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APPLICATION OF STATISTICAL CONCEPTS IN THE DETERMINATION

OF WEIGHT VARIATION IN SAMPLES

M. DELA CRUZ1, M. ESTRADA2 AND J. INSAO1


1National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, College of Science
2Instituteof Civil Engineering, College of Engineering
University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines
Date Submitted: 31 January 2018
Date Performed: 24 January 2018

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

1. In the experiment, what is considered the “population” and the “sample”? What is the
principal goal of sampling, in general?
The experiment focused on old 25-centavo coins. The real population of the specimen is all the
25-centavo coins that has been produced regardless of whether they had been observed in the
experiment, and the real population is also where the sample is pooled from. The sample of an
experiment is a subset of the population which should be able to effectively characterize the
population when experimented upon [1][2]. The sample of the experiment would be the 10 25-centavo
coins that were weighed. Although there are many types of sampling, all of which are used in specific
experiments, in general, sampling is done to be able to represent the population such that the
experiment can characterize the specimen in question by assuming that the sample behaves like the
population. Sampling is also done to minimize costs and to collect samples that are easily available.

2. Why is there a need to gather replicate/repeat measurements?


Errors tend to have a heavier bearing on data with smaller values; hence, an average
representing the value of many replicates is used because the error affects the value not singularly on
each value but on the value representing many measurements. Increasing repeat measurements
increases precision – which makes the data is verified multiple times – and it is also a method to
monitor the performance of the equipment or the quality of the material and glassware involved[1][2].
Quality performance and quality material are important in minimizing errors in the experiment.

3. Discuss in a concise and organized manner the applicability and limitations of the
different statistical parameters in assessing accuracy and precision?
The standard deviation measures precision. Looking at the equation for standard deviation, it
can be observed that each value X is subtracted from the mean value of the data to see how far apart
each X is from the mean, and the standard deviation gives exactly the degree of distance each X is from
the mean [1][3]. The standard deviation can be applied to both a population and a sample, but the
population needs to have a large amount of specimen, which almost always impossible to collect [3].
The limitations of standard deviation is that in sampling, there might be outliers in the sample, but
they would not be outliers in the population, so it doesn’t give an accurate description of the full range
of the real population. In terms of accuracy, how far a value is from the true value represents how
accurate that value is. The limitations of factoring this error, is that the true value is almost always
unknown, and that it can’t be pooled from just a sample. The true value has to be a value that
represents the entire population, that is to say, a confidence interval would be needed to estimate the
true value of a property [2].
4. Elaborate on the confidence interval and its purpose. Enumerate factors affecting the
range of the confidence interval.
The true value of a property is almost always indeterminate in applications of quantitative
analysis. The true value must be pooled from a vast amount of the specimen, which can be timely and
difficult, bordering on impossible to achieve. The confidence interval, however, gives an idea on where
the true value is between two limits [4]. The confidence interval is based upon the t-test, where the
factors involved are the confidence level and the sample size. A higher confidence level gives a larger
interval while a larger sample size gives a narrower interval. Having a sample with a low standard
deviation also helps reduce the size of the confidence interval.

5. Expound on the relevance of the Grubbs Test


The Grubbs Test is applied when a value in the data set appears to be too high or too low,
making it in an outlier. It is important to remove the outliers in the data set because they are likely to
alter the characterization of the specimen in question [1]. If the data that is applied to the Grubbs Test
is found to not be an outlier despite appearing to be so, then this implication might be useful in
explaining the property in question [1].

6. Which between Data Set 1 and 2 is more accurate? Precise? Expound


Precision is measured in terms of standard deviation, wherein a lower value for the standard
deviation means a greater precision because the values do not deviate too far from the computed
average [5]. Data set 1 has a lower standard deviation, thus, it is more precise than the 2 nd data set.
Accuracy, however, is measured in terms of absolute error or relative error. These measurements
describe how far the recorded data is from the accepted value of a characteristic of a specimen. In the
experiment, the characteristic being experimented upon is the mass of a 25-centavo coin whose true
value is reported to be 3.6000 g. Data set 2 has a mean of 3.6052, while data set 1 has a mean of
3.6117, hence, data set 2 is more accurate than the 1st data set because its value is closer to the
accepted value.

REFERENCES

[1] Witte, R. S., & Witte, J. S. (2017). Statistics (11th ed.). San Francisco, California, United States of
America: Wiley.

[2] Urdan, T. (2010). Statistics in Plain English (3rd ed.). New York, New York, United States of
America: Routledge.

[3] Curriculum Research & Development Group. (n.d.). Practices of Science: Precision vs. Accuracy.
Retrieved January 30, 2019, from Exploring our Fluid Earth: Teaching Science as Inquiry
(TSI): https://manoa.hawaii.edu/exploringourfluidearth/physical/world-ocean/map-
distortion/practices-science-precision-vs-accuracy

[4] Skoog, D. A., West, D. M., Holler, F., & Crouch, S. R. (2014). Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry
(9th ed.). Belmont, California, United States of America: Brooks/Cole.

[5] Harris, D. C. (2011). Solutions Manual for Quantitative Chemical Analysis (8th ed.). New York,
New York, United States of America: W. H. Freeman and Company.