9. Hypothesis Testing 2 [ Home ] [ Up ]

## Hypothesis Testing 2--Testing for Population Means

In Hypothesis Testing 1, you were introduced to the ideas of hypothesis testing in the context of deciding whether a coin was fair or biased in favor of heads.  In this section hypothesis testing concerning population means is explored.

### Testing H0: µ=µ0 vs. Ha: µ>µ0 When the Population Standard Deviation is Known

#### Assumptions

 A random sample of size n is taken from some population.  Either the population is normal in which case n can be of any size, or the population distribution is unknown in which case n should be 30 or more.  In the following examples suppose n=36. The standard deviation, sigma, of the population is known.  In the examples suppose sigma=5. The level of significance, alpha, is given.  In the following examples suppose alpha=0.05.

In all three methods it is assumed that the distribution of sample means for samples of size n is, at least, approximately normal with mean given by µ0 (assume that µ0 is 50 for the next examples) from the null hypothesis, and standard deviation sigma/Sqrt[n] (which equals 5/Sqrt[36]=5/6).

#### Method 1--The Critical xbar Method:

 Step 1: Based on the null and alternative hypotheses and given alpha, find a critical z-value (or z-values).  Remember that alpha is the tail probability (in the right tail for the given alternative hypothesis).  For alpha=0.05, the critical z-value is 1.645.  This is the z-value below the vertical line that defines the left side of the red-shaded area.   The red-shaded area has probability 0.05.

 Step 2: Now use the equation with z=1.645, µ=50 from the null hypothesis, sigma=5, and the square root of n=6 to solve for xbar.  This solution is called the critical xbar value, or more simply, the critical value.. It equals 51.3708.   If the actual sample mean of the random sample of size 36 is 51.3708 or greater, you reject the null hypothesis.  The rejection region is shown in red in the next graph. Step 3: Take the random sample of size n and compute xbar, the sample mean.  Compare this with the critical value to either accept or reject the null hypothesis.

#### Method 2--The Critical Z Method:

 Step 1: Based on alpha and the alternative hypothesis, find a critical z-value or z-values (1.645 for the example). Step 2: Take the random sample and compute the sample mean, xbar (for example, suppose the sample xbar that you get is 52.3). Step 3: Put xbar along with mu, sigma, and n into .   The resulting z-value is called the computed z-value. (For the example, the computed z-value is 2.76).  If the computed z-value lies outside of the critical z-value found in 1, reject the null hypothesis; otherwise, fail to reject the null hypothesis.  (For the example, 2.76 lies outside of 1.645, so you would reject the null hypothesis)

#### Method 3--The p-value Method:

 Step 1: Take a random sample and compute the sample mean, xbar.  (Suppose, for example, that xbar is 52.3) Step 2: Put the computed xbar along with mu, sigma, and n into .  (For the example the computed z-value is 2.76)  Find the probability in the tail beyond (beyond is determined by the alternative hypothesis) the computed z-value.  If the test is a 1-tail test, this probability is called the p-value.  (For the example the p-value=0.003). If the test is a 2-tail test, double the probability to find the p-value. Step 3: If the p-value is less than or equal to alpha, reject the null hypothesis.  If the p-value is greater than alpha, fail to reject the null hypothesis.  (For the example, since 0.003<0.05, you would reject the null hypothesis)

### Type I and Type II Errors

To review, a Type I error occurs when the null hypothesis is true but the test rejects it, while a Type II error occurs when the null hypothesis is false but the hypothesis test accepts it.  P[Type I error]=Alpha and P[Type II error]=Beta.  In the next examples Type I and Type II errors will be calculated in hypothesis tests for a population mean.

In all the following examples assume that a random sample of size 36 has been taken from a population with standard deviation 5.  Assume that the sample mean for this sample of size 36 is xbar=52.7.  Finally, assume that the significance level, alpha, is 0.05.

#### Example 1: Testing H0: µ=50 vs. Ha: µ>50

Using the critical xbar method, the critical z-value is 1.645.  From the equation you
get 1.645=(critical xbar-50)/(5/6), and solving this for the critical xbar results in critical xbar=51.37.  Since the sample xbar is 52.7, you would reject the null hypothesis in favor of the alternative.  What is beta, the probability of a Type II error if the population mean is in fact 52?  The computation is not shown here but in the title section of the next graph
you see that beta is 0.22.

#### Example 2: Testing H0: µ=50 vs. Ha: µ<50

This example mirrors example 1.  Again, using the critical xbar method, the critical z-value is -1.645.  From the equation you get -1.645=(critical xbar-50)/(5/6), and solving this for the critical xbar results in critical xbar=48.63.  Since the sample xbar is 52.7, you would accept the null hypothesis.  What is beta, the probability of a Type II error if the population mean is in fact 52?  The computation is not shown but beta is equal to 0.99.

#### Example 3: Testing H0: µ=50 vs. Ha: µ<>50  (<> means not equal)

In Example 3, you the alternative hypothesis leads you to reject the null hypothesis for either large or small values of xbar.  This is a two tail test.  There are two critical z-values, -1.96 and +1.96.  From the equation you get -1.96=(critical xbar-50)/(5/6), and +1.96=(critical xbar-50)/(5/6).  Solving these two equations results in the critical xbar values of 48.37 and 51.63.  Since the sample xbar is 52.7, you would reject the null hypothesis.  What is beta, the probability of a Type II error if the population mean is in fact 52?  The computation is again not but from the title section of the next graph you see that beta is 0.33.  The red shaded area is alpha, the probability of a Type I error, and the blue shading is beta, the probability of a Type II error.

### Testing H0: µ=µ0 vs. Ha: µ>µ0 When the Population Standard Deviation is Unknown

In finding confidence intervals for the population mean, for small samples from a normally distributed population where the population standard deviation was unknown, you had to use Student's t-distribution to complete the solution.  The situation is the same in hypothesis testing.  Instead of using , you must use where the expression has a t-distribution with n-1 degrees of freedom.

#### Example: A random sample taken from a normal population produced the numbers 8, 10, 9, and 8.6.  At the 5% significance level, is the population mean equal to 10?

First, the null and alternative hypotheses must be stated.  They are

H0: µ=10 and Ha: µ<>10 where '<>' means not equal.

Since the statement of the example expresses no preference in determining whether the mean of the population is less than or greater than 10, the 'not equal' alternative hypothesis is used.  The p-value approach using the t-statistic shown above is employed.

From the random sample values, you find xbar=8.9 and s=0.84.

Substituting them into the t-statistic formula, you get calculated t=(8.9-10)/(0.84/Sqrt(4))=(-1.1)/(0.84/2)=-2.62.

Since a two tail test is indicated by the alternative hypothesis, the p-value is found by computing the area under Student's t-distribution with 3 degrees of freedom to the left of -2.62 and doubling the result.  Student's t-distribution is symmetric about zero, so instead of finding the area to the left of -2.62, you can find the area to the right of 2.62.  In the row of the 't-table' corresponding to 3 degrees of freedom, you find 2.353 and 3.182.  The number that you seek, 2.62 lies between these two numbers.  Then the area under the Student's t-distribution with 3 degrees of freedom to the right of 2.62 must lie between 0.025 and 0.05, the numbers at the top of the columns corresponding to 2.353 and 3.182.  The p-value lies between 2*0.025=0.05 and 2*0.05=0.10.

The p-value is larger than 0.05 so the null hypothesis is accepted.