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Statistics LibreTexts

1: The Nature of Statistics

  • Page ID
    10903
  • Included in this chapter are the basic ideas and words of probability and statistics. You will soon understand that statistics and probability work together. You will also learn how data are gathered and what "good" data can be distinguished from "bad."

    • 1.0: Introduction
      Included in this chapter are the basic ideas and words of probability and statistics. You will soon understand that statistics and probability work together. You will also learn how data are gathered and what "good" data can be distinguished from "bad."
    • 1.1: Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
      The mathematical theory of statistics is easier to learn when you know the language. This module presents important terms that will be used throughout the text.
    • 1.2: Variables and Types of Data
      Data are individual items of information that come from a population or sample. Data may be classified as qualitative, quantitative continuous, or quantitative discrete. Because it is not practical to measure the entire population in a study, researchers use samples to represent the population. A random sample is a representative group from the population chosen by using a method that gives each individual in the population an equal chance of being included in the sample.
    • 1.3: Data Collection and Sampling Techniques
      The first step in conducting research is to identify topics or questions that are to be investigated. A clearly laid out research question is helpful in identifying what subjects or cases should be studied and what variables are important. It is also important to consider how data are collected so that they are reliable and help achieve the research goals.
    • 1.4: Experimental Design and Ethics
      A poorly designed study will not produce reliable data. There are certain key components that must be included in every experiment. To eliminate lurking variables, subjects must be assigned randomly to different treatment groups. One of the groups must act as a control group, demonstrating what happens when the active treatment is not applied. Participants in the control group receive a placebo treatment that looks exactly like the active treatments but cannot influence the response variable.
    • 1.5: Computers and Calculators
    • 1.E: Sampling and Data (Optional Exercises)
      These are homework exercises to accompany the Textmap created for "Introductory Statistics" by OpenStax.

    Contributors and Attributions

    Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean (De Anza College) with many other contributing authors. Content produced by OpenStax College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 license. Download for free at http://cnx.org/contents/30189442-699...b91b9de@18.114.