# State Null and Alternative Hypotheses

This module will continue the discussion of hypothesis testing, where a specific statement or hypothesis is generated about a population parameter, and sample statistics are used to assess the likelihood that the hypothesis is true. The hypothesis is based on available information and the investigator's belief about the population parameters. The specific test considered here is called analysis of variance (ANOVA) and is a test of hypothesis that is appropriate to compare means of a continuous variable in two or more independent comparison groups. For example, in some clinical trials there are more than two comparison groups. In a clinical trial to evaluate a new medication for asthma, investigators might compare an experimental medication to a placebo and to a standard treatment (i.e., a medication currently being used). In an observational study such as the Framingham Heart Study, it might be of interest to compare mean blood pressure or mean cholesterol levels in persons who are underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese.

## State Null and Alternative Hypotheses

### State Null and Alternative Hypotheses

When you set up a hypothesis test to determine the validity of a statistical claim, you need to define both a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis.

### State Null and Alternative Hypotheses

Researchers often challenge claims about population parameters. You may hypothesize, for example, that the actual proportion of women who have varicose veins is lower than 0.25, based on your observations. Or you may hypothesize that due to the popularity of high heeled shoes, the proportion may be higher than 0.25. Or if you’re simply questioning whether the actual proportion is 0.25, your alternative hypothesis is: “No, it isn’t 0.25.”

## A significance test examines whether the null hypothesis ..

If you only want to see whether the time turns out to be greater than what the company claims (that is, whether the company is falsely advertising its quick prep time), you use the greater-than alternative, and your two hypotheses are

## More "Hypothesis Testing Statistics Symbols" links

For example, if you want to test whether a company is correct in claiming its pie takes five minutes to make and it doesn’t matter whether the actual average time is more or less than that, you use the not-equal-to alternative. Your hypotheses for that test would be

### Since the null and alternative hypotheses are ..

The F statistic is computed by taking the ratio of what is called the "between treatment" variability to the "residual or error" variability. This is where the name of the procedure originates. In analysis of variance we are testing for a difference in means (H0: means are all equal versus H1: means are not all equal) by evaluating variability in the data. The numerator captures between treatment variability (i.e., differences among the sample means) and the denominator contains an estimate of the variability in the outcome. The test statistic is a measure that allows us to assess whether the differences among the sample means (numerator) are more than would be expected by chance if the null hypothesis is true. Recall in the two independent sample test, the test statistic was computed by taking the ratio of the difference in sample means (numerator) to the variability in the outcome (estimated by Sp).

### the research hypothesis and null hypothesis…

How do you know which hypothesis to put in H0 and which one to put in Ha? Typically, the null hypothesis says that nothing new is happening; the previous result is the same now as it was before, or the groups have the same average (their difference is equal to zero). In general, you assume that people’s claims are true until proven otherwise. So the question becomes: Can you prove otherwise? In other words, can you show sufficient evidence to reject H0?

### The null hypothesis and the alternate hypothesis are ..

A significance test examines whether the null hypothesis provides a plausible explanation of the data. The null hypothesis itself does not involve the data. It is a statement about a parameter (a numerical characteristic of the population). These population values might be proportions or means or differences between means or proportions or correlations or odds ratios or any other numerical summary of the population. The alternative hypothesis is typically the research hypothesis of interest. Here are some examples.