Statistics Made Easy

## 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)

## Example 3: Graduation Rates

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%)

## Additional Resources

Introduction to Hypothesis Testing Introduction to Confidence Intervals An Explanation of P-Values and Statistical Significance

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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. [9] X Research source
- Group proportions: Compare the proportion of the variable in your sample with the proportion of the variable in the general population. [10] X Research source
- Correlation: Correlation analysis looks at the relationship between 2 variables—specifically, whether they tend to happen together. [11] X Research source
- Regression: Regression analysis reveals the correlation between 2 variables while also controlling for the effect of other, interrelated variables. [12] 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

Thanks for reading our article! If you’d like to learn more about physics, check out our in-depth interview with Joseph Quinones .

- ↑ 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

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## A Practical Guide to Writing Quantitative and Qualitative Research Questions and Hypotheses in Scholarly Articles

Edward barroga.

1 Department of General Education, Graduate School of Nursing Science, St. Luke’s International University, Tokyo, Japan.

## Glafera Janet Matanguihan

2 Department of Biological Sciences, Messiah University, Mechanicsburg, PA, USA.

The development of research questions and the subsequent hypotheses are prerequisites to defining the main research purpose and specific objectives of a study. Consequently, these objectives determine the study design and research outcome. The development of research questions is a process based on knowledge of current trends, cutting-edge studies, and technological advances in the research field. Excellent research questions are focused and require a comprehensive literature search and in-depth understanding of the problem being investigated. Initially, research questions may be written as descriptive questions which could be developed into inferential questions. These questions must be specific and concise to provide a clear foundation for developing hypotheses. Hypotheses are more formal predictions about the research outcomes. These specify the possible results that may or may not be expected regarding the relationship between groups. Thus, research questions and hypotheses clarify the main purpose and specific objectives of the study, which in turn dictate the design of the study, its direction, and outcome. Studies developed from good research questions and hypotheses will have trustworthy outcomes with wide-ranging social and health implications.

## INTRODUCTION

Scientific research is usually initiated by posing evidenced-based research questions which are then explicitly restated as hypotheses. 1 , 2 The hypotheses provide directions to guide the study, solutions, explanations, and expected results. 3 , 4 Both research questions and hypotheses are essentially formulated based on conventional theories and real-world processes, which allow the inception of novel studies and the ethical testing of ideas. 5 , 6

It is crucial to have knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative research 2 as both types of research involve writing research questions and hypotheses. 7 However, these crucial elements of research are sometimes overlooked; if not overlooked, then framed without the forethought and meticulous attention it needs. Planning and careful consideration are needed when developing quantitative or qualitative research, particularly when conceptualizing research questions and hypotheses. 4

There is a continuing need to support researchers in the creation of innovative research questions and hypotheses, as well as for journal articles that carefully review these elements. 1 When research questions and hypotheses are not carefully thought of, unethical studies and poor outcomes usually ensue. Carefully formulated research questions and hypotheses define well-founded objectives, which in turn determine the appropriate design, course, and outcome of the study. This article then aims to discuss in detail the various aspects of crafting research questions and hypotheses, with the goal of guiding researchers as they develop their own. Examples from the authors and peer-reviewed scientific articles in the healthcare field are provided to illustrate key points.

## DEFINITIONS AND RELATIONSHIP OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES

A research question is what a study aims to answer after data analysis and interpretation. The answer is written in length in the discussion section of the paper. Thus, the research question gives a preview of the different parts and variables of the study meant to address the problem posed in the research question. 1 An excellent research question clarifies the research writing while facilitating understanding of the research topic, objective, scope, and limitations of the study. 5

On the other hand, a research hypothesis is an educated statement of an expected outcome. This statement is based on background research and current knowledge. 8 , 9 The research hypothesis makes a specific prediction about a new phenomenon 10 or a formal statement on the expected relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable. 3 , 11 It provides a tentative answer to the research question to be tested or explored. 4

Hypotheses employ reasoning to predict a theory-based outcome. 10 These can also be developed from theories by focusing on components of theories that have not yet been observed. 10 The validity of hypotheses is often based on the testability of the prediction made in a reproducible experiment. 8

Conversely, hypotheses can also be rephrased as research questions. Several hypotheses based on existing theories and knowledge may be needed to answer a research question. Developing ethical research questions and hypotheses creates a research design that has logical relationships among variables. These relationships serve as a solid foundation for the conduct of the study. 4 , 11 Haphazardly constructed research questions can result in poorly formulated hypotheses and improper study designs, leading to unreliable results. Thus, the formulations of relevant research questions and verifiable hypotheses are crucial when beginning research. 12

## CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES

Excellent research questions are specific and focused. These integrate collective data and observations to confirm or refute the subsequent hypotheses. Well-constructed hypotheses are based on previous reports and verify the research context. These are realistic, in-depth, sufficiently complex, and reproducible. More importantly, these hypotheses can be addressed and tested. 13

There are several characteristics of well-developed hypotheses. Good hypotheses are 1) empirically testable 7 , 10 , 11 , 13 ; 2) backed by preliminary evidence 9 ; 3) testable by ethical research 7 , 9 ; 4) based on original ideas 9 ; 5) have evidenced-based logical reasoning 10 ; and 6) can be predicted. 11 Good hypotheses can infer ethical and positive implications, indicating the presence of a relationship or effect relevant to the research theme. 7 , 11 These are initially developed from a general theory and branch into specific hypotheses by deductive reasoning. In the absence of a theory to base the hypotheses, inductive reasoning based on specific observations or findings form more general hypotheses. 10

## TYPES OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES

Research questions and hypotheses are developed according to the type of research, which can be broadly classified into quantitative and qualitative research. We provide a summary of the types of research questions and hypotheses under quantitative and qualitative research categories in Table 1 .

