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Type II Errors in Statistical Hypothesis Testing

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Understanding Type II errors, or false negatives, in hypothesis testing is essential for accurate statistical analysis. These errors occur when a true effect exists but the test fails to detect it, leading to the incorrect acceptance of the null hypothesis. The probability of a Type II error is represented by eta, and reducing this error increases the test's power. Factors like sample size and test sensitivity play crucial roles in minimizing the risk of Type II errors and ensuring reliable results.

Understanding Type II Errors in Hypothesis Testing

In statistical hypothesis testing, a Type II error, also known as a false negative, occurs when the null hypothesis (\(H_0\)) is incorrectly accepted as true. This error happens when there is a genuine effect or difference in the population, but the test fails to detect it. This is in contrast to a Type I error, which occurs when the null hypothesis is wrongly rejected. Grasping the concept of Type II errors is crucial for accurately interpreting statistical test results and making evidence-based decisions.
Science laboratory with test tubes containing blue liquid in a row, turned off digital scale, pipette with red flask and closed green book, researcher analyzes petri dish.

The Probability of Committing a Type II Error

The probability of committing a Type II error is denoted by the symbol \(\beta\). This probability is determined by the true population parameter, which is often unknown in practice. The probability of a Type II error is the chance that the test statistic will not fall into the rejection region even though the null hypothesis is false. The formula for this probability is \(\mathbb{P}(\text{Type II error}) = \mathbb{P}(\text{fail to reject } H_0 \text{ when } H_0 \text{ is false})\). The power of the test, which is the probability of correctly rejecting a false null hypothesis, is the complement of \(\beta\), calculated as \(1 - \beta\).

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A ______ error, or false negative, happens when a statistical test doesn't identify an actual difference that exists.

Type II


Determinants of Type II error probability

Influenced by true population parameter, unknown in practice


Type II error in hypothesis testing

Failing to reject null hypothesis when it is actually false


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