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# HypSteps - STEPS IN STATISTICAL HYPOTHESIS TESTING Step 1...

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S TEPS IN S TATISTICAL H YPOTHESIS T ESTING Step 1: State the null hypothesis, H 0 , and the alternative hypothesis, H a . The alternative hypothesis represents what the researcher is trying to prove. The null hypothesis represents the negation of what the researcher is trying to prove. (In a criminal trial in the American justice system, the null hypothesis is that the defendant is innocent; the alternative is that the defendant is guilty; either the jury rejects the null hypothesis if they find that the prosecution has presented convincing evidence, or the jury fails to reject the null hypothesis if they find that the prosecution has not presented convincing evidence). Step 2: State the size(s) of the sample(s). This represents the amount of evidence that is being used to make a decision. State the significance level, α , for the test. The significance level is the probability of making a Type I error. A Type I error is a decision in favor of the alternative hypothesis when, in fact, the null hypothesis is true.
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