## Research questions in quantitative research

In quantitative research, research questions inquire about the relationships among variables being investigated and are usually framed at the start of the study. These are precise and typically linked to the subject population, dependent and independent variables, and research design. 1 Research questions may also attempt to describe the behavior of a population in relation to one or more variables, or describe the characteristics of variables to be measured ( descriptive research questions ). 1 , 5 , 14 These questions may also aim to discover differences between groups within the context of an outcome variable ( comparative research questions ), 1 , 5 , 14 or elucidate trends and interactions among variables ( relationship research questions ). 1 , 5 We provide examples of descriptive, comparative, and relationship research questions in quantitative research in Table 2 .

## Hypotheses in quantitative research

In quantitative research, hypotheses predict the expected relationships among variables. 15 Relationships among variables that can be predicted include 1) between a single dependent variable and a single independent variable ( simple hypothesis ) or 2) between two or more independent and dependent variables ( complex hypothesis ). 4 , 11 Hypotheses may also specify the expected direction to be followed and imply an intellectual commitment to a particular outcome ( directional hypothesis ) 4 . On the other hand, hypotheses may not predict the exact direction and are used in the absence of a theory, or when findings contradict previous studies ( non-directional hypothesis ). 4 In addition, hypotheses can 1) define interdependency between variables ( associative hypothesis ), 4 2) propose an effect on the dependent variable from manipulation of the independent variable ( causal hypothesis ), 4 3) state a negative relationship between two variables ( null hypothesis ), 4 , 11 , 15 4) replace the working hypothesis if rejected ( alternative hypothesis ), 15 explain the relationship of phenomena to possibly generate a theory ( working hypothesis ), 11 5) involve quantifiable variables that can be tested statistically ( statistical hypothesis ), 11 6) or express a relationship whose interlinks can be verified logically ( logical hypothesis ). 11 We provide examples of simple, complex, directional, non-directional, associative, causal, null, alternative, working, statistical, and logical hypotheses in quantitative research, as well as the definition of quantitative hypothesis-testing research in Table 3 .

## Research questions in qualitative research

Unlike research questions in quantitative research, research questions in qualitative research are usually continuously reviewed and reformulated. The central question and associated subquestions are stated more than the hypotheses. 15 The central question broadly explores a complex set of factors surrounding the central phenomenon, aiming to present the varied perspectives of participants. 15

There are varied goals for which qualitative research questions are developed. These questions can function in several ways, such as to 1) identify and describe existing conditions ( contextual research question s); 2) describe a phenomenon ( descriptive research questions ); 3) assess the effectiveness of existing methods, protocols, theories, or procedures ( evaluation research questions ); 4) examine a phenomenon or analyze the reasons or relationships between subjects or phenomena ( explanatory research questions ); or 5) focus on unknown aspects of a particular topic ( exploratory research questions ). 5 In addition, some qualitative research questions provide new ideas for the development of theories and actions ( generative research questions ) or advance specific ideologies of a position ( ideological research questions ). 1 Other qualitative research questions may build on a body of existing literature and become working guidelines ( ethnographic research questions ). Research questions may also be broadly stated without specific reference to the existing literature or a typology of questions ( phenomenological research questions ), may be directed towards generating a theory of some process ( grounded theory questions ), or may address a description of the case and the emerging themes ( qualitative case study questions ). 15 We provide examples of contextual, descriptive, evaluation, explanatory, exploratory, generative, ideological, ethnographic, phenomenological, grounded theory, and qualitative case study research questions in qualitative research in Table 4 , and the definition of qualitative hypothesis-generating research in Table 5 .

Qualitative studies usually pose at least one central research question and several subquestions starting with How or What . These research questions use exploratory verbs such as explore or describe . These also focus on one central phenomenon of interest, and may mention the participants and research site. 15

## Hypotheses in qualitative research

Hypotheses in qualitative research are stated in the form of a clear statement concerning the problem to be investigated. Unlike in quantitative research where hypotheses are usually developed to be tested, qualitative research can lead to both hypothesis-testing and hypothesis-generating outcomes. 2 When studies require both quantitative and qualitative research questions, this suggests an integrative process between both research methods wherein a single mixed-methods research question can be developed. 1

## FRAMEWORKS FOR DEVELOPING RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES

Research questions followed by hypotheses should be developed before the start of the study. 1 , 12 , 14 It is crucial to develop feasible research questions on a topic that is interesting to both the researcher and the scientific community. This can be achieved by a meticulous review of previous and current studies to establish a novel topic. Specific areas are subsequently focused on to generate ethical research questions. The relevance of the research questions is evaluated in terms of clarity of the resulting data, specificity of the methodology, objectivity of the outcome, depth of the research, and impact of the study. 1 , 5 These aspects constitute the FINER criteria (i.e., Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, and Relevant). 1 Clarity and effectiveness are achieved if research questions meet the FINER criteria. In addition to the FINER criteria, Ratan et al. described focus, complexity, novelty, feasibility, and measurability for evaluating the effectiveness of research questions. 14

The PICOT and PEO frameworks are also used when developing research questions. 1 The following elements are addressed in these frameworks, PICOT: P-population/patients/problem, I-intervention or indicator being studied, C-comparison group, O-outcome of interest, and T-timeframe of the study; PEO: P-population being studied, E-exposure to preexisting conditions, and O-outcome of interest. 1 Research questions are also considered good if these meet the “FINERMAPS” framework: Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, Relevant, Manageable, Appropriate, Potential value/publishable, and Systematic. 14

As we indicated earlier, research questions and hypotheses that are not carefully formulated result in unethical studies or poor outcomes. To illustrate this, we provide some examples of ambiguous research question and hypotheses that result in unclear and weak research objectives in quantitative research ( Table 6 ) 16 and qualitative research ( Table 7 ) 17 , and how to transform these ambiguous research question(s) and hypothesis(es) into clear and good statements.

a These statements were composed for comparison and illustrative purposes only.

b These statements are direct quotes from Higashihara and Horiuchi. 16

a This statement is a direct quote from Shimoda et al. 17

The other statements were composed for comparison and illustrative purposes only.

