Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Commercial statistics


Marketing | Statistics and Probability


Purpose – The overall purpose of this research is to discuss the relationship among the tests for population mean that are taught in the Business Statistics course for business majors. Design/methodology/approach – The approach to this study is to describe the types of business data according to one-sample, two-sample, and multi-sample cases first and then combine tests for categorical data with tests for continuous data into a unified format on testing the mean of a population. Under this unified format, we summarize the methodology on the topic of testing the mean in business statistics course. Findings – One of the important topics in testing hypothesis in the business statistics course is testing the mean of a population or comparing the means from two populations. There are several statistics available for this purpose in existing textbooks for the business statistics course. Based on our experience in teaching the business statistics course, we observe that many business students often get confused about which one to use for a given business data set with some specific purpose. In this paper we will summarize some comments or our experience on teaching business students how to use these tests in various business applications by focusing on the following points: 1) the conditions on using these tests; 2) the relationship among these tests; and 3) illustration of the p-values of these tests by graphs. Some concluding remarks will be provided. Practical implications – The discussions on various tests for the population mean for business data in this paper set up a bridge for connecting different tests into one unified format. This demonstrates that most tests taught in the Business Statistics course actually belong to the topic of testing the mean value. Therefore, there is usually more than one method that can be used for the same purpose and one can choose whichever that is available in statistical tables or software programs. Originality/value – The study in this paper clarifies the equivalence relationship among various tests for the population mean that are commonly taught in Business Statistics course for business majors. The equivalence relationship has not been pointed out or mentioned in currently available textbooks for Business Statistics course. This study can provide business students with better understanding in the major topic in testing hypothesis in Business Statistics course. Keywords – Chi-square test, F-test, t-test, z-test Acknowledgment: This work was supported by a University of New Haven 2005 Summer Faculty Fellowship.


This is the article published in Journal of College Teaching & Learning. The original posting can be found at .

"Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, remix, tweak, build upon, print, search, or link the full text of the articles in this journal provided that appropriate credit is given." From



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Publisher Citation

Liang, J. Testing The Mean For Business Data: Should One Use The Z-Test, T-Test, F-Test, The Chi-Square Test, Or The P-Value Method? Journal of College Teaching and Learning 3(7), January 2011, doi:10.19030/tlc.v3i7.1704