The side length of aDavid is a statistician. He has a sample size of 40 (which he cannot change). What element of his hypothesis test can he adjust to minimize the probability that he incorrectly rejects the null hypothesis?
the mean of the population
the mean of the sample
the standard deviation of the population
the significance level of the testn equilateral triangle is 6 cm. What is the height of the triangle?


  1. Answer: D) the significance level of the test



    The significance level of the test, also known as “alpha”, is the probability of making a type 1 error. A type 1 error is where you reject the null hypothesis but it was true all along.

    The null hypothesis is where we test a certain probability distribution (eg: normal distribution). Specifically we gather a sample of values and compute the test statistic. If the probability of getting that test statistic or more extreme is smaller than alpha, then we reject the null. This probability value is known as the p-value.

    If you lower the alpha value, then that will make it more likely you do not reject the null. Consider an example where alpha = 0.10 to start with. If you get a p-value of 0.02, then you would reject the null. The same would apply for alpha = 0.05; however, with alpha = 0.01, the p-value is no longer smaller than alpha. At this point we do not reject the null. Your textbook may use the phrasing “fail to reject the null”.

    Going in the opposite direction, increasing the alpha value will make it more likely to reject the null. Each time you adjust the alpha value, keep the p-value to some fixed number (between 0 and 1).

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