## CONSTRUCTING RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES

To construct effective research questions and hypotheses, it is very important to 1) clarify the background and 2) identify the research problem at the outset of the research, within a specific timeframe. 9 Then, 3) review or conduct preliminary research to collect all available knowledge about the possible research questions by studying theories and previous studies. 18 Afterwards, 4) construct research questions to investigate the research problem. Identify variables to be accessed from the research questions 4 and make operational definitions of constructs from the research problem and questions. Thereafter, 5) construct specific deductive or inductive predictions in the form of hypotheses. 4 Finally, 6) state the study aims . This general flow for constructing effective research questions and hypotheses prior to conducting research is shown in Fig. 1 .

Research questions are used more frequently in qualitative research than objectives or hypotheses. 3 These questions seek to discover, understand, explore or describe experiences by asking “What” or “How.” The questions are open-ended to elicit a description rather than to relate variables or compare groups. The questions are continually reviewed, reformulated, and changed during the qualitative study. 3 Research questions are also used more frequently in survey projects than hypotheses in experiments in quantitative research to compare variables and their relationships.

Hypotheses are constructed based on the variables identified and as an if-then statement, following the template, ‘If a specific action is taken, then a certain outcome is expected.’ At this stage, some ideas regarding expectations from the research to be conducted must be drawn. 18 Then, the variables to be manipulated (independent) and influenced (dependent) are defined. 4 Thereafter, the hypothesis is stated and refined, and reproducible data tailored to the hypothesis are identified, collected, and analyzed. 4 The hypotheses must be testable and specific, 18 and should describe the variables and their relationships, the specific group being studied, and the predicted research outcome. 18 Hypotheses construction involves a testable proposition to be deduced from theory, and independent and dependent variables to be separated and measured separately. 3 Therefore, good hypotheses must be based on good research questions constructed at the start of a study or trial. 12

In summary, research questions are constructed after establishing the background of the study. Hypotheses are then developed based on the research questions. Thus, it is crucial to have excellent research questions to generate superior hypotheses. In turn, these would determine the research objectives and the design of the study, and ultimately, the outcome of the research. 12 Algorithms for building research questions and hypotheses are shown in Fig. 2 for quantitative research and in Fig. 3 for qualitative research.

## EXAMPLES OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS FROM PUBLISHED ARTICLES

- EXAMPLE 1. Descriptive research question (quantitative research)
- - Presents research variables to be assessed (distinct phenotypes and subphenotypes)
- “BACKGROUND: Since COVID-19 was identified, its clinical and biological heterogeneity has been recognized. Identifying COVID-19 phenotypes might help guide basic, clinical, and translational research efforts.
- RESEARCH QUESTION: Does the clinical spectrum of patients with COVID-19 contain distinct phenotypes and subphenotypes? ” 19
- EXAMPLE 2. Relationship research question (quantitative research)
- - Shows interactions between dependent variable (static postural control) and independent variable (peripheral visual field loss)
- “Background: Integration of visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive sensations contributes to postural control. People with peripheral visual field loss have serious postural instability. However, the directional specificity of postural stability and sensory reweighting caused by gradual peripheral visual field loss remain unclear.
- Research question: What are the effects of peripheral visual field loss on static postural control ?” 20
- EXAMPLE 3. Comparative research question (quantitative research)
- - Clarifies the difference among groups with an outcome variable (patients enrolled in COMPERA with moderate PH or severe PH in COPD) and another group without the outcome variable (patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH))
- “BACKGROUND: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in COPD is a poorly investigated clinical condition.
- RESEARCH QUESTION: Which factors determine the outcome of PH in COPD?
- STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We analyzed the characteristics and outcome of patients enrolled in the Comparative, Prospective Registry of Newly Initiated Therapies for Pulmonary Hypertension (COMPERA) with moderate or severe PH in COPD as defined during the 6th PH World Symposium who received medical therapy for PH and compared them with patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) .” 21
- EXAMPLE 4. Exploratory research question (qualitative research)
- - Explores areas that have not been fully investigated (perspectives of families and children who receive care in clinic-based child obesity treatment) to have a deeper understanding of the research problem
- “Problem: Interventions for children with obesity lead to only modest improvements in BMI and long-term outcomes, and data are limited on the perspectives of families of children with obesity in clinic-based treatment. This scoping review seeks to answer the question: What is known about the perspectives of families and children who receive care in clinic-based child obesity treatment? This review aims to explore the scope of perspectives reported by families of children with obesity who have received individualized outpatient clinic-based obesity treatment.” 22
- EXAMPLE 5. Relationship research question (quantitative research)
- - Defines interactions between dependent variable (use of ankle strategies) and independent variable (changes in muscle tone)
- “Background: To maintain an upright standing posture against external disturbances, the human body mainly employs two types of postural control strategies: “ankle strategy” and “hip strategy.” While it has been reported that the magnitude of the disturbance alters the use of postural control strategies, it has not been elucidated how the level of muscle tone, one of the crucial parameters of bodily function, determines the use of each strategy. We have previously confirmed using forward dynamics simulations of human musculoskeletal models that an increased muscle tone promotes the use of ankle strategies. The objective of the present study was to experimentally evaluate a hypothesis: an increased muscle tone promotes the use of ankle strategies. Research question: Do changes in the muscle tone affect the use of ankle strategies ?” 23

