11.2.1 - Five Step Hypothesis Testing Procedure

The examples on the following pages use the five step hypothesis testing procedure outlined below. This is the same procedure that we used to conduct a hypothesis test for a single mean, single proportion, difference in two means, and difference in two proportions.

Step 1: Check assumptions and write hypotheses

When conducting a chi-square goodness-of-fit test, it makes the most sense to write the hypotheses first. The hypotheses will depend on the research question. The null hypothesis will always contain the equalities and the alternative hypothesis will be that at least one population proportion is not as specified in the null.

In order to use the chi-square distribution to approximate the sampling distribution, all expected counts must be at least five.

Expected Count

Where \(n\) is the total sample size and \(p_i\) is the hypothesized population proportion in the "ith" group.

To check this assumption, compute all expected counts and confirm that each is at least five.

Step 2: Compute the test statistic

In Step 1 you already computed the expected counts. Use this formula to compute the chi-square test statistic:

Chi-Square Test Statistic
\(\chi^2=\sum \dfrac{(O-E)^2}{E}\)
Where \(O\) is the observed count for each cell and \(E\) is the expected count for each cell.
Step 3: Determine the p-value

Construct a chi-square distribution with degrees of freedom equal to the number of groups minus one. The p-value is the area under that distribution to the right of the test statistic that was computed in Step 2. You can find this area by constructing a probability distribution plot in Minitab. 

Step 4: Make a decision

Unless otherwise stated, use the standard 0.05 alpha level.

\(p \leq \alpha\) reject the null hypothesis.

\(p > \alpha\) fail to reject the null hypothesis.

Step 5: State a real-world conclusion

Go back to the original research question and address it directly. If you rejected the null hypothesis, then there is evidence that at least one of the population proportions is not as stated in the null hypothesis. If you failed to reject the null hypothesis, then there is not enough evidence that any of the population proportions are different from what is stated in the null hypothesis.