The following material is derived from Florida State College at Jacksonville Library and Learning Commons [1] and is used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.


What is Hypothesis Testing?

statistical hypothesis is an assumption about a population parameter. This assumption may or may not be true. Hypothesis testing refers to the formal procedures used by statisticians to reject or not reject statistical hypotheses.


Statistical Hypotheses

The best way to determine whether a statistical hypothesis is true would be to examine the entire population. Since that is often impractical, researchers typically examine a random sample from the population. If sample data are not consistent with the statistical hypothesis, the hypothesis is rejected.

There are two types of statistical hypotheses.

  • Null hypothesis. The null hypothesis, denoted by H0, is usually the hypothesis that sample observations result purely from chance.
  • Alternative hypothesis. The alternative hypothesis, denoted by H1 or Ha, is the hypothesis that sample observations are influenced by some non-random cause.


Steps in Hypothesis Tests

Statisticians follow a formal process to determine whether to reject a null hypothesis, based on sample data. This process, called hypothesis testing, consists of four steps.


Step 1: State the hypotheses. This involves stating the null and alternative hypotheses. The hypotheses are stated in such a way that they are mutually exclusive. That is, if one is true, the other must be false.



Null Hypothesis (H0): There is no association between gender and brand preferences

Alternative Hypothesis (H1): There is an association between gender and brand preferences


Step 2: State the alpha value and the decision rule


For example: the alpha value is usually set at 0.05;

Example: if the p-value is less than 0.05, then reject H0


Step 3: Choose the appropriate statistical test


Examples: Chi-square, Correlation, One-sample t-test, Independent samples t-test, ANOVA


Step 4: Interpret results. Discuss implications for managers

  1. Florida State College at Jacksonville 2022, STA 2023: Statistics: basics of hypothesis testing, viewed 3 May 2022, <>.


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