Social Research Glossary


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home


Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.


A fast-paced novel of conjecture and surprises


Null hypothesis

core definition

A null hypothesis is a statement that no difference or relationship exists between specified variables.

explanatory context

Before an hypothesis is tested using statistical significance tests it is stated in the form of a null hypothesis, that is, that no difference will be found between the groups being tested or that no relationships between the variables will be found.


If we are able to reject the null hyposthesis then we have evidence of an alternative hypothesis that a difference or correlation exists. The alternative is usually the hypothesis in which we are primarily interested.

analytical review

associated issues


related areas

See also



significance test


copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2020


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home