April 2002 Vol. 4, No. 4
 Quality Quiz from Professor Cleary Congratulations!  You're right!

Cal Lesterol has missed the mark. The t statistic is used to test the hypothesis that there is no relationship between X and Y. In rejecting that hypothesis, one assumes that X is a valid predictor of Y. The formula to derive the t statistic is:

(Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Vol. I, Statistical Tools, PQ Systems, Inc., 2001. Page 307.)

In this case, the t value on Cal Lesterol's printout is -18.664. Since there are 24 data points, the degrees of freedom are 22:

 df = n ø 2 = 24 ø 2 = 22

Using an alpha value of .05 (the probability of rejecting the null when the null is true), the tabular t is 2.074. Since the calculated t is higher than the tabular t, the null is rejected, and one can assume that X is a predictor of Y.

Cal Lesterol's logical, linguistic response has nothing to do with statistics. Fortunately, his audience paid no attention to the t value, but simply let Cal take his chart back to the quality department for further study.