## EXAMPLES OF HYPOTHESES IN PUBLISHED ARTICLES

- EXAMPLE 1. Working hypothesis (quantitative research)
- - A hypothesis that is initially accepted for further research to produce a feasible theory
- “As fever may have benefit in shortening the duration of viral illness, it is plausible to hypothesize that the antipyretic efficacy of ibuprofen may be hindering the benefits of a fever response when taken during the early stages of COVID-19 illness .” 24
- “In conclusion, it is plausible to hypothesize that the antipyretic efficacy of ibuprofen may be hindering the benefits of a fever response . The difference in perceived safety of these agents in COVID-19 illness could be related to the more potent efficacy to reduce fever with ibuprofen compared to acetaminophen. Compelling data on the benefit of fever warrant further research and review to determine when to treat or withhold ibuprofen for early stage fever for COVID-19 and other related viral illnesses .” 24
- EXAMPLE 2. Exploratory hypothesis (qualitative research)
- - Explores particular areas deeper to clarify subjective experience and develop a formal hypothesis potentially testable in a future quantitative approach
- “We hypothesized that when thinking about a past experience of help-seeking, a self distancing prompt would cause increased help-seeking intentions and more favorable help-seeking outcome expectations .” 25
- “Conclusion
- Although a priori hypotheses were not supported, further research is warranted as results indicate the potential for using self-distancing approaches to increasing help-seeking among some people with depressive symptomatology.” 25
- EXAMPLE 3. Hypothesis-generating research to establish a framework for hypothesis testing (qualitative research)
- “We hypothesize that compassionate care is beneficial for patients (better outcomes), healthcare systems and payers (lower costs), and healthcare providers (lower burnout). ” 26
- Compassionomics is the branch of knowledge and scientific study of the effects of compassionate healthcare. Our main hypotheses are that compassionate healthcare is beneficial for (1) patients, by improving clinical outcomes, (2) healthcare systems and payers, by supporting financial sustainability, and (3) HCPs, by lowering burnout and promoting resilience and well-being. The purpose of this paper is to establish a scientific framework for testing the hypotheses above . If these hypotheses are confirmed through rigorous research, compassionomics will belong in the science of evidence-based medicine, with major implications for all healthcare domains.” 26
- EXAMPLE 4. Statistical hypothesis (quantitative research)
- - An assumption is made about the relationship among several population characteristics ( gender differences in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of adults with ADHD ). Validity is tested by statistical experiment or analysis ( chi-square test, Students t-test, and logistic regression analysis)
- “Our research investigated gender differences in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of adults with ADHD in a Japanese clinical sample. Due to unique Japanese cultural ideals and expectations of women's behavior that are in opposition to ADHD symptoms, we hypothesized that women with ADHD experience more difficulties and present more dysfunctions than men . We tested the following hypotheses: first, women with ADHD have more comorbidities than men with ADHD; second, women with ADHD experience more social hardships than men, such as having less full-time employment and being more likely to be divorced.” 27
- “Statistical Analysis
- ( text omitted ) Between-gender comparisons were made using the chi-squared test for categorical variables and Students t-test for continuous variables…( text omitted ). A logistic regression analysis was performed for employment status, marital status, and comorbidity to evaluate the independent effects of gender on these dependent variables.” 27

## EXAMPLES OF HYPOTHESIS AS WRITTEN IN PUBLISHED ARTICLES IN RELATION TO OTHER PARTS

- EXAMPLE 1. Background, hypotheses, and aims are provided
- “Pregnant women need skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth, but that skilled care is often delayed in some countries …( text omitted ). The focused antenatal care (FANC) model of WHO recommends that nurses provide information or counseling to all pregnant women …( text omitted ). Job aids are visual support materials that provide the right kind of information using graphics and words in a simple and yet effective manner. When nurses are not highly trained or have many work details to attend to, these job aids can serve as a content reminder for the nurses and can be used for educating their patients (Jennings, Yebadokpo, Affo, & Agbogbe, 2010) ( text omitted ). Importantly, additional evidence is needed to confirm how job aids can further improve the quality of ANC counseling by health workers in maternal care …( text omitted )” 28
- “ This has led us to hypothesize that the quality of ANC counseling would be better if supported by job aids. Consequently, a better quality of ANC counseling is expected to produce higher levels of awareness concerning the danger signs of pregnancy and a more favorable impression of the caring behavior of nurses .” 28
- “This study aimed to examine the differences in the responses of pregnant women to a job aid-supported intervention during ANC visit in terms of 1) their understanding of the danger signs of pregnancy and 2) their impression of the caring behaviors of nurses to pregnant women in rural Tanzania.” 28
- EXAMPLE 2. Background, hypotheses, and aims are provided
- “We conducted a two-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate and compare changes in salivary cortisol and oxytocin levels of first-time pregnant women between experimental and control groups. The women in the experimental group touched and held an infant for 30 min (experimental intervention protocol), whereas those in the control group watched a DVD movie of an infant (control intervention protocol). The primary outcome was salivary cortisol level and the secondary outcome was salivary oxytocin level.” 29
- “ We hypothesize that at 30 min after touching and holding an infant, the salivary cortisol level will significantly decrease and the salivary oxytocin level will increase in the experimental group compared with the control group .” 29
- EXAMPLE 3. Background, aim, and hypothesis are provided
- “In countries where the maternal mortality ratio remains high, antenatal education to increase Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness (BPCR) is considered one of the top priorities [1]. BPCR includes birth plans during the antenatal period, such as the birthplace, birth attendant, transportation, health facility for complications, expenses, and birth materials, as well as family coordination to achieve such birth plans. In Tanzania, although increasing, only about half of all pregnant women attend an antenatal clinic more than four times [4]. Moreover, the information provided during antenatal care (ANC) is insufficient. In the resource-poor settings, antenatal group education is a potential approach because of the limited time for individual counseling at antenatal clinics.” 30
- “This study aimed to evaluate an antenatal group education program among pregnant women and their families with respect to birth-preparedness and maternal and infant outcomes in rural villages of Tanzania.” 30
- “ The study hypothesis was if Tanzanian pregnant women and their families received a family-oriented antenatal group education, they would (1) have a higher level of BPCR, (2) attend antenatal clinic four or more times, (3) give birth in a health facility, (4) have less complications of women at birth, and (5) have less complications and deaths of infants than those who did not receive the education .” 30

