many repetitions of the game, calculates the average earnings from these data, then tests the null hypothesis that the expected earnings are not different from zero.

If the average earnings from the sample data are sufficiently far from zero, then the gambler will reject the null hypothesis and conclude the alternative hypothesis—namely, that the expected earnings per play are different from zero. If the average earnings from the sample data are near zero, then the gambler will not reject the null hypothesis, concluding instead that the difference between the average from the data and zero is explainable by chance alone.

The null hypothesis assumes that any kind of difference between the chosen characteristics that you see in a set of data is due to chance. For example, if the expected earnings for the gambling game are truly equal to zero, then any difference between the average earnings in the data and zero is due to chance.

Analysts look to reject   the null hypothesis because doing so is a strong conclusion. This requires strong evidence in the form of an observed difference that is too large to be explained solely by chance. Failing to reject the null hypothesis—that the results are explainable by chance alone—is a weak conclusion because it allows that factors other than chance may be at work but may not be strong enough for the statistical test to detect them.

A null hypothesis can only be rejected, not proven.

An important point to note is that we are testing the null hypothesis because there is an element of doubt about its validity. Whatever information that is against the stated null hypothesis is captured in the alternative (alternate) hypothesis (H1).

For the above examples, the alternative hypothesis would be:

• Students score an average that is  not  equal to seven.
• The mean annual return of the mutual fund is  not  equal to 8% per year.

In other words, the alternative hypothesis is a direct contradiction of the null hypothesis.

Here is a simple example: A school principal claims that students in her school score an average of seven out of 10 in exams. The null hypothesis is that the population mean is 7.0. To test this null hypothesis, we record marks of, say, 30 students (sample) from the entire student population of the school (say 300) and calculate the mean of that sample.

We can then compare the (calculated) sample mean to the (hypothesized) population mean of 7.0 and attempt to reject the null hypothesis. (The null hypothesis here—that the population mean is 7.0—cannot be proved using the sample data. It can only be rejected.)

Take another example: The annual return of a particular  mutual fund  is claimed to be 8%. Assume that a mutual fund has been in existence for 20 years. The null hypothesis is that the mean return is 8% for the mutual fund. We take a random sample of annual returns of the mutual fund for, say, five years (sample) and calculate the sample mean. We then compare the (calculated) sample mean to the (claimed) population mean (8%) to test the null hypothesis.

For the above examples, null hypotheses are:

• Example A : Students in the school score an average of seven out of 10 in exams.
• Example B: Mean annual return of the mutual fund is 8% per year.

For the purposes of determining whether to reject the null hypothesis, the null hypothesis (abbreviated H 0 ) is assumed, for the sake of argument, to be true. Then the likely range of possible values of the calculated statistic (e.g., the average score on 30 students’ tests) is determined under this presumption (e.g., the range of plausible averages might range from 6.2 to 7.8 if the population mean is 7.0). Then, if the sample average is outside of this range, the null hypothesis is rejected. Otherwise, the difference is said to be “explainable by chance alone,” being within the range that is determined by chance alone.

## How Null Hypothesis Testing Is Used in Investments

As an example related to financial markets, assume Alice sees that her investment strategy produces higher average returns than simply buying and holding a stock . The null hypothesis states that there is no difference between the two average returns, and Alice is inclined to believe this until she can conclude contradictory results.

Refuting the null hypothesis would require showing statistical significance, which can be found by a variety of tests. The alternative hypothesis would state that the investment strategy has a higher average return than a traditional buy-and-hold strategy.

One tool that can determine the statistical significance of the results is the p-value. A p-value represents the probability that a difference as large or larger than the observed difference between the two average returns could occur solely by chance.

A p-value that is less than or equal to 0.05 often indicates whether there is evidence against the null hypothesis. If Alice conducts one of these tests, such as a test using the normal model, resulting in a significant difference between her returns and the buy-and-hold returns (the p-value is less than or equal to 0.05), she can then reject the null hypothesis and conclude the alternative hypothesis.

## How Is the Null Hypothesis Identified?

The analyst or researcher establishes a null hypothesis based on the research question or problem that they are trying to answer. Depending on the question, the null may be identified differently. For example, if the question is simply whether an effect exists (e.g., does X influence Y?) the null hypothesis could be H 0 : X = 0. If the question is instead, is X the same as Y, the H0 would be X = Y. If it is that the effect of X on Y is positive, H0 would be X > 0. If the resulting analysis shows an effect that is statistically significantly different from zero, the null can be rejected.

## How Is Null Hypothesis Used in Finance?

In finance, a null hypothesis is used in quantitative analysis. A null hypothesis tests the premise of an investing strategy, the markets, or an economy to determine if it is true or false. For instance, an analyst may want to see if two stocks, ABC and XYZ, are closely correlated. The null hypothesis would be ABC ≠ XYZ.

## How Are Statistical Hypotheses Tested?

Statistical hypotheses are tested by a four-step process . The first step is for the analyst to state the two hypotheses so that only one can be right. The next 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 physically analyze the sample data. The fourth and final step is to analyze the results and either reject the null hypothesis or claim that the observed differences are explainable by chance alone.

