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The Nature of Probability and Statistics

Statistics The science of conducting studies to collect, organize, summarize, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
Variable A characteristic or attribute that can assume different values.
Descriptive statistics Consists of the collection, organization, summarization, and presentation of data.
Inferential statistics Consists of generalizing from samples to populations, performing estimations and hypothesis tests, determining relationships among variables, and making predictions.
Probability The chance of an event occurring.
Population Consists of all subjects (human or otherwise) that are being studied.
Sample A group of subjects selected from a population.
Hypothesis testing A decision-making process for evaluating claims about population, based on information obtained from samples.
Qualitative variables Variables that can be placed into distinct categories, according to some characteristic or attribute.
Quantitative variables Numerical and can be ranked.
Discrete variables Values that can be counted.
Continuous variables Assume an infinite number of values between any two specific values. They are obtained by measuring. They often include fractions and decimals.
Nominal level of measurement Classifies data into mutually exclusive (nonoverlapping) categories in which no order or ranking can be imposed on the data.
Ordinal level of measurement Classifies data into categories that can be ranked; however, precise differences between the ranks do not exist.
Interval level of measurement Ranks data, and precise differences between units of measure do exist; however, there is no meaningful zero.
Ratio level of measurement Possesses all the characteristics of interval measurement and there exists a true zero. In addition, true ratios exist when the same variable is measured on two different members of the population.
Random Samples Selected by using chance methods or random numbers.
Systematic samples By numbering each subject of the population and then selecting every kth subject.
Stratified samples Divided the population into groups (called strata) according to some characteristic that is important to the study, then sampling from each group.
Cluster samples Population is divided into groups.
Convenience sample Researchers use subjects that are convenient.
Observational study The researcher merely observes what is happening or what has happened in the past and tries to draw conclusions based on these observations.
Experimental study The researcher manipulates one of the variables and tries to determine how the manipulation influences other variables.
Independent variable An experimental study is the one that is being manipulated by the researcher.
Explanatory variable The independent variable is also called this.
Dependent variable The resultant variable.
Outcome variable Also called the dependent variable.
Confounding variable One that influences the dependent or the outcome variable but was not separated from the independent variable.
Treatment group The group that received the special instruction.
Control group Not the treatment group.
Quasi-experimental study Intact groups are used.
Data The values (measurements or observations0 that the variables can assume.
Data set A collection of data values.
Data value (datum) Each value in the data set.
Created by: mbuening