Free Essay

Statistics are all-around and used in everyday life. Statistics are used to describe how effective a medication is for a certain disorder to what the most popular color is in the United States. According to Aron, Aron, and Coups, 2009, “statistics is a method of pursuing truth. As a minimum, statistics can tell you the likelihood that your hunch is true in this time and place and with these sorts of people” (p. 2). Psychologist use two branches of statistics to summarize his or her results and those are descriptive and inferential statistics. This paper will discuss the function of statistics, what descriptive and inferential statistics are, and the relationship between descriptive and inferential statistics.

Statistics are used in almost every branch of study and is found behind the scenes in many of our normal daily activities. From economic to scientific studies, statistics are utilized in one way or another. Statistics are an essential part of understanding information and expanding knowledge base and is encompasses almost all aspects of enquiry ("7 Most Essential Functions Of Statistics", 2012). Statistics have many functions that we utilize;statisticsprovides for a better understanding of phenomenon of nature and helps in proper and statistical planning in all forms of study. Using statistics helps in collecting useful quantitative data and also aids in presenting difficult or confusing data in an understandable way. Statistics facilitate comparison amount different arrays of data and allows the information to be comprehended and used to facilitate a conclusion or solution. The use of statistics is also an important part of developing plausible hypothesis and allows for more valid inferences and more accurate forecasting of future issues or events. In other words, statistics are a part of everyday life in civilization. The fact that statistics is in use so abundantly, a basic understanding of statistics is essential to determine fact and fallacy (Malone, 2005). Statistics are an important part when conducting research. There are two branches of statistical methods that can be used: descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. The method used in research depends on what one wants to achieve with one’s research.

Descriptive statistics

Aron, Aron, and Coups, 2009 definesdescriptive statistics as a procedure “for summarizing a group of scores or otherwise making them more comprehensible” (p.3).In other words, when using descriptive statistics, a researcher attempts to find out information about a specific group of scores, values, individuals, etc. For example, a psychologist may want to find out how many of his/her patients suffering from depression benefit from group therapy. The therapist develops the hypothesis that group therapy is in fact beneficial. At the end of the research period, the researcher will either find out that his or her hypothesis was correct, or incorrect. When using descriptive statistics as a research method, the information is generally obtained via primary data. Primary data is obtained directly by the researcher via surveys, interviews, group sessions, etc. The advantage of using primary data is that the researcher can tailor his/her questions directly to his or her specific needs and to obtain information that is as accurate as possible (University of Georgia, 2003). The following concepts are used when it comes to obtaining and interpreting data:

(1) Variables: specific characteristics that can have different values.

(2) Values: the possible number/category assigned to a score.

(3) Score: the value an individual places on a variable.

(4) Central tendency: the most represented value/score.

(5) Mean: an arithmetic average of scores.

(6) Mode: the greatest frequency in a distribution.

(7) Median: the middle score when all scores are arranged from lowest score to highest.

The author Steinberg states that the results obtained in one’s research can describe the findings “in a visual nutshell through visuals such as tables, charts, and graphs” (2004, p. 125) Descriptive statistics can be organized via frequency tables, pie or bar charts, or histograms. The visual representation of data allows painting a clearer picture about the research results and allows for easy interpretation.

Inferential statistics

According to Aron, Aron, & Coups, 2009 inferential statistics are “procedures for drawing conclusions based on the scores collected in a research study but going beyond them” (p.2). By using inferential statistics, a researcher can draw conclusions on a much larger scale. For example, a study conducted via descriptive statistics shows that 95% of individuals suffering from a mental illness experienced a relief of symptoms by using a certain psychotropic medication. Since most individuals that took part in the study benefited from the drug, the researcher can draw the conclusion that most individuals suffering from the same illness will benefit from taking the medication.

Inferential statistics not only use primary data, but also secondary data. When using secondary data, one interprets and/or uses research that someone else has already conducted. The data is generally obtained via journals, textbooks, scholarly books, etc (University of Georgia, 2003). In this case, the researcher generally does not have to determine the variables, values, scores, etc. him/herself, because it has most likely been determined by the scientist that originally conducted the study.

Inferential and descriptive statistics are important research tools for scientists. The use of either method depends on whether the scientist wants to conduct a research on a smaller scale and by formulating his or her own questions, or whether he or she wants to draw conclusions based on a large scale and on research possibly conducted by others.

The two branches of statistical methods, descriptive, and inferential statistics. “Formally statistics is a branch of mathematics that focuses on the organization, analysis, and interpretation of a group of numbers” (Aron, Aron, & Coups, 2009, p. 2). A descriptive statistic describes a relationship category pertaining to a subject matter of concern. An example of descriptive statistics pertaining to tornados throughout the United States would list the United States, and provide specific information on research such as dates, and states that had the most or least tornadoes occurrences. Inferential statistics basically coincide with the descriptive statistical data of tornado occurrences from state to state, which allows one to make a prediction or draw a conclusion. Inferential statistics coincide with descriptive data and often developed with the aid of testing prior to the drawing of a conclusion. Psychologist may use any data collected through descriptive statistics and inferential statistics simply to test a hypothesis, therefore both branches of statistical methods complement each other for the benefit of research pertaining to theory.

