Null Hypothesis

In mathematics, Statistics deals with the study of research and surveys on the numerical data. For taking surveys, we have to define the hypothesis. Generally, there are two types of hypothesis. One is a null hypothesis, and another is an alternative hypothesis.

In probability and statistics, the null hypothesis is a comprehensive statement or default status that there is zero happening or nothing happening. For example, there is no connection among groups or no association between two measured events. It is generally assumed here that the hypothesis is true until any other proof has been brought into the light to deny the hypothesis. Let us learn more here with definition, symbol, principle, types and example, in this article.

Table of contents:

Null Hypothesis Definition

The null hypothesis is a kind of hypothesis which explains the population parameter whose purpose is to test the validity of the given experimental data. This hypothesis is either rejected or not rejected based on the viability of the given population or sample. In other words, the null hypothesis is a hypothesis in which the sample observations results from the chance. It is said to be a statement in which the surveyors wants to examine the data. It is denoted by H0.

Null Hypothesis Symbol

In statistics, the null hypothesis is usually denoted by letter H with subscript ‘0’ (zero), such that H0. It is pronounced as H-null or H-zero or H-nought. At the same time, the alternative hypothesis expresses the observations determined by the non-random cause. It is represented by H1 or Ha.

Null Hypothesis Principle

The principle followed for null hypothesis testing is, collecting the data and determining the chances of a given set of data during the study on some random sample, assuming that the null hypothesis is true. In case if the given data does not face the expected null hypothesis, then the outcome will be quite weaker, and they conclude by saying that the given set of data does not provide strong evidence against the null hypothesis because of insufficient evidence. Finally, the researchers tend to reject that.

Null Hypothesis Formula

Here, the hypothesis test formulas are given below for reference.

The formula for the null hypothesis is:

H0:  p = p0

The formula for the alternative hypothesis is:

Ha = p >p0, < p0≠ p0

The formula for the test static is:

\(z = \frac{\hat{p}-p_{0}}{\sqrt{\frac{p_{0}(1-p_{0})}{n}}}\)

Remember that,  pis the null hypothesis and p – hat is the sample proportion.

Also, read:

Types of Null Hypothesis

There are different types of hypothesis. They are:

Simple Hypothesis

It completely specifies the population distribution. In this method, the sampling distribution is the function of the sample size.

Composite Hypothesis

The composite hypothesis is one that does not completely specify the population distribution.

Exact Hypothesis

Exact hypothesis defines the exact value of the parameter. For example μ= 50

Inexact Hypothesis

This type of hypothesis does not define the exact value of the parameter. But it denotes a specific range or interval. For example 45< μ <60

Null Hypothesis Rejection

Sometimes the null hypothesis is rejected too. If this hypothesis is rejected means, that research could be invalid. Many researchers will neglect this hypothesis as it is merely opposite to the alternate hypothesis. It is a better practice to create a hypothesis and test it. The goal of researchers is not to reject the hypothesis. But it is evident that a perfect statistical model is always associated with the failure to reject the null hypothesis.

How do you Find the Null Hypothesis?

The null hypothesis says there is no correlation between the measured event (the dependent variable) and the independent variable. We don’t have to believe that the null hypothesis is true to test it. On the contrast, you will possibly assume that there is a connection between a set of variables ( dependent and independent).

When is Null Hypothesis Rejected?

The null hypothesis is rejected using the P-value approach. If the P-value is less than or equal to the α, there should be a rejection of the null hypothesis in favour of the alternate hypothesis. In case, if P-value is greater than α, the null hypothesis is not rejected.

Null Hypothesis and Alternative Hypothesis

Now, let us discuss the difference between the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.


Null Hypothesis

Alternative Hypothesis


The null hypothesis is a statement. There exists no relation between two variables

Alternative hypothesis a statement, there exists some relationship between two measured phenomenon


Denoted by H0

Denoted by H1


The observations of this hypothesis are the result of chance

The observations of this hypothesis are the result of real effect


The mathematical formulation of the null hypothesis is an equal sign

The mathematical formulation alternative hypothesis is an inequality sign such as greater than, less than, etc.

Null Hypothesis Examples

Here, some of the examples of the null hypothesis are given below. Go through the below ones to understand the concept of the null hypothesis in a better way.

If a medicine reduces the risk of cardiac stroke, then the null hypothesis should be “the medicine does not reduce the chance of cardiac stroke”. This testing can be performed by the administration of a drug to a certain group of people in a controlled way. If the survey shows that there is a significant change in the people, then the hypothesis is rejected.

Few more examples are:

1). Are there is 100% chance of getting affected by dengue?

Ans: There could be chances of getting affected by dengue but not 100%.

2). Do teenagers are using mobile phones more than adults to access the internet?

Ans: Age has no limit on using mobile phones to access the internet.

3). Does having apple daily will not cause fever?

Ans: Having apple daily does not assure of not having fever, but increases the immunity to fight against such diseases.

4). Do the children more good in doing mathematical calculations than adults?

Ans: Age has no effect on Mathematical skills.

In many common applications, the choice of the null hypothesis is not automated, but the testing and calculations may be automated. Also, the choice of the null hypothesis is completely based on previous experiences and inconsistent advice. The choice can be more complicated and based on the variety of applications and the diversity of the objectives. 

The main limitation for the choice of the null hypothesis is that the hypothesis suggested by the data is based on the reasoning which proves nothing. It means that if some hypothesis provides a summary of the data set, then there would be no value in the testing of the hypothesis on the particular set of data. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Null Hypothesis

What is meant by the null hypothesis?

In Statistics, a null hypothesis is a type of hypothesis which explains the population parameter whose purpose is to test the validity of the given experimental data.

What are the benefits of hypothesis testing?

Hypothesis testing is defined as a form of inferential statistics, which allows making conclusions from the entire population based on the sample representative.

When a null hypothesis is accepted and rejected?

The null hypothesis is either accepted or rejected in terms of the given data. If P-value is less than α, then the null hypothesis is rejected in favor of the alternative hypothesis, and if the P-value is greater than α, then the null hypothesis is accepted in favor of the alternative hypothesis.

Why is the null hypothesis important?

The importance of the null hypothesis is that it provides an approximate description of the phenomena of the given data. It allows the investigators to directly test the relational statement in a research study.

How to accept or reject the null hypothesis in the chi-square test?

If the result of the chi-square test is bigger than the critical value in the table, then the data does not fit the model, which represents the rejection of the null hypothesis.


Free Class