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# stat note - Population A population is any entire...

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Population A population is any entire collection of people, animals, plants or things from which we may collect data. It is the entire group we are interested in, which we wish to describe or draw conclusions about. The population is the universe of all the objects from which a sample could be drawn for an experiment. The total collection of actual and/or potential realizations of the unit of analysis, whether observed or not. Sample A sample is a group of units selected from a larger group (the population). By studying the sample it is hoped to draw valid conclusions about the larger group. A specific, finite, realized set of observations of the unit of analysis. Parameter A numerical characteristic of a population specifying a distribution model (such as normal or Poisson distribution). This may be the mean, variance, degrees of freedom, the probability of a success in a binomial distribution, etc. The true value of a descriptive measure in the population of interest. Statistic A descriptive measure of calculated from sample data to serve as an estimate of an unknown population parameter. Descriptive Statistics Any of numerous calculations which attempt to provide a concise ummary of the information content of data (for example, measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion, etc.). Inferential Statistics The science of drawing valid inferences about a population based on a sample. Making inferences about the population from which a sample has been drawn and analyzed. Discrete Variable A variable of countable number of integer outcomes. Examples include –ordinal multinomial- several prognostic outcomes (such as poor, median and good) as a function of treatment modalities, stage of the disease, age etc., or -multinomial-people’s choices of hospitals (hospital A, B or C) as a function of their income level,

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