# Null and Alternative Hypotheses

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1 OpenStax-CNX module m Null and Alternative Hypotheses OpenStax College This work is produced by OpenStax-CNX and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 The actual test begins by considering two hypotheses. They are called the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. These hypotheses contain opposing viewpoints. H 0 The null hypothesis It is a statement about the population that either is believed to be true or is used to put forth an argument unless it can be shown to be incorrect beyond a reasonable doubt. H a The alternative hypothesis It is a claim about the population that is contradictory to H 0 and what we conclude when we reject H 0. Since the null and alternative hypotheses are contradictory, you must examine evidence to decide if you have enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis or not. The evidence is in the form of sample data. After you have determined which hypothesis the sample supports, you make a decision. There are two options for a decision. They are "reject H 0 " if the sample information favors the alternative hypothesis or "do not reject H 0 " or "decline to reject H 0 " if the sample information is insucient to reject the null hypothesis. Mathematical Symbols Used in H 0 and H a H 0 H a equal (=) not equal ( ) or greater than (>) or less than (<) greater than or equal to ( ) less than (<) less than or equal to ( ) more than (>) Table 1 H 0 always has a symbol with an equal in it. H a never has a symbol with an equal in it. The choice of symbol depends on the wording of the hypothesis test. However, be aware that many researchers (including one of the co-authors in research work) use = in the null hypothesis, even with > or < as the symbol in the alternative hypothesis. This practice is acceptable because we only make the decision to reject or not reject the null hypothesis. Example 1 H 0 No more than 30% of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. p 30 H a More than 30% of the registered voters in Santa Clara County voted in the primary election. p > 30 Version 1.3 Nov 20, pm http//creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

2 OpenStax-CNX module m Exercise 1 (Solution on p. 7.) A medical trial is conducted to test whether or not a new medicine reduces cholesterol by 25%. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Example 2 We want to test whether the mean GPA of students in American colleges is dierent from 2.0 (out of 4.0). The null and alternative hypotheses are H 0 µ = 2.0 H a µ 2.0 Exercise 2 (Solution on p. 7.) 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. a.h 0 µ 66 b.h a µ 66 Example 3 We want to test if college students take less than ve years to graduate from college, on the average. The null and alternative hypotheses are H 0 µ 5 H a µ < 5 Exercise 3 (Solution on p. 7.) 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. a.h 0 µ 45 b.h a µ 45 Example 4 In an issue of U. S. News and World Report, an article on school standards stated that about half of all students in France, Germany, and Israel take advanced placement exams and a third pass. The same article stated that 6.6% of U.S. students take advanced placement exams and 4.4% pass. Test if the percentage of U.S. students who take advanced placement exams is more than 6.6%. State the null and alternative hypotheses. H 0 p H a p > 0.066

3 OpenStax-CNX module m Exercise 4 (Solution on p. 7.) On a state driver's test, about 40% pass the test on the rst try. We want to test if more than 40% pass on the rst try. Fill in the correct symbol (=,,, <,, >) for the null and alternative hypotheses. a.h 0 p 0.40 b.h a p 0.40 Bring to class a newspaper, some news magazines, and some Internet articles. In groups, nd articles from which your group can write null and alternative hypotheses. Discuss your hypotheses with the rest of the class. 1 Chapter Review In a hypothesis test, sample data is evaluated in order to arrive at a decision about some type of claim. If certain conditions about the sample are satised, then the claim can be evaluated for a population. In a hypothesis test, we 1. Evaluate the null hypothesis, typically denoted with H 0. The null is not rejected unless the hypothesis test shows otherwise. The null statement must always contain some form of equality (=, or ) 2. Always write the alternative hypothesis, typically denoted with H a or H 1, using less than, greater than, or not equals symbols, i.e., (, >, or <). 3. If we reject the null hypothesis, then we can assume there is enough evidence to support the alternative hypothesis. 4. Never state that a claim is proven true or false. Keep in mind the underlying fact that hypothesis testing is based on probability laws; therefore, we can talk only in terms of non-absolute certainties. 2 Formula Review H 0 and H a are contradictory. If H o has equal (=) greater than or equal to ( ) then H a has not equal ( ) or greater than (>) or less than (<) Table 2 less than or equal to ( ) less than (<) greater than (>) If α p-value, then do not reject H 0. If α > p-value, then reject H 0. α is preconceived. Its value is set before the hypothesis test starts. The p-value is calculated from the data.