Research questions and hypotheses are crucial components to any type of research, whether quantitative or qualitative. These questions should be developed at the very beginning of the study. Excellent research questions lead to superior hypotheses, which, like a compass, set the direction of research, and can often determine the successful conduct of the study. Many research studies have floundered because the development of research questions and subsequent hypotheses was not given the thought and meticulous attention needed. The development of research questions and hypotheses is an iterative process based on extensive knowledge of the literature and insightful grasp of the knowledge gap. Focused, concise, and specific research questions provide a strong foundation for constructing hypotheses which serve as formal predictions about the research outcomes. Research questions and hypotheses are crucial elements of research that should not be overlooked. They should be carefully thought of and constructed when planning research. This avoids unethical studies and poor outcomes by defining well-founded objectives that determine the design, course, and outcome of the study.

Disclosure: The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

Author Contributions:

- Conceptualization: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
- Methodology: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
- Writing - original draft: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
- Writing - review & editing: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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## Null Hypothesis Examples

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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. Testing the null hypothesis can tell you whether your results are due to the effect of manipulating the dependent variable or due to chance.

## What Is the Null Hypothesis?

The null hypothesis states there is no relationship between the measured phenomenon (the dependent variable) and the independent variable . You do not need to believe that the null hypothesis is true to test it. On the contrary, you will likely suspect that there is a relationship between a set of variables. One way to prove that this is the case is to reject the null hypothesis. Rejecting a hypothesis does not mean an experiment was "bad" or that it didn't produce results. In fact, it is often one of the first steps toward further inquiry.

To distinguish it from other hypotheses, the null hypothesis is written as H 0 (which is read as “H-nought,” "H-null," or "H-zero"). A significance test is used to determine the likelihood that the results supporting the null hypothesis are not due to chance. A confidence level of 95 percent or 99 percent is common. Keep in mind, even if the confidence level is high, there is still a small chance the null hypothesis is not true, perhaps because the experimenter did not account for a critical factor or because of chance. This is one reason why it's important to repeat experiments.

## Examples of the Null Hypothesis

To write a null hypothesis, first start by asking a question. Rephrase that question in a form that assumes no relationship between the variables. In other words, assume a treatment has no effect. Write your hypothesis in a way that reflects this.

- What Is a Hypothesis? (Science)
- Null Hypothesis Definition and Examples
- What 'Fail to Reject' Means in a Hypothesis Test
- What Are the Elements of a Good Hypothesis?
- Scientific Method Vocabulary Terms
- Definition of a Hypothesis
- Null Hypothesis and Alternative Hypothesis
- Hypothesis Test for the Difference of Two Population Proportions
- Six Steps of the Scientific Method
- What Is the Difference Between Alpha and P-Values?
- What Are Examples of a Hypothesis?
- Hypothesis Test Example
- Understanding Simple vs Controlled Experiments
- How to Conduct a Hypothesis Test
- The Difference Between Type I and Type II Errors in Hypothesis Testing
- What Is a P-Value?

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Neag School of Education

## Educational Research Basics by Del Siegle

Null and alternative hypotheses.

Converting research questions to hypothesis is a simple task. Take the questions and make it a positive statement that says a relationship exists (correlation studies) or a difference exists between the groups (experiment study) and you have the alternative hypothesis. Write the statement such that a relationship does not exist or a difference does not exist and you have the null hypothesis. You can reverse the process if you have a hypothesis and wish to write a research question.

When you are comparing two groups, the groups are the independent variable. When you are testing whether something affects something else, the cause is the independent variable. The independent variable is the one you manipulate.

Teachers given higher pay will have more positive attitudes toward children than teachers given lower pay. The first step is to ask yourself “Are there two or more groups being compared?” The answer is “Yes.” What are the groups? Teachers who are given higher pay and teachers who are given lower pay. The independent variable is teacher pay. The dependent variable (the outcome) is attitude towards school.

You could also approach is another way. “Is something causing something else?” The answer is “Yes.” What is causing what? Teacher pay is causing attitude towards school. Therefore, teacher pay is the independent variable (cause) and attitude towards school is the dependent variable (outcome).

By tradition, we try to disprove (reject) the null hypothesis. We can never prove a null hypothesis, because it is impossible to prove something does not exist. We can disprove something does not exist by finding an example of it. Therefore, in research we try to disprove the null hypothesis. When we do find that a relationship (or difference) exists then we reject the null and accept the alternative. If we do not find that a relationship (or difference) exists, we fail to reject the null hypothesis (and go with it). We never say we accept the null hypothesis because it is never possible to prove something does not exist. That is why we say that we failed to reject the null hypothesis, rather than we accepted it.

Del Siegle, Ph.D. Neag School of Education – University of Connecticut [email protected] www.delsiegle.com

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

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

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

There are 5 main steps in hypothesis testing:

- State your research hypothesis as a null hypothesis and alternate hypothesis (H o ) and (H a or H 1 ).
- Collect data in a way designed to test the hypothesis.
- Perform an appropriate statistical test .
- Decide whether to reject or fail to reject your null hypothesis.
- Present the findings in your results and discussion section.

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

## Table of contents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Methodology

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

Research bias

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

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

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

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

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

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- 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.

