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    How to Write a Null Hypothesis

    Home / Blog / How To Write A Null Hypothesis

    How to Write a Null Hypothesis
     Admin  Published On Jul 17, 2023 | Updated on Sep 21, 2023  General

    When conducting the study, scientists and researchers create assumptions about their work and then attempt to confirm or refute those assumptions. These presumptions are also known as hypotheses; we will talk about the various kinds of hypotheses that are developed during the research paper help process. This article explains alternate and null hypotheses as well as the distinctions between them based on various parameters. Alternative hypotheses and the null hypothesis are two claims about the population that cannot both be true. On a sample of data, researchers run tests to decide whether to accept or reject the hypothesis.

    Answering Your Research Question With Hypotheses

    There are opposing explanations for your research question provided by the null and alternative hypotheses. "Does the independent variable affect the dependent variable?" is the research question's first part.

    • According to the null hypothesis (H0), the population is not affected.
    • The alternative hypothesis (Ha) provides the affirmative response, "Yes, there is an effect in the population."

    The alternative and null are both population-based assertions. The reason for this is that the purpose of hypothesis testing is to draw conclusions about a population from a sample. By examining disparities between groups or correlations between variables in the sample, we can frequently determine whether there is an effect on the population. A strong hypothesis must be written for your research.

    To determine whether the evidence supports the null or alternative hypothesis, you might employ a statistical test. The null and alternative hypotheses must be stated in a precise form for each type of statistical test. The hypothesis can, however, also be stated in a more general manner that is applicable to any test.

    What Is A Null Hypothesis?

    The idea that there is no influence on the population is known as the null hypothesis.

    We can reject the null hypothesis if the sample contains sufficient data to refute the assertion that there is no effect on the population (p ≤ a). If not, we are unable to rule out the null hypothesis.

    Although the phrase "fail to reject" may sound uncomfortable, statisticians only accept it. Avoid using words like "prove" or "accept" when referring to the null hypothesis.

    According to the null hypothesis, there is no correlation between the independent variable and the phenomenon being measured (the dependent variable). You can test the null hypothesis even if you don't think it's accurate. Instead, you will probably have a sneaking suspicion that a group of factors are related. Rejecting the null hypothesis is one technique to demonstrate that this is the case. A hypothesis being disproved does not imply that an experiment was "bad" or that no findings were obtained. In fact, it's frequently one of the first moves taken toward more research.

    Examples of the null hypothesis

    Example 1:

    The average exam score at one school, according to the principal, is seven out of ten. The population mean of 7.0 is the null hypothesis. To test this null hypothesis, we collect the marks of, say, 30 students (a sample) from the school's total enrollment of, say, 300, and compute the sample mean.

    Then, in an effort to reject the null hypothesis, we might contrast the (calculated) sample mean with the (hypothesized) population mean of 7.0. The sample data cannot be used to demonstrate the null hypothesis, which is that the population mean is 7.0. One option is to reject it.

    Here null hypothesis is: The average exam grade for students at the school is seven out of ten.

    Example 2:

    One mutual fund in particular is said to have an 8% annual return. Consider a mutual fund that has been around for 20 years. The mutual fund's mean return is 8%, which is the null hypothesis. We get the sample mean by taking a random sample of the mutual fund's annual returns over, say, five years. The null hypothesis is then tested by comparing the sample mean (calculated) to the population mean (claimed), which is 8%.

    Here null hypothesis is: The mutual fund's average yearly return is 8%.

    What Is An Alternative Hypothesis?

    The alternate response to your research question is the alternative hypothesis (Ha). It asserts that the population is affected. Your research hypothesis and your alternate hypothesis are frequently identical. It is, in other words, the assertion that you anticipate or hope will be accurate.

    The complement of the null hypothesis is the alternative hypothesis. The extensive nature of null and alternative hypotheses ensures that they account for all potential outcomes. Additionally, they are mutually exclusive, thus only one of them may be true at once.

    An assertion used in statistical inference experiments is known as the alternative hypothesis. It is indicated by Ha or H1 and runs counter to the null hypothesis. Another way to put it is that it is only a different option from the null.

    An alternative theory in hypothesis testing is a claim that the researcher is testing. According to the researcher, this assertion is accurate and eventually supports rejecting the null hypothesis in favor of a different one. In this hypothesis, the researchers forecast the difference between two or more variables, ensuring that the test's observed data pattern is not the result of chance.

