Annotated Steps for Hypothesis Testing
Research question? __________________________________________________________
1. Restate research question as two hypotheses: HA & H0 (our research hypothesis and our null
hypothesis). Note: HA is what we are actually hypothesizing. H0 is our "dummy" null
hypothesis that states, in effect "HA is not true."
2. Determine characteristics (mean, standard error) of sampling distribution (the comparison
distribution). Note: For the sampling distribution, assume the null hypothesis is true. For this
week's purposes, it is the distribution of sample means. It is always a distribution of statistics.
Standard error ____
3. Find critical value (s) on the sampling distribution. Note: To do this, you need to pick a
significance level (alpha) and decide whether to use a two-tailed or one-tailed test. Then check
the normal curve table. If you are a visual thinker, sketch the curve, mark where critical value(s)
fall, and shade the areas where you can reject the null. If you are a numerical thinker, just write
down the Z-score you have to beat, and be sure you specify +, -, or +/- (two tailed).
Number tails ____
Critical value(s) ____
4. Calculate statistic, then turn it into a Z-score to see where it falls on the sampling distribution.
Note: For Chs. 5&6, this is the sample mean. Statistics are always calculated using...the sample.
But to get the Z, you use the mean and standard error of ... the sampling distribution.
5. Compare 3 & 4 and make decision about H0 : Reject or retain? What's the answer to your
research question? Note: if you are a more visual thinker, look to see if your statistic falls in a
shaded region. If you are more numerical, see if the Z-score exceeds the critical value(s).
Answer to research question? _____________________________________________________