Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo

Chapter Review

StatisticsChapter Review

9.1 Null and Alternative Hypotheses

In a hypothesis test, sample data are evaluated in order to arrive at a decision about some type of claim. If certain conditions about the sample are satisfied, then the claim can be evaluated for a population. In a hypothesis test, we do the following:

  1. Evaluate the null hypothesis, typically denoted with H0. 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 Ha or H1, 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.

9.2 Outcomes and the Type I and Type II Errors

In every hypothesis test, the outcomes are dependent on a correct interpretation of the data. Incorrect calculations or misunderstood summary statistics can yield errors that affect the results. A Type I error occurs when a true null hypothesis is rejected. A Type II error occurs when a false null hypothesis is not rejected.

The probabilities of these errors are denoted by the Greek letters α and β, for a Type I and a Type II error respectively. The power of the test, 1 – β, quantifies the likelihood that a test will yield the correct result of a true alternative hypothesis being accepted. A high power is desirable.

9.3 Distribution Needed for Hypothesis Testing

In order for a hypothesis test’s results to be generalized to a population, certain requirements must be satisfied.

When testing for a single population mean:

  1. A Student's t-test should be used if the data come from a simple, random sample and the population is approximately normally distributed, or the sample size is large, with an unknown standard deviation.
  2. The normal test will work if the data come from a simple, random sample and the population is approximately normally distributed, or the sample size is large, with a known standard deviation.

When testing a single population proportion use a normal test for a single population proportion if the data come from a simple, random sample, fill the requirements for a binomial distribution, and the mean number of success and the mean number of failures satisfy the conditions: np > 5 and nq > n where n is the sample size, p is the probability of a success, and q is the probability of a failure.

9.4 Rare Events, the Sample, and the Decision and Conclusion

When the probability of an event occurring is low, and it happens, it is called a rare event. Rare events are important to consider in hypothesis testing because they can inform your willingness not to reject or to reject a null hypothesis. To test a null hypothesis, find the p-value for the sample data and graph the results. When deciding whether or not to reject the null the hypothesis, keep these two parameters in mind:

  1. α > p-value, reject the null hypothesis.
  2. αp-value, do not reject the null hypothesis.

9.5 Additional Information and Full Hypothesis Test Examples

The hypothesis test itself has an established process. This can be summarized as follows:

  1. Determine H0 and Ha. Remember, they are contradictory.
  2. Determine the random variable.
  3. Determine the distribution for the test.
  4. Draw a graph, calculate the test statistic, and use the test statistic to calculate the p-value. (A z-score and a t-score are examples of test statistics.)
  5. Compare the preconceived α with the p-value, make a decision (reject or do not reject H0), and write a clear conclusion using English sentences.

Notice that in performing the hypothesis test, you use α and not β. β is needed to help determine the sample size of the data that are used in calculating the p-value. Remember that the quantity 1 – β is called the Power of the Test. A high power is desirable. If the power is too low, statisticians typically increase the sample size while keeping α the same. If the power is low, the null hypothesis might not be rejected when it should be.

Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


This book may not be used in the training of large language models or otherwise be ingested into large language models or generative AI offerings without OpenStax's permission.

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute Texas Education Agency (TEA). The original material is available at: . Changes were made to the original material, including updates to art, structure, and other content updates.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at
Citation information

© Jan 23, 2024 Texas Education Agency (TEA). The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.