    Examples of alternative hypotheses

    Example 1:

    The alternate theory in a clinical study for a new treatment can be that the new drug, on average, has a different effect than the present drug. We would write H1: The average effects of the two medications are different. Another possibility is that the new medication is generally superior to the old one. In this instance, we would write H1: The new drug is, on average, superior to the current drug.

    Example 2:

    The solubility of sugar increases with an increase in coffee's temperature.

    Did you realize that coffee served hotter has more vitality than coffee served cold? Because of the additional energy, the water molecules in the coffee cup move more quickly, which in turn leads the sugar molecules to travel more quickly and dissolve. Because of this, the aforementioned alternate hypothesis is accurate.

    Similarities And Differences Between Null And Alternative Hypotheses

    Alternative and null hypotheses have some similarities:

    1. Mutual exclusivity: Null and alternative hypotheses are mutually exclusive. If one is true, the other must be false. It means they cover all possible scenarios for the observed data. This ensures that the hypothesis test is comprehensive and there are no unaccounted data.

    2. Statement of the research question: Both null and alternative hypotheses are statements about the population parameter or the effect being studied. They frame the research question and provide a clear statement of what the researcher is trying to investigate or test.

    3. Subject to testing: Both hypotheses are subject to empirical testing using sample data. The goal of hypothesis testing is to determine the positive support. It means which of the hypotheses is more supported by the evidence.

    4. Theoretical foundation: Null and alternative hypotheses are constructed based on theoretical or prior knowledge about the population being studied. The null hypothesis represents a default or status quo assumption. Whereas the alternative hypothesis represents a departure from that assumption.

    5. Comparison: In hypothesis testing, the null hypothesis is typically a statement of no effect or no difference. E.g., no effect of a treatment, no difference between two groups. Whereas the alternative hypothesis is a statement of an effect or a difference. For, there is an effect of treatment; there is a difference between the two groups.

    6. Decision-making: The process of hypothesis involves collecting data, calculating, and making a decision. It can define if the null hypothesis should be rejected or not. This decision is based on the evidence provided by the sample data.

    7. Statistical tests: Both null and alternative hypotheses are used in conjunction with specific statistical tests that are chosen based on the research question and the nature of the data. The choice of test depends on whether the hypotheses involve means, proportions, variances, correlations, etc.

    The following table summarizes the key differences between the two categories of hypotheses.


    Null Hypothesis

    Alternative Hypothesis


    A declaration that there is no connection, relationship, or difference between the variables under test

    A claim that disputes the null hypothesis or challenges it, indicating the existence of an effect, relationship, or difference


    The premise is that there is no substantial difference or link between the factors

    Makes the claim that there is a significant difference or relationship between the variables.

    Testing Goal

    Testing seeks to confirm or refute the null hypothesis.

    Testing seeks to confirm or reject the competing hypothesis.

    Statistical Notation

    Denoted as H0

    Denoted as H1 or Ha


    The alternative hypothesis is supported by evidence that the null hypothesis is false.

    The alternative hypothesis is not strongly supported by the failure to reject the null hypothesis.

    Burden of Proof

    Strong evidence is necessary to disprove the null hypothesis.

    requires proof to support the alternative theory

    Statistical Testing

    The likelihood of obtaining the observed results under the null hypothesis is determined through statistical testing.

    To determine how likely it is to have the reported outcomes under the alternative hypothesis, statistical tests are run.

    Acceptance Criteria

    The threshold for rejecting the null hypothesis is determined using a predetermined level of significance (such as alpha level).

    The significance level and effect size are used to determine how strong the evidence is for the alternative hypothesis.

    How To Write Null And Alternative Hypotheses?

    Writing a null hypothesis (often denoted as H0) is a critical step in hypothesis testing. It serves as the default or status quo assumption that you aim to test against when analyzing your data. Below, I'll provide a template for custom writing a null hypothesis with an explanation for each section:

    Template for Writing a Null Hypothesis (H0)

    General Format: H0: [Population parameter or effect] is [equal to/less than/greater than] [specific value or condition].


    1. H0 is where you state your null hypothesis. Begin with "H0:" to indicate that you are formulating the null hypothesis.

    2. Population parameter or effect: Here, specify the population parameter or the effect you are studying. This should be a clear and concise description of what you are testing. For example, if you are conducting a study on the effect of a new drug on blood pressure, you might write "the mean blood pressure."

