lecture1 - Handout 1 Basic Denitions Samples and...

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Handout 1: Basic Definitions, Samples and Populations, and Sampling Methods Reading Assignment: Sections 1.1, 1.2, Chapter 2 Statistics v. statistics Statistics (capital ‘S’) is a collection of techniques and procedures for analyzing data. These techniques and procedures are used to help people make decisions when faced with uncertainty. The numbers we calculate from data to make summaries, estimations, predictions, etc. are statistics (lower-case ‘s’). Think of statistics you have calculated or seen before and list them below (for instance batting average). Many see Statistics as a Mathematics course, but it is important to understand the difference. While mathematical concepts are used, Statistics is a distinct scientific field. We use math in order to allow us to make sense of and draw meaningful conclusions from data. Data Any characteristic that can differ from one individual to the next is called a variable . We call variables that are measured, or somehow determined, and collected on a number of individuals data . Often, we organize data into a dataset , a row-and-column display (think spreadsheet). Sometimes, these individuals are called subjects or observations to give them a more specific branding - we might call measurements on an individual person from a subject while measurements collected on an individual factory an observation . The figure below displays ten subjects (students) who filled out the ‘Getting to Know You’ Survey and is organized into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Variables are of one of two main types, categorical or numerical. Each of these variable types can also be separated even further, as seen in the figure below. Data that consist of groups are known as categorical data while data that measure a ‘quantity’ (e.g. how much, how many) are numerical data . Sometimes, categorical data may be coded as numbers (e.g. male = 0 and female = 1), but this data is still categorical. What level of data are the variables in the Excel spreadsheet? 1
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Also, place additional examples of the measurement levels of data in the figure below.
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