null hypothesis


: a statistical hypothesis to be tested and accepted or rejected in favor of an alternative
specifically : the hypothesis that an observed difference (as between the means of two samples) is due to chance alone and not due to a systematic cause

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The new paper uses Bayesian analysis, which is widely considered a more reliable measure of the effects of behavioral interventions than other techniques, such as null hypothesis tests of statistical significance. Lydia Denworth, Scientific American, 6 July 2022 Ruling out the null hypothesis, however, can be an incredibly powerful achievement. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 29 June 2021 The most accurate and unambiguous independent check of a surprising annual modulation signal shows no annual modulation at all, consistent with the null hypothesis. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 4 Mar. 2021 Ever since, neutral theory has been the default assumption (or null hypothesis) in genetics. Quanta Magazine, 8 Dec. 2020 At present, there is not much of a null hypothesis, according to Allesina. Quanta Magazine, 26 Sep. 2018 Reaching a null hypothesis often means that an experiment is doomed for nonpublishing—even though null and negative results can teach us just as much as positive results. Dalmeet Singh Chawla, Slate Magazine, 3 Feb. 2017 The p-value actually means that the data in question has less than a 5 percent chance of being the result of chance if the underlying experimental null hypothesis is true. Jeremy Samuel Faust, Slate Magazine, 24 Apr. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'null hypothesis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1935, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of null hypothesis was in 1935

Dictionary Entries Near null hypothesis

Cite this Entry

“Null hypothesis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

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