Is two-tailed testing for directional research hypotheses tests legitimate?

Hyun Chul Cho, Shuzo Abe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Citations (Scopus)


This paper demonstrates that there is currently a widespread misuse of two-tailed testing for directional research hypotheses tests. One probable reason for this overuse of two-tailed testing is the seemingly valid beliefs that two-tailed testing is more conservative and safer than one-tailed testing. However, the authors examine the legitimacy of this notion and find it to be flawed. A second and more fundamental cause of the current problem is the pervasive oversight in making a clear distinction between the research hypothesis and the statistical hypothesis. Based upon the explicated, sound relationship between the research and statistical hypotheses, the authors propose a new scheme of hypothesis classification to facilitate and clarify the proper use of statistical hypothesis testing in empirical research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1261-1266
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept


  • Hypothesis testing
  • One-tailed testing
  • Research hypothesis in existential form
  • Research hypothesis in non-existential form
  • Statistical hypothesis
  • Two-tailed testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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