null hypothesis


In statistical testing, a null hypothesis (H0) commonly takes the form of a statement suggesting that an observed result or effect is due to random chance. The null hypothesis is put forward as the counterpart to an alternative hypothesis (H1), and is presumed correct until statistical testing shows otherwise. For example, in an evaluation of data regarding the pain relieving properties of a new drug, the null hypothesis would state that the new drug has no effect beyond that of a control. The null hypothesis is never proven by statistical testing; either H1 is accepted in favor of H0, or H0 is "not rejected."

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