Stats: Hypothesis Testing
Introduction
Be sure to read through the
definitions
for this section before trying to make sense out of the
following.
The first thing to do when given a claim is to write the claim mathematically (if possible), and
decide whether the given claim is the null or alternative hypothesis. If the given claim contains
equality, or a statement of no change from the given or accepted condition, then it is the null
hypothesis, otherwise, if it represents change, it is the alternative hypothesis.
The following example is not a mathematical example, but may help introduce the concept.
Example
"
He's dead, Jim,
" said Dr. McCoy to Captain Kirk.
Mr. Spock, as the science officer, is put in charge of statistically determining the correctness of
Bones' statement and deciding the fate of the crew member (to vaporize or try to revive)
His first step is to arrive at the hypothesis to be tested.
Does the statement represent a change in previous condition?
•
Yes, there is change, thus it is the alternative hypothesis, H
1
•
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 Spring '08
 AKBAS
 Statistics, Null hypothesis, Statistical hypothesis testing, Type I and type II errors, Jim, Mr. Spock

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