## Table of contents

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 .

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Step 1: ask a question.

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

## Step 2: Do some preliminary research

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

At this stage, you might construct a conceptual framework to 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

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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 Null and Alternative Hypothesis: A Guide with Examples

20 August 2023

last updated

When undertaking a qualitative or quantitative research project, researchers must first formulate a research question, from which they develop a hypothesis. By definition, a hypothesis is a prediction that a researcher makes about the research question and can either be affirmative or negative. In this case, a research question has three main components: variables (independent and dependent), a population sample, and the relation between the variables. When the prediction contradicts the research question, it is referred to as a null hypothesis. In short, a null hypothesis is a statement that implies there is no relationship between independent and dependent variables. Hence, researchers need to learn how to write a good null and alternative hypothesis to present quality studies.

## General Aspect of Writing a Null and Alternative Hypothesis

Students with qualitative or quantitative research assignments must learn how to formulate and write a good research question and hypothesis. By definition, a hypothesis is an assumption or prediction that a researcher makes before undertaking an experimental investigation. Basically, academic standards require such a prediction to be a precise and testable statement, meaning that researchers must prove or disapprove of it in the course of the assignment. In this case, the main components of a hypothesis are variables (independent and dependent), a population sample, and the relation between the variables. Therefore, a research hypothesis is a prediction that researchers write about the relationship between two or more variables. In turn, the research inquiry is the process that seeks to answer the research question and, in the process, test the hypothesis by confirming or disapproving it.

## Types of Hypotheses

There are several types of hypotheses, including an alternative hypothesis, a null hypothesis, a directional hypothesis, and a non-directional hypothesis. Basically, the directional hypothesis is a prediction of how the independent variable affects the dependent variable. In contrast, the non-directional hypothesis predicts that the independent variable influences the dependent variable, but does not specify how. Regardless of the type, all hypotheses are about predicting the relationship between the independent and dependent variables.

## What Is a Null and Alternative Hypothesis

A null hypothesis, usually symbolized as “H0,” is a statement that contradicts the research hypothesis. In other words, it is a negative statement, indicating that there is no relationship between the independent and dependent variables. By testing the null hypothesis, a researcher can determine whether the inquiry results are due to the chance or the effect of manipulating the dependent variable. In most instances, a null hypothesis corresponds with an alternative hypothesis, a positive statement that covers a relationship that exists between the independent and dependent variables. Also, it is highly recommendable that a researcher should write the alternative hypothesis first before the null hypothesis.

## 10 Examples of Research Questions with H0 and H1 Hypotheses

Before developing a hypothesis, a researcher must formulate the research question. Then, the next step is to transform the question into a negative statement that claims the lack of a relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Alternatively, researchers can change the question into a positive statement that includes a relationship that exists between the variables. In turn, this latter statement becomes the alternative hypothesis and is symbolized as H1. Hence, some of the examples of research questions and hull and alternative hypotheses are as follows:

1. Do physical exercises help individuals to age gracefully?

A Null Hypothesis (H0): Physical exercises are not a guarantee for graceful old age.

An Alternative Hypothesis (H1): Engaging in physical exercises enables individuals to remain healthy and active into old age.

2. What are the implications of therapeutic interventions in the fight against substance abuse?

H0: Therapeutic interventions are of no help in the fight against substance abuse.

H1: Exposing individuals with substance abuse disorders to therapeutic interventions help control and even stop their addictions.

3. How do sexual orientation and gender identity affect the experiences of late adolescents in foster care?

H0: Sexual orientation and gender identity have no effects on the experiences of late adolescents in foster care.

H1: The reality of stereotypes in society makes sexual orientation and gender identity factors complicate the experiences of late adolescents in foster care.

4. Does income inequality contribute to crime in high-density urban areas?

H0: There is no correlation between income inequality and incidences of crime in high-density urban areas.

H1: The high crime rates in high-density urban areas are due to the incidence of income inequality in those areas.

5. Does placement in foster care impact individuals’ mental health?

H0: There is no correlation between being in foster care and having mental health problems.

H1: Individuals placed in foster care experience anxiety and depression at one point in their life.

6. Do assistive devices and technologies lessen the mobility challenges of older adults with a stroke?

H0: Assistive devices and technologies do not provide any assistance to the mobility of older adults diagnosed with a stroke.

H1: Assistive devices and technologies enhance the mobility of older adults diagnosed with a stroke.

7. Does race identity undermine classroom participation?

H0: There is no correlation between racial identity and the ability to participate in classroom learning.

H1: Students from racial minorities are not as active as white students in classroom participation.

8. Do high school grades determine future success?

H0: There is no correlation between how one performs in high school and their success level in life.

H1: Attaining high grades in high school positions one for greater success in the future personal and professional lives.

9. Does critical thinking predict academic achievement?

H0: There is no correlation between critical thinking and academic achievement.

H1: Being a critical thinker is a pathway to academic success.

10. What benefits does group therapy provide to victims of domestic violence?

H0: Group therapy does not help victims of domestic violence because individuals prefer to hide rather than expose their shame.

H1: Group therapy provides domestic violence victims with a platform to share their hurt and connect with others with similar experiences.

## Summing Up on How to Write a Null and Alternative Hypothesis

The formulation of research questions in qualitative and quantitative assignments helps students develop a hypothesis for their experiment. In this case, learning how to write a good hypothesis that helps students and researchers to make their research relevant. Basically, the difference between a null and alternative hypothesis is that the former contradicts the research question, while the latter affirms it. In short, a null hypothesis is a negative statement relative to the research question, and an alternative hypothesis is a positive statement. Moreover, it is important to note that developing the null hypothesis at the beginning of the assignment is for prediction purposes. As such, the research work answers the research question and confirms or disapproves of the hypothesis. Hence, some of the tips that students and researchers need to know when developing a null hypothesis include:

- Formulate a research question that specifies the relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable.
- Develop an alternative hypothesis that says a relationship that exists between the variables.
- Develop a null hypothesis that says a relationship that does not exist between the variables.
- Conduct the research to answer the research question, which allows the confirmation of a disapproval of a null hypothesis.