## What Is an Alternative Hypothesis?

An alternative hypothesis is a direct contradiction of a null hypothesis. This means that if one of the two hypotheses is true, the other is false.

Sage Publishing. " Chapter 8: Introduction to Hypothesis Testing ," Pages 4–7.

Sage Publishing. " Chapter 8: Introduction to Hypothesis Testing ," Page 4.

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1. Hypothesis Testing: Null and Alternative Hypotheses

2. Understanding the Null Hypothesis

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1. How to Write a Null Hypothesis (5 Examples)

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.

2. Examples of the Null Hypothesis

Null Hypothesis Examples. The null hypothesis —which assumes that there is no meaningful relationship between two variables—may be the most valuable hypothesis for the scientific method because it is the easiest to test using a statistical analysis. This means you can support your hypothesis with a high level of confidence.

3. Null & 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 ( H0) answers "No, there's no effect in the population.". The alternative hypothesis ( Ha) answers "Yes, there is an effect in the ...

4. Null Hypothesis: Definition, Rejecting & Examples

When your sample contains sufficient evidence, you can reject the null and conclude that the effect is statistically significant. Statisticians often denote the null hypothesis as H 0 or H A.. Null Hypothesis H 0: No effect exists in the population.; Alternative Hypothesis H A: The effect exists in the population.; In every study or experiment, researchers assess an effect or relationship.

5. Examples of null and alternative hypotheses

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.

6. How to Write a Strong 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.

7. How to Write a Null Hypothesis (with Examples and Templates)

Write a statistical null hypothesis as a mathematical equation, such as. μ 1 = μ 2 {\displaystyle \mu _ {1}=\mu _ {2}} if you're comparing group means. Adjust the format of your null hypothesis to match the statistical method you used to test it, such as using "mean" if you're comparing the mean between 2 groups.

8. Null and Alternative Hypotheses

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 ...

9. 9.1: Null and Alternative Hypotheses

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.

10. Null Hypothesis Definition and Examples, 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.

11. Null Hypothesis Examples

An example of the null hypothesis is that light color has no effect on plant growth. The null hypothesis (H 0) is the hypothesis that states there is no statistical difference between two sample sets. In other words, it assumes the independent variable does not have an effect on the dependent variable in a scientific experiment.

12. How to Write a Strong Hypothesis

Step 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. If a first-year student starts attending more lectures, then their exam scores will improve.

13. 10.1

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 ...

14. Null Hypothesis Definition and Examples

Null Hypothesis Examples. "Hyperactivity is unrelated to eating sugar " is an example of a null hypothesis. If the hypothesis is tested and found to be false, using statistics, then a connection between hyperactivity and sugar ingestion may be indicated. A significance test is the most common statistical test used to establish confidence in a ...

15. Null hypothesis

The null hypothesis is a default hypothesis that a quantity to be measured is zero (null). Typically, the quantity to be measured is the difference between two situations. For instance, trying to determine if there is a positive proof that an effect has occurred or that samples derive from different batches.

16. 14 Examples of a Null Hypothesis

A null hypothesis is a prediction that there is no relationship between variables. This is an important assumption for scientific inquiry as it requires any relationships between independent and dependent variables to be proven as opposed to assumed. The following are illustrative examples of a null hypothesis.

17. 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: 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.

18. Hypothesis Examples: How to Write a Great Research Hypothesis

Null hypothesis: This hypothesis suggests no relationship exists between two or more variables. Alternative hypothesis : This hypothesis states the opposite of the null hypothesis. Statistical hypothesis : This hypothesis uses statistical analysis to evaluate a representative sample of the population and then generalizes the findings to the ...

19. Hypothesis Examples

A hypothesis is a prediction of the outcome of a test. It forms the basis for designing an experiment in the scientific method. A good hypothesis is testable, meaning it makes a prediction you can check with observation or experimentation. Here are different hypothesis examples. Null Hypothesis Examples

20. What is a Null Hypothesis?

A null hypothesis is a hypothesis that says there is no statistical significance between the two variables in the hypothesis. It is the hypothesis that the researcher is trying to disprove. In the ...

21. Research Hypothesis In Psychology: Types, & Examples

The null hypothesis, positing no effect or relationship, is a foundational contrast to the research hypothesis in scientific inquiry. It establishes a baseline for statistical testing, promoting objectivity by initiating research from a neutral stance. ... For example, the hypothesis that "all swans are white," can be falsified by observing ...

22. Null Hypothesis

Example 2: The teacher has prepared a set of important questions and informs the student that preparing these questions helps in scoring more than 60% marks in the board exams. Write the null hypothesis and the alternate hypothesis for this situation. Solution: The given situation refers to the teacher who has claimed that her important questions helps to score more than 60% marks in the board ...

23. Null Hypothesis: What Is It and How Is It Used in Investing?

Null Hypothesis: A null hypothesis is a type of hypothesis used in statistics that proposes that no statistical significance exists in a set of given observations. The null hypothesis attempts to ...

24. ECON 15B 3. A random sample of n observations is

A random sample of n observations is selected from a normal population to test the null hypothesis that μ=5. Specify the rejection region for each of the following combinations of Ha. α, and n. a. Ha:μ =5,α=0.05,n=14 df. 14−1=13t0025,0=216 b.