    3. Equal to/less than/greater than Choose the appropriate relational operator based on the nature of your research question. You can use "equal to" if you want to test if the parameter or effect is equal to a specific value, "less than" if you want to test if it's less than a value, or "greater than" if you want to test if it's greater than a value.

    4. Specific value or condition: In this part, specify the specific value or condition that represents the null hypothesis. This value should reflect the status quo or the assumption you want to test. For example, if you're testing the effect of a new drug on blood pressure and you believe it has no effect, you might use the average blood pressure of the control group as the specific value.

    An alternative hypothesis (often denoted as "Ha" or "H1") is a critical reflection component of hypothesis testing in statistics and scientific research. It presents a statement that contrasts with the null hypothesis (H0) and represents the effect, difference, or relationship that researchers are interested in exploring. Here's how to write an alternative hypothesis effectively using a template in 300 words:

    Template for Writing an Alternative Hypothesis:

    Begin with a Clear Statement: Start by crafting a clear and concise statement that directly addresses the research question and the potential effect, difference, or relationship you are investigating.

    Alternative Hypothesis Structure:

    1. For Two Sample Means:

      • Directional Alternative Hypothesis (One-Sided):
        • "The [variable of interest] in [group 1] is significantly [greater/less than] the [variable of interest] in [group 2]."
      • Non-Directional Alternative Hypothesis (Two-Sided):
        • "There is a significant difference in [variable of interest] between [group 1] and [group 2]."

    2. For Two Proportions:

      • Directional Alternative Hypothesis (One-Sided):
        • "The proportion of [event of interest] in [group 1] is significantly [greater/less than] the proportion of [event of interest] in [group 2]."
      • Non-Directional Alternative Hypothesis (Two-Sided):
        • "There is a significant difference in the proportions of [event of interest] between [group 1] and [group 2]."

    3. For Regression Analysis:

      • "The [independent variable(s)] has a significant [positive/negative] effect on the [dependent variable], as indicated by a [positive/negative] regression coefficient."

    4. For Correlation Analysis:

      • "There is a significant [positive/negative] correlation between [variable 1] and [variable 2]."

    5. For Chi-Square Test of Independence:

      • "There is a significant association between [variable 1] and [variable 2] in the population."

    6. For ANOVA (Analysis of Variance):

      • "At least one of the group means is significantly different from the others."

    7. For Survival Analysis:

      • "The survival curves of [group 1] and [group 2] are significantly different."

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Q1. What is a null hypothesis (H0)?

    A null hypothesis is a statement that suggests there is no effect, difference, or relationship between variables in a research study. It serves as a starting point for hypothesis testing.

    Q2. What is an alternative hypothesis?

    An alternative hypothesis is a statement that contradicts the null hypothesis and represents the effect, difference, or relationship that researchers aim to investigate or detect.

    Q3. Why is the null hypothesis important?

    The null hypothesis provides a baseline for statistical testing, allowing researchers to assess whether observed data provide enough evidence to reject the default assumption and accept the alternative hypothesis.

    Q4. Can you provide an example of a null hypothesis?

    A classic example is in a drug trial: "There is no significant difference in blood pressure between the control group (receiving a placebo) and the treatment group (receiving the new drug)."

    Q5. What is a one-tailed (directional) alternative hypothesis?

    A one-tailed alternative hypothesis specifies a specific direction of the effect, such as "The new treatment reduces blood pressure significantly." It tests for an effect in one direction only.

    Q6. What is a two-tailed (non-directional) alternative hypothesis?

    A two-tailed alternative hypothesis tests for a difference or effect in either direction and does not specify a particular direction. For example, "There is a significant difference in blood pressure between the groups."

    Q7. How do you choose between a one-tailed and a two-tailed alternative hypothesis?

    The choice depends on your research question and whether you have a specific expectation about the direction of the effect. Use a one-tailed test when you have a directional hypothesis; use a two-tailed test when you're open to effects in either direction.

    Q8. What is a Type I error?

    A Type I error occurs when you incorrectly reject a true null hypothesis. It represents a false positive, indicating that you found an effect or difference when one does not actually exist.

    Q9. What is a Type II error?

    A Type II error happens when you fail to reject a false null hypothesis. It indicates that you did not detect an effect or difference that does exist in reality.

    Q10. How do you determine the significance level (alpha) for hypothesis testing?

    The significance level, often denoted as α, is predetermined by the researcher and represents the probability of making a Type I error. Common choices include α = 0.05 or α = 0.01, but it depends on the desired level of confidence in the test results.

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