In conclusion, statistics help take a collection of data and present it in an understandable way. Even though descriptive and inferential statistics are used in producing statistics in two different ways; descriptive statistics ultimately can help in the process of making inferential statistics.

Reference:

Aron, A., Aron, E, & Coups, E. (2009).Statistics for psychology (5thed.). Upper Saddle River,NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Malone, F. (2005). What is statistics?, the University of Melbourne, statistical consulting centre,Retrieved December 21, 2007 from http://www.scc.ms.unimelb.edu.au/whatisstatistics/

Steinberg, D. (2004). Chapter 19: Quantitative Data Analysis: Making Sense of DescriptiveStatistics. In, Social Work Student's Research Handbook (pp. 125-138). Haworth Press, Inc.

University of Georgia Libraries. (2003) Research Guide: Primary vs. Secondary Data. RetrievedJuly 19, 2012, from the websitewww.libs.uga.edu/researchcentral/choosing/what/primary.html

7 most essential functions of statistics. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.preservearticles.com/201104115283/essential-functions-of-statistics.html

Premium Essay

...Descriptive and Inferential Statistics Presentation Tony Roberson, Amani Wilson, Deandra Cobb, and Lysa Satterwhite PSY 315 November 11, 2013 Melinda Waife Descriptive and Inferential Statistics Presentation Click on link below to review Team D’s presentation. http://prezi.com/sz-i9ukpbarl/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy Tony’s Presentation Speaker Notes: Introduction: Please review Prezi Source: Flickr User "unity_creative" To understand the simple difference between descriptive and inferential statistics, all you need to remember is that descriptive statistics summarize your current dataset and inferential statistics aim to draw conclusions about an additional population outside of proposed data (eCaro, 2003). Deandra Statistics in Psychology and its function cannot be taken lightly. The importance ofthe development of psychology would not have been realized if statistics did not play such a crucial role. Important components such as inferential statistics and interactions are dynamic in the study of associations, and affiliations that are essential in psychology.Statistic is the exact phenomenon of nature and it helps in providing a better understanding. Statistics helps in the effectiveness and planning of statistical analysis in any field of study. Furthermore, helps in applicable quantitative data and in presenting complex data in a suitable level, diagrammatic and graphic form for a clear comprehension of the data. Amani Wilson Speaker Notes...

Words: 464 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

... an analyzer will incorporate both descriptive and inferential statistics to evaluate his or her results and create a credible conclusion. Descriptive statistics provides information focused on an immediate group of data. After defining what needs to be analyzed, the descriptive statistics will help the analyzer abridge the data to a more meaningful and comprehendible form, which will then provide patterns in his or her research that, will provide a foundation to his or her thesis. For example, a person could use descriptive statistics to evaluate the answers on an exam taken by 400 American students, and use descriptive statistics to determine the overall performance of the 400 students at that school. By using descriptive statistics, the analyzer can use his or her findings, to provide useful information regarding which subjects students need to improve most in, and which minority group or grade level are grasping the educational tools provided at the school more effectively, then those not grasping the provided educational tools and still need more room for improvement. While descriptive statistics helps an analyzer assess an immediate group of data from a single population, inferential statistics allow an analyzer to collect data using bits and pieces of samples which are portions of a collection of data focusing on the group or population of interest in which the analyzer research is concentrated on at the time. Inferential statistics will allow the analyzer to create a...

Words: 699 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

...Descriptive and Inferential Statistics PSY/315 Statistical Reasoning in Psychology September 21, 2013 Dr. Nancy Walker Descriptive and Inferential Statistics Statistics is “a branch of mathematics that focuses on the organization, analysis, and interpretation of a group of numbers” (Aron, Aron, & Coups, 2009, p. 2). However, just the mention of statistics makes people nervous, although when properly understood, many of the questions statistics tries to answer are very provocative and challenging. Statistics are a collection of information and, data that helps test the theory something is happening or will happen again. The functions of statistics are there to help researchers have a better understanding of a phenomenon. Statistics can be used when looking for the truth, if you have ever had a hunch about something, was it confirmed? Yes the hunch was confirmed. Statistics help researchers with data by using math and working with a group of numbers. Statistics studies variables, characteristics that have different values, values, possible number that a score can have, and score one person value of a variable (Aron, Aron, & Coups, 2009). Descriptive and inferential statistics are to evaluate results and enable one to make a conclusion. Descriptive statistics