Search

# Null Hypothesis

## Definition

The null hypothesis, in the field of finance and statistics, is a general statement or default position suggesting that there is no significant relationship or variation between two measured phenomena. It is often denoted by “H0,” and is usually assumed to be true until statistically contradicted. In other words, it’s an initial claim that there’s no difference or effect in a particular context.

### Phonetic

The phonetics of the keyword “Null Hypothesis” is: nʌl haɪˈpɒθɪsɪs

## Key Takeaways

Sure, here are three main takeaways about Null Hypothesis:“`html

1. Null Hypothesis refers to a general statement or default position that there is no relationship between two measured phenomena, or no association among groups. It is usually based on a theory and suggests that the experimental results would be the same as the statistical results.
2. Testing the null hypothesis involves determining whether or not the observed data deviates from the null hypothesis. If the data deviates significantly from the null hypothesis, then we reject the null hypothesis and infer that the observed data is inconsistent with it.
3. If the data does not deviate significantly from the null hypothesis, we fail to reject the null hypothesis. We do not accept or prove the null hypothesis, we only conclude that there is not enough evidence against it.

“`

## Importance

The null hypothesis is an essential term in business/finance as it plays a significant role in statistical analyses and hypothesis testing. It sets a benchmark for comparison and helps researchers assess the data’s credibility, evaluate business strategies, or gauge the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. The null hypothesis typically proposes there is no statistical significance or effect in a set of observed data. It is fundamental that it is correctly identified and tested, as it delivers insights that can shape operational decisions, design of future experiments, and overall business strategies. Businesses can use null hypotheses to make informed decisions, manage their risk levels more efficiently and determine optimal strategies, projecting the outcome’s effect on performance.

## Explanation

The purpose of a null hypothesis, a fundamental concept in statistics that also plays a significant role in business and finance, is to provide a benchmark for testing the validity of a specific claim or a theory. The paramount aim here is to disprove or reject it, so as to maintain the status quo until compelling evidence warrants a change. In essence, the null hypothesis assumes that any kind of difference or importance you see in a set of data is due to chance, i.e., it signifies that there is no significant difference existent between specified populations, any observed difference being attributed to sampling or experimental error.In the context of business and finance, null hypotheses are used to make informed decisions. For example, a company may hypothesize that changing a product design does not increase sales. This will be the null hypothesis that the new product design has no effect on sales. The alternative hypothesis would be that the new design does influence sales. To verify this, the company will perform a hypothesis test, using collected data to determine if there’s enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis in favor of the alternative hypothesis. Regardless of the specific application, the ultimate goal of utilizing a null hypothesis is to improve the reasoning of decisions based on data.

## Examples

1. Market Research: Consider a company that manufactures LED bulbs. They claim that their LED bulbs consumes less electricity compared to other LED bulbs in the market. So, their null hypothesis would be “Our LED bulbs consume the same amount of electricity as other LED bulbs in the market.” This hypothesis is then tested —if rejected, it indicates that their bulbs indeed consume less power. 2. Employee Productivity: A company introduces a new productivity software for their employees and assumes that this software will increase the productivity of employees by reducing their tasks completion time. The null hypothesis here is, “The new software will not reduce the task completion time” or “The new software has no effect on employee productivity.” If this hypothesis is rejected after testing, then the software was successful in increasing productivity.3. Investment Return: Here, an example of a null hypothesis could be that a particular investment strategy does not provide returns above the market average. A financial analyst or investor may seek to test this hypothesis, and if they find evidence to the contrary and subsequently reject the null hypothesis, it demonstrates that their investment strategy might indeed provide above-average returns.

What is a Null Hypothesis in finance and business terms?

The Null Hypothesis in finance and business is a general statement or default position that there is no relationship between two measured events. It assumes that any kind of difference or significance you see in a data set is by chance.

What is the importance of a Null Hypothesis?

The Null Hypothesis is important because it forms the basis of statistical testing. By providing a basis to accept or reject claims, it helps decide if an alternative hypothesis can be accepted or not.

What is an example of a Null Hypothesis in a business context?

An example in a business context might be if management believes implementing a new sales strategy will increase sales. The Null Hypothesis would assert that the new strategy does not have an impact, and any resultant increase in sales is coincidental.

How is a Null Hypothesis tested?

A Null Hypothesis is tested by collecting and analyzing data to see if an alternative hypothesis is statistically more likely to be accurate.

What is the relationship between a Null Hypothesis and an Alternate Hypothesis?

The Null Hypothesis and the Alternate Hypothesis are inversely related. If the Null Hypothesis is rejected based on the collected data, then the Alternate Hypothesis is accepted as a more likely explanation.

What happens when a Null Hypothesis is rejected?

If a Null Hypothesis is rejected, it suggests that the variables in question do have a significant relationship, and that the results are statistically significant, thus suggesting that the Alternative Hypothesis may be correct.

How do I interpret results relating to a Null Hypothesis?

If the p-value is less than the chosen significance level, one rejects the Null Hypothesis. If the p-value is greater, one fails to reject the Null Hypothesis. However, failing to reject doesn’t necessarily prove the null hypothesis.

What is a p-value in the context of a Null Hypothesis?

The p-value in a Null Hypothesis testing represents the probability that the collected data would be the same if the Null Hypothesis were true. Lower p-values suggest that the Null Hypothesis is less likely to be true.

Can the Null Hypothesis always be proven true?

No, the Null Hypothesis cannot be ‘proven’ true. However, a statistical test can provide strong evidence in favor of the Null Hypothesis. Conversely, it can provide evidence against the Null Hypothesis, in which case the Alternate Hypothesis is more likely to be true.

: Can the Null Hypothesis change for a given situation?

: Yes, a Null Hypothesis is situation-dependent and can change based on the specific scenario or research question. The Null Hypothesis should be created prior to the collection of data and based on the question to be answered or investigated.

## Related Finance Terms

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

View our editorial process

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board