How is the null hypothesis used in hypothesis testing?

Caroline Campbell

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Ashley Howard on October 10, 2018

The statistical tests compare the observed (or more extreme) values against what would be expected if the null hypothesis were true. If the probability of the observation is high you would retain the null hypothesis, if the probability is low, the null hypothesis is rejected. The thresholds for high or low probability is set arbitrarily at 5%, 1%, etc, Strictly speaking, rejecting the null hypothesis, not accept the alternative hypothesis, because it is possible that neither are true and it is the model that is wrong.


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