AP Statistics : Significance Logic and Establishing Hypotheses

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Statistics

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Example Questions

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Example Question #8 : How To Establish A Null Hypothesis

A researcher wants to investigate the claim that taking vitamins will help a student study longer. First, the researcher collects 32 students who do not take vitamins and determines their time spent studying. Then, the 32 students are given a vitamin for 1 week. After 1 week of taking vitamins, students are again tested to determine their time spent studying. Which of the following is the correct null hypothesis?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Because the same students are tested twice, this is a paired study, therefore we must use a hypothesis appropriate for a paired t-test.  The hypothesis for a paired t-test regards the average of the differences between before and after treatment, called MuD. We are testing the claim that vitamins increase study time, which would mean that study time for vitamin users would be greater than that of the control.  Therefore the null must include all other outcomes. The null hypothesis should state that the difference between before and after treatment is greater than or equal to zero.

Example Question #9 : How To Establish A Null Hypothesis

For her school science project, Susy wants to determine whether the ants in her neighborhood have smaller colonies than average. Research tells her that the average Harvester colony has around 4,000 ants. She counts the number of ants in 5 colonies in her neighborhood and determines the average colony size to be 3,700 ants. What is the appropriate null hypothesis for her science project?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Susy wants to know whether ants in her neighborhood have smaller colonies, so that will be her alternative hypothesis. Therefore her null hypothesis needs to cover all other outcomes, that the colony sizes are greater than or equal to average colony size of 4000 ants.

Example Question #10 : How To Establish A Null Hypothesis

For his school science project, Timmy wants to determine whether the ants in his neighborhood have colonies that are sized differently than normal. His research shows that the average Harvester colony has around 4000 ants. He counts the number of ants in 5 colonies and determines that the average colony size is 3,700 ants. What is the appropriate null hypothesis for his science project?

 

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Timmy does not have a directional hypothesis, he only wants to know whether local ant colonies are different from average. Therefore he thinks the colonies could be bigger or smaller than average. This means his alternative hypothesis is that the ant colonies are NOT equal to the average colony size of 4000 ants. His null hypothesis must include all other outcomes, which in this case is that local ant colonies are equal to the average size of 4000 ants. 

Example Question #11 : How To Establish A Null Hypothesis

A study would like to determine whether meditation helps students improve focus time. They used a control group of 30 students and compared their focus time to a group of 30 meditating students and compared their average time spent meditating. What is the appropriate null hypothesis for this study?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Because we are comparing two samples, the hypothesis takes the form of Mu1- Mu2. Because we are testing the claim that meditation increases average study time, the null hypothesis must cover all other outcomes. That means the null hypothesis is that the difference between control minus meditation is greater than or equal to zero. 

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