Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

In the above rating scale example, if the result of our statistical test for this one

attitude scale item indicates that our sample mean is “close to 4,” we say that we

accept the null hypothesis that the parents of 8
th
grade pupils were neither satisﬁed

nor dissatisﬁed with the quality of the science program offered by their son’s or

daughter’s school.

In the above example,
if the result of our statistical test indicates that the sample

mean is signiﬁcantly different from 4
, we reject the null hypothesis and accept the

research hypothesis
by stating either that
:

“Parents of 8
th
grade pupils were signiﬁcantly satisﬁed with the quality of the science

program offered by their son’s or daughter’s school”
(this is true whenever our sample

mean is signiﬁcantly greater than our expected population mean of 4).

or

“Parents of 8
th
grade pupils were signiﬁcantly dissatisﬁed with the quality of the science

program offered by their son’s or daughter’s school”
(this is accepted as true whenever our

sample mean is signiﬁcantly less than our expected population mean of 4).

Both of these conclusions cannot be true. We accept one of the hypotheses as

“true” based on the data set in our research study, and the other one as “not true”

based on our data set.

The job of the research scientist, then, is to decide which of these two

hypotheses, the null hypothesis or the research hypothesis, he or she will accept

as true given the data set in the research study.

Let’s try some examples of rating scales so that you can practice ﬁguring out

what the null hypothesis and the research hypothesis are for each rating scale.

In the spaces in Fig.
3.7
, write in the null hypothesis and the research hypothesis

for the rating scales:

How did you do?

Here are the answers to these three questions:

m
¼

m
6¼

1. The null hypothesis is

3, and the research hypothesis is

3 on this 5-point

scale (i.e. the “middle” of the scale is 3).

2. The null hypothesis is

m
¼

4, and the research hypothesis is

m
6¼

4 on this 7-point

scale (i.e., the “middle” of the scale is 4).

3. The null hypothesis is

5.5 on this 10-

point scale (i.e., the “middle” of the scale is 5.5 since there are 5 numbers below

5.5 and 5 numbers above 5.5).

m
¼

5.5, and the research hypothesis is

m
6¼

As another example, suppose Texas Parks and Wildlife uses a 4-point scale in its

post-hunting satisfaction survey. The results of this survey are used to determine the

number of licenses issued for wildlife management the following hunting season.

The scale is as follows:

1

¼

Not So Good

2

¼

Average

3

¼

Very Good

4

¼

Great

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