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## Quantitative data collection and analysis

- Testing hypotheses
- Quantitative data collection
- Averages and percentiles
- Measures of Spread or Dispersion
- Samples and population
- Statistical tests - parametric
- Statistical tests - non-parametric
- Probability
- Reliability and Validity
- Analysing relationships
- Useful Books

## Testing Hypotheses

- What is a hypothesis?
- Significance testing
- One-tailed or two-tailed?
- Degrees of freedom

A hypothesis is a statement that we are trying to prove or disprove. It is used to express the relationship between variables and whether this relationship is significant. It is specific and offers a prediction on the results of your research question.

Your research question will lead you to developing a hypothesis, this is why your research question needs to be specific and clear.

The hypothesis will then guide you to the most appropriate techniques you should use to answer the question. They reflect the literature and theories on which you basing them. They need to be testable (i.e. measurable and practical).

Null hypothesis (H 0 ) is the proposition that there will not be a relationship between the variables you are looking at. i.e. any differences are due to chance). They always refer to the population. (Usually we don't believe this to be true.)

e.g. There is no difference in instances of illegal drug use by teenagers who are members of a gang and those who are not..

Alternative hypothesis (H A ) or ( H 1 ): this is sometimes called the research hypothesis or experimental hypothesis. It is the proposition that there will be a relationship. It is a statement of inequality between the variables you are interested in. They always refer to the sample. It is usually a declaration rather than a question and is clear, to the point and specific.

e.g. The instances of illegal drug use of teenagers who are members of a gang is different than the instances of illegal drug use of teenagers who are not gang members.

A non-directional research hypothesis - reflects an expected difference between groups but does not specify the direction of this difference (see two-tailed test).

A directional research hypothesis - reflects an expected difference between groups but does specify the direction of this difference. (see one-tailed test)

e.g. The instances of illegal drug use by teenagers who are members of a gang will be higher t han the instances of illegal drug use of teenagers who are not gang members.

Then the process of testing is to ascertain which hypothesis to believe.

It is usually easier to prove something as untrue rather than true, so looking at the null hypothesis is the usual starting point.

The process of examining the null hypothesis in light of evidence from the sample is called significance testing . It is a way of establishing a range of values in which we can establish whether the null hypothesis is true or false.

## The debate over hypothesis testing

There has been discussion over whether the scientific method employed in traditional hypothesis testing is appropriate.

See below for some articles that discuss this:

- Gill, J. (1999) 'The insignificance of null hypothesis testing', Politics Research Quarterly , 52(3), pp. 647-674 .
- Wainer, H. and Robinson, D.H. (2003) 'Shaping up the practice of null hypothesis significance testing', Educational Researcher, 32(7), pp.22-30 .
- Ferguson, C.J. and Heener, M. (2012) ' A vast graveyard of undead theories: publication bias and psychological science's aversion to the null' , Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(6), pp.555-561 .

Taken from: Salkind, N.J. (2017) Statistics for people who (think they) hate statistics. 6th edn. London: SAGE pp. 144-145.

- Null hypothesis - a simple introduction (SPSS)

## A significance level defines the level when your sample evidence contradicts your null hypothesis so that your can then reject it. It is the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when it is really true.

e.g. a significance level of 0.05 indicates that there is a 5% (or 1 in 20) risk of deciding that there is an effect when in fact there is none.

The lower the significance level that you set, then the evidence from the sample has to be stronger to be able to reject the null hypothesis.

N.B. - it is important that you set the significance level before you carry out your study and analysis.

## Using Confidence Intervals

I t is possible to test the significance of your null hypothesis using Confidence Interval (see under samples and populations tab).

- if the range lies outside our predicted null hypothesis value we can reject it and accept the alternative hypothesis

## The test statistic

This is another commonly used statistic

- Write down your null and alternative hypothesis
- Find the sample statistic (e.g.the mean of your sample)
- Calculate the test statistic Z score (see under Measures of spread or dispersion and Statistical tests - parametric). In this case the sample mean is compared to the population mean (assumed from the null hypothesis) and the standard error (see under Samples and population) is used rather than the standard deviation.
- Compare the test statistic with the critical values (e.g. plus or minus 1.96 for 5% significance)
- Draw a conclusion about the hypotheses - does the calculated z value lies in this critical range i.e. above 1.96 or below -1.96? If it does we can reject the null hypothesis. This would indicate that the results are significant (or an effect has been detected) - which means that if there were no difference in the population then getting a result that you have observed would be highly unlikely therefore you can reject the null hypothesis.

Type I error - this is the chance of wrongly rejecting the null hypothesis even though it is actually true, e.g. by using a 5% p level you would expect the null hypothesis to be rejected about 5% of the time when the null hypothesis is true. You could set a more stringent p level such as 1% (or 1 in 100) to be more certain of not seeing a Type I error. This, however, makes more likely another type of error (Type II) occurring.

Type II error - this is where there is an effect, but the p value you obtain is non-significant hence you don’t detect this effect.

- Statistical significance - what does it really mean?
- Statistical tables

One-tailed tests - where we know in which direction (e.g. larger or smaller) the difference between sample and population will be. It is a directional hypothesis.

Two-tailed tests - where we are looking at whether there is a difference between sample and population. This difference could be larger or smaller. This is a non-directional hypothesis.

