4th December 2019

psu
14

When can we reject the null hypothesis?

Set the significance level, α, the probability of making a Type I error to be small — 0.01, 0.05, or 0.10. Compare the P-value to α. If the P-value is less than (or equal to) α, reject the null hypothesis in favor of the alternative hypothesis. If the P-value is greater than α, do not reject the null hypothesis.

Also, is the null hypothesis always negative?

The research hypothesis states your expectations in a positive sense. The null hypothesis is always stated in the negative. This is because you have to be able to prove something is indeed true. This is how we decide whether to accept or reject the null hypothesis.

Why do we call it the null hypothesis?

The word “null” in this context means that it's a commonly accepted fact that researchers work to nullify. It doesn't mean that the statement is null itself! (Perhaps the term should be called the “nullifiable hypothesis” as that might cause less confusion).
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