4 OpenStax-CNX module m Exercise 5 (Solution on p. 7.) You are testing that the mean speed of your cable Internet connection is more than three Megabits per second. What is the random variable? Describe in words. Exercise 6 You are testing that the mean speed of your cable Internet connection is more than three Megabits per second. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Exercise 7 (Solution on p. 7.) The American family has an average of two children. What is the random variable? Describe in words. Exercise 8 The mean entry level salary of an employee at a company is \$58,000. You believe it is higher for IT professionals in the company. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Exercise 9 (Solution on p. 7.) A sociologist claims the probability that a person picked at random in Times Square in New York City is visiting the area is You want to test to see if the proportion is actually less. What is the random variable? Describe in words. Exercise 10 A sociologist claims the probability that a person picked at random in Times Square in New York City is visiting the area is You want to test to see if the claim is correct. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Exercise 11 (Solution on p. 7.) In a population of sh, approximately 42% are female. A test is conducted to see if, in fact, the proportion is less. State the null and alternative hypotheses. Exercise 12 Suppose that a recent article stated that the mean time spent in jail by a rsttime convicted burglar is 2.5 years. A study was then done to see if the mean time has increased in the new century. A random sample of 26 rst-time convicted burglars in a recent year was picked. The mean length of time in jail from the survey was 3 years with a standard deviation of 1.8 years. Suppose that it is somehow known that the population standard deviation is 1.5. If you were conducting a hypothesis test to determine if the mean length of jail time has increased, what would the null and alternative hypotheses be? The distribution of the population is normal. a. H 0 b. H a Exercise 13 (Solution on p. 7.) A random survey of 75 death row inmates revealed that the mean length of time on death row is 17.4 years with a standard deviation of 6.3 years. If you were conducting a hypothesis test to determine if the population mean time on death row could likely be 15 years, what would the null and alternative hypotheses be? a. H 0 b. H a Exercise 14 The National Institute of Mental Health published an article stating that in any one-year period, approximately 9.5 percent of American adults suer from depression or a depressive illness. Suppose that in a survey of 100 people in a certain town, seven of them suered from depression or a

5 OpenStax-CNX module m depressive illness. If you were conducting a hypothesis test to determine if the true proportion of people in that town suering from depression or a depressive illness is lower than the percent in the general adult American population, what would the null and alternative hypotheses be? a. H 0 b. H a 4 Homework Exercise 15 (Solution on p. 7.) Some of the following statements refer to the null hypothesis, some to the alternate hypothesis. State the null hypothesis, H 0, and the alternative hypothesis. H a, in terms of the appropriate parameter (µ or p). a. The mean number of years Americans work before retiring is 34. b. At most 60% of Americans vote in presidential elections. c. The mean starting salary for San Jose State University graduates is at least \$100,000 per year. d. Twenty-nine percent of high school seniors get drunk each month. e. Fewer than 5% of adults ride the bus to work in Los Angeles. f. The mean number of cars a person owns in her lifetime is not more than ten. g. About half of Americans prefer to live away from cities, given the choice. h. Europeans have a mean paid vacation each year of six weeks. i. The chance of developing breast cancer is under 11% for women. j. Private universities' mean tuition cost is more than \$20,000 per year. Exercise 16 Over the past few decades, public health ocials have examined the link between weight concerns and teen girls' smoking. Researchers surveyed a group of 273 randomly selected teen girls living in Massachusetts (between 12 and 15 years old). After four years the girls were surveyed again. Sixty-three said they smoked to stay thin. Is there good evidence that more than thirty percent of the teen girls smoke to stay thin? The alternative hypothesis is a. p < 0.30 b. p 0.30 c. p 0.30 d. p > 0.30 Exercise 17 (Solution on p. 7.) A statistics instructor believes that fewer than 20% of Evergreen Valley College (EVC) students attended the opening night midnight showing of the latest Harry Potter movie. She surveys 84 of her students and nds that 11 attended the midnight showing. An appropriate alternative hypothesis is a. p = 0.20 b. p > 0.20 c. p < 0.20 d. p 0.20

6 OpenStax-CNX module m Exercise 18 Previously, an organization reported that teenagers spent 4.5 hours per week, on average, on the phone. The organization thinks that, currently, the mean is higher. Fifteen randomly chosen teenagers were asked how many hours per week they spend on the phone. The sample mean was 4.75 hours with a sample standard deviation of 2.0. Conduct a hypothesis test. The null and alternative hypotheses are a. H o x = 4.5, H a x > 4.5 b. H o µ 4.5, H a µ < 4.5 c. H o µ = 4.75, H a µ > 4.75 d. H o µ = 4.5, H a µ > References Data from the National Institute of Mental Health. Available online at http//

7 OpenStax-CNX module m Solutions to Exercises in this Module Solution to Exercise (p. 2) H 0 The drug reduces cholesterol by 25%. p = 0.25 H a The drug does not reduce cholesterol by 25%. p 0.25 Solution to Exercise (p. 2) a. H 0 µ = 66 b. H a µ 66 Solution to Exercise (p. 2) a. H 0 µ 45 b. H a µ < 45 Solution to Exercise (p. 3) a. H 0 p = 0.40 b. H a p > 0.40 The random variable is the mean Internet speed in Megabits per second. The random variable is the mean number of children an American family has. The random variable is the proportion of people picked at random in Times Square visiting the city. a. H 0 p = 0.42 b. H a p < 0.42 a. H 0 µ = 15 b. H a µ 15 Solution to Exercise (p. 5) a. H 0 µ = 34; H a µ 34 b. H 0 p 0.60; H a p > 0.60 c. H 0 µ 100,000; H a µ < 100,000 d. H 0 p = 0.29; H a p 0.29 e. H 0 p = 0.05; H a p < 0.05 f. H 0 µ 10; H a µ > 10 g. H 0 p = 0.50; H a p 0.50 h. H 0 µ = 6; H a µ 6 i. H 0 p 0.11; H a p < 0.11 j. H 0 µ 20,000; H a µ > 20,000 Solution to Exercise (p. 5) c Glossary Denition 1 Hypothesis a statement about the value of a population parameter, in case of two hypotheses, the statement assumed to be true is called the null hypothesis (notation H 0 ) and the contradictory statement is called the alternative hypothesis (notation H a ).

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