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5-100 word reply to the following discussion:
The null hypothesis is used primarily for research in social science. It refers to the null effect (absence of effect) in the population. The hypothesis is formed before (a priori) the test is conducted, and assumes that the sample mean and the population mean have no significant difference (Urdan, 2011).
When referring to a t-test, the null hypothesis is the assumption that there is no difference between the two means being considered, or by definition, that there is an absence of an effect (Urdan, 2011). However, it is important to remember that accepting the null hypothesis and failing to reject it are two very different things (Pernet, C., 2016). In order to reject the null hypothesis, one must evaluate to ensure the difference is not due to chance or sampling errors (Urdan, 2011).
The level of significance, or probability (p-value) generally accepted is 0.05. If the results differ outside of this, then the null hypothesis may be rejected. One could conclude the difference between the population mean and the sample mean were not simply due to chance or a random sampling error and that the difference is significant (Urdan, 2011).
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