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Math 105 - 1

THE NATURE OF STATISTICS

Statistics is a science that deals with methods in the gathering, presentation, analysis and interpretation of data.
Data gathering involves getting information through interviews, questionnaires, observations, experimentation, testing and
other methods.
Data presentation deals with translating of information into numerical or quantitative using tabular or graphical.
Data analysis is the resolution of information into simpler elements by the application of statistical principles, the choice of
which depends upon the nature or purpose of the research problem at hand.
Data interpretation comes after the results of data analysis and this includes relating the finding to the existing theories and
earlier studies in the area.

Basic Terms and Definitions in Statistics

1. Variable - any characteristics that can be measured or counted, from a population or from a sample
2. Values or Elements or Data – refers to the individual information or number gathered through the variable
3. Population – refers to the collection of all elements or values of a variable from a specific source
4. Sample – a subset or part of a population
5. Parameter – a specific attribute of the population; a fixed value
6. Statistic – a specific attribute of the sample; its value may vary

Fields of Statistics
1. Descriptive Statistics
- is concerned with describing and summarizing sets of numerical data
- it includes the construction of tables and graphs and the calculation of descriptive measures such as averages
- most commonly used descriptive statistics are measures of central tendency (mean, median and mode) and measures
of variability/dispersion (range, variance and standard deviation).
2. Inferential Statistics
- deals with procedures for drawing valid inferences about the population from information gathered from a sample drawn
from the population; comparing variables between populations, samples, and population & samples
- it is used when the investigator wishes to determine the characteristics of a larger group by collecting data on a smaller
group. Among these statistics are the test of hypothesis (z-test and t-test), correlation analysis, analysis of variance, the
chi-square test, regression analysis and time series analysis

Types of Variables
1. Independent Variable
- are those that (probably) cause, influence, or affect outcomes.
- they are also called treatment, manipulated, antecedent, or predictor variables.
2. Dependent Variable
- are those that depend on the independent variables
- they are the outcomes or results of the influence of the independent variables
- other names for dependent variables are criterion, outcome, effect, and response variables
3. Intervening Variable
- stand between the independent and dependent variables, and they mediate the effects of the independent variable on
the dependent variable
4. Control Variable
- a special type of independent variable that is measured because they potentially influence the dependent variable
- they need to be “controlled” so that the true influence of the independent variable on the dependent can be determined

Types of Data (from weakest to strongest in terms of statistical inference)

A. Categorical Data (Qualitative Data)
- represents characteristics; they take on values that are names or labels
(1.) Nominal – are used for labeling variables, without any quantitative value; provides no inherent quantitative difference
among the categories.
(2.) Ordinal – reports the ranking and ordering of the data without actually establishing the degree of variation between
them; individual differences individual on the underlying quantitative measure are either unavailable or
ignored; has all the characteristics of nominal data but has order
B. Numerical Data (Quantitative Data)
- they take on values with equal units such as weight in pounds and time in hours; categorical variables place the person or
thing into a category
(3.) Interval – is defined as a data type which is measured along a scale, in which each point is placed at equal distance
from one another; always appears in the form of numbers or numerical values where the distance between
the two points is standardized and equal; it has all the characteristics of ordinal data but has interval
(4.) Ratio – a quantitative data, having the same properties as interval data, with an equal and definitive ratio between
each data and absolute “zero” being a treated as a point of origin. In other words, there can be no negative
numerical value in ratio data.