Shaking and Stirring Martinis

Research conducted by: This is just made up data.

Case study prepared by: David Lane

This is an example to illustrate hypothesis testing and the binomial distribution. The statistician R. Fisher explained the concept of hypothesis testing with a story of a lady tasting tea. Here is an example based on James Bond who insisted that Martinis should be shaken rather than stirred. In this hypothetical experiment to determine whether Mr. Bond could tell the difference between a shaken and a stirred martini, we gave Mr. Bond a series of 16 taste tests. In each test, we flipped a fair coin to determine whether to stir or shake the martini. Then we presented the martini to Mr. Bond and asked him to decide whether it was shaken or stirred. Mr. Bond was correct on 13/16 trials.

Questions to Answer
Does Mr. Bond have the ability to tell the difference between a Martini that is shaken and one that is stirred?

Design Issues
This is only a made-up study.

Descriptions of Variables
Variable Description
Y 0 = incorrect, 1 = correct


Salsburg, D. (2002) The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century. Owl Books

  1. What is the null hypothesis?
  2. What is the probability of being right 13 or more out of 16 if Mr. Bond were only guessing?
  3. What is the probability of being right (3 or fewer times) or (13 or more times) if Mr. Bond were only guessing?
  4. What is the one-tailed probability?