How to Insert the Null Hypothesis & Alternate Hypothesis Symbols in Microsoft Word

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Although the symbols for the null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis -- sometimes called the alternate hypothesis -- do not exist as special characters in Microsoft Word, they are easily created with subscripts.The alternate hypothesis is symbolically represented by a capitalized "H," followed by a subscript "1," although some researchers prefer an "a." The null hypothesis is represented by a capitalized "H," followed by a subscript "0" or "o." The accepted practice in the scientific community is to use two hypotheses when testing the relationship between two events. The alternative hypothesis states that the two events are related. However, scientists have found that testing for a direct correlation can cause bias in the testing procedure. To avoid this bias, scientists test a null hypothesis that states there is no correlation. By disproving the null hypothesis, you imply a correlation in the alternate hypothesis. A similar system is used in the United States legal system where a defendant is found "not guilty," rather than being found "innocent."


Step 1

Open your document in Microsoft Word and click wherever you want the hypothesis symbols to appear.

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Step 2

Type a capital "H" on your keyboard.

Step 3

Click the subscript button, located in the "Font" group of the "Home" tab. This button's icon looks like an "x" with a subscript "2." Alternatively, hold the "Ctrl" key and press "=".


Step 4

Type a "0" to create a null hypothesis symbol or "1" to create an alternative hypothesis symbol. Alternatively, type an "o" or "a" to represent the null and alternative hypotheses, respectively, although these symbols are not as frequently used.


Step 5

Press the subscript button again to exit this formatting mode.

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