If the difference is in the direction you have predicted (i.e. a one-tailed test) it is easier to get a significant result. Though there are arguments against using a one-tailed test (Wright and London, 2009, p. 98-99)*

*Wright, D. B. & London, K. (2009) First (and second) steps in statistics . 2nd edn. London: SAGE.

N.B. - think of the ‘tails’ as the regions at the far-end of a normal distribution. For a two-tailed test with significance level of 0.05% then 0.025% of the values would be at one end of the distribution and the other 0.025% would be at the other end of the distribution. It is the values in these ‘critical’ extreme regions where we can think about rejecting the null hypothesis and claim that there has been an effect.

Degrees of freedom ( df) is a rather difficult mathematical concept, but is needed to calculate the signifcance of certain statistical tests, such as the t-test, ANOVA and Chi-squared test.

It is broadly defined as the number of "observations" (pieces of information) in the data that are free to vary when estimating statistical parameters. (Taken from Minitab Blog ).

The higher the degrees of freedom are the more powerful and precise your estimates of the parameter (population) will be.

Typically, for a 1-sample t-test it is considered as the number of values in your sample minus 1.

For chi-squared tests with a table of rows and columns the rule is:

(Number of rows minus 1) times (number of columns minus 1)

Any accessible example to illustrate the principle of degrees of freedom using chocolates.

- You have seven chocolates in a box, each being a different type, e.g. truffle, coffee cream, caramel cluster, fudge, strawberry dream, hazelnut whirl, toffee.
- You are being good and intend to eat only one chocolate each day of the week.
- On the first day, you can choose to eat any one of the 7 chocolate types - you have a choice from all 7.
- On the second day, you can choose from the 6 remaining chocolates, on day 3 you can choose from 5 chocolates, and so on.
- On the sixth day you have a choice of the remaining 2 chocolates you haven't ate that week.
- However on the seventh day - you haven't really got any choice of chocolate - it has got to be the one you have left in your box.
- You had 7-1 = 6 days of “chocolate” freedom—in which the chocolate you ate could vary!
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- Next: Statistical tests - parametric >>
- Last Updated: Oct 9, 2023 4:24 PM
- URL: https://libguides.tees.ac.uk/quantitative

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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:

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 population." The null and alternative are always claims about the population. That's because the goal of hypothesis testing is to make inferences about a population based on a sample.

[1] 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

Methodology How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Steps & Examples How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Steps & Examples Published on May 6, 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023. A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested by scientific research.

Scientific research is usually initiated by posing evidenced-based research questions which are then explicitly restated as hypotheses. 1, 2 The hypotheses provide directions to guide the study, solutions, explanations, and expected results. 3, 4 Both research questions and hypotheses are essentially formulated based on conventional theories and...

About Transcript The null and alternative hypotheses are both statements about the population that you are studying. The null hypothesis is often stated as the assumption that there is no change, no difference between two groups, or no relationship between two variables.

The first step is to devise a research question and the appropriate null hypothesis. After that, the investigators need to formulate an experimental design and data collection procedures that will allow them to gather data that can answer the research question. Then they collect the data.

The null hypothesis is a presumption of status quo or no change. Alternative Hypothesis (Ha) - This is also known as the claim. This hypothesis should state what you expect the data to show, based on your research on the topic. This is your answer to your research question. Examples:

In a qualitative study, inquirers state research questions, not objectives (i.e., specific goals for the research) or hypotheses (i.e., predictions that involve variables and statistical tests). These research questions assume two forms: a central question and associated subquestions.

When the research question asks "Does the independent variable affect the dependent variable?", the null hypothesis (H 0) answers "No, there's no effect in the population." On the other hand, the alternative hypothesis (H A) answers "Yes, there is an effect in the population." The null and alternative are always claims about the population.

Updated on September 04, 2019 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.

Take the questions and make it a positive statement that says a relationship exists (correlation studies) or a difference exists between the groups (experiment study) and you have the alternative hypothesis. Write the statement such that a relationship does not exist or a difference does not exist and you have the null hypothesis.

Null hypothesis: The presence of a mentoring relationship does not influence first-generation students' intention to remain at their university. Alternate hypothesis: The presence of a mentoring relationship influences first-generation students' intention to remain at their university. Hypotheses may be worded with or without a direction.

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

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.

The Research Hypothesis. A research hypothesis is a mathematical way of stating a research question. A research hypothesis names the groups (we'll start with a sample and a population), what was measured, and which we think will have a higher mean. The last one gives the research hypothesis a direction. In other words, a research hypothesis ...

Basic definitions. The null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis are types of conjectures used in statistical tests, which are formal methods of reaching conclusions or making decisions on the basis of data. The hypotheses are conjectures about a statistical model of the population, which are based on a sample of the population. The tests are core elements of statistical inference ...

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.

6 min read Wr1ter team 20 August 2023 last updated When undertaking a qualitative or quantitative research project, researchers must first formulate a research question, from which they develop a hypothesis. By definition, a hypothesis is a prediction that a researcher makes about the research question and can either be affirmative or negative.

Definition Nature of Hypothesis Types How to formulate a Hypotheses in Quantitative Research Qualitative Research Testing and Errors in Hypotheses Summary The research structure helps us create research that is : Quantifiable Verifiable Replicable Defensible Corollaries among the model, common sense & paper format Model

The process of examining the null hypothesis in light of evidence from the sample is called significance testing. It is a way of establishing a range of values in which we can establish whether the null hypothesis is true or false. The debate over hypothesis testing

A null hypothesis is a critical component of statistics and research in a variety of careers, such as financial analysis and market research. Understanding null hypotheses and how they work can help you enhance your research, critical thinking and analytical skills. In this article, we discuss what a null hypothesis is, how it works and explore ...

Step 1: Determine the quantity, or quantities, in question, and whether they are means or proportions. If you only have a single mean or proportion, identify the claimed value. Step 2: Write a ...