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Nondirectional Hypotheses - SAGE Research Methods

Now don't get confused - we're not testing to see if our mice have two tails! We're testing to see if the mean of the sample group is either less than or greater than the mean of the control group, which - in statistical terms - is considered to be a two-direction or two-tailed test. Remember that the hypotheses were Ho:XbarA = XbarB and Ha: XbarA is not equal to XbarB. In this alternate hypothesis, all that has been said is that the two means are not the same, which would be true (a) if the mean of the sample group is higher than that of the control group or (b) if the mean of the sample group is lower than that of the control group. There is nothing in the phrasing of the hypothesis that stipulates the group A animals (treated) must actually have longer life spans as compared to the group B animals.

Remember the example of testing the effect of antibiotics on mice in Lesson 7. The point of the study was to find out if the mice who were treated with the antibiotic would outlive those who were not treated (i.e., the control group). Are you surprised that the researcher did not hypothesize that the control group might outlive the treatment group? Would it make any difference in how the hypothesis testing were carried out? These questions raise the issue of directional testing, or one-tailed vs two-tailed tests.

Notes on Directional and Non Directional

To reiterate, if you are standing right at the gate (1.96) for a two-tail test, then you have just barely met the p=0.05 requirement. However, if you are standing at the 1.96 point when running a one-tail test, then you have already exceeded the 1.65 gate and the probability must be even more significant, say p=0.025. It's important to find the critical t-value that is correct for the intended directional nature of the test.

If the conclusion were to support the claim that the antibiotic prolonged group A life spans, then the researchers should use a directional alternate hypothesis, such as Ha: XbarA > XbarB. Here group A's life span is hypothesized to be greater (longer) than group B's (the control group). In this case, an alpha level of 0.05 implies that all 0.05 would have to appear in the right or high tail of the curve, which then is a one-tailed or directional test, as shown in Figure 8-3. This figure shows that the critical t-value will actually be smaller for the one-tail test, that is, +1.65 instead of 1.96 or 2.00 from the two-tail test. This happens because 95% of the area under the curve begins to accumulate from the left-most side of the curve (including that tail) and includes less of the right side of the curve. The result is that tcalc can be smaller (1.65 instead of 1.96) and still cause Ho to be rejected.

Non-directional hypothesis and Directional hypothesis ..

A directional hypothesis is more specific, in that the experimenter predicts, not only that a specific relationship will exist, but, further, the direction of that relationship.

This lesson describes some refinements to the hypothesis testing approach that was introduced in the previous lesson. The truth of the matter is that the previous lesson was somewhat oversimplified in order to focus on the concept and general steps in the hypothesis testing procedure. With that background, we can now get into some of the finer points of hypothesis testing.

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Directional vs Nondirectional Tests - YouTube

However, it is not possible to come up with an example for each cell of these matrices because it is not possible to propose a non-directional and causal hypothesis.

Nondirectional Test car example presented by: ..

This is why, for example, we can be more confident of research results that are consistent with a causal-directional hypothesis, than is the case of findings that are consistent with a non-directional hypothesis.

Directional vs Nondirectional Tests ..

This lesson describes some refinements to the hypothesis testing approach that was introduced in the previous lesson. The truth of the matter is that the previous lesson was somewhat oversimplified in order to focus on the concept and general steps in the hypothesis testing procedure. With that background, we can now get into some of the finer points of hypothesis testing.

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