Steps in Hypothesis Testing (1 of 5)
The basic logic of hypothesis testing has been presented somewhat informally in
the sections on "Ruling out chance as an explanation
and the "Null hypothesis
." In this section the
logic will be presented in more detail and more formally.
- The first step in hypothesis testing is to specify the null hypothesis
(H0) and the alternative hypothesis
(H1). If the research concerns whether one method of presenting
pictorial stimuli leads to better recognition than another, the null hypothesis
would most likely be that there is no difference between methods (H0:
μ1 - μ2 = 0). The alternative hypothesis
would be H1: μ1 ≠
μ2. If the research concerned the correlation between
grades and SAT scores, the null hypothesis would most likely be that there
is no correlation (H0: ρ= 0). The
alternative hypothesis would be H1: ρ
next step is to select a significance level. Typically
the 0.05 or the 0.01 level is used.
- The third step is to calculate
a statistic analogous
to the parameter specified by the null
hypothesis. If the null hypothesis were defined by the parameter μ1- μ2,
then the statistic M1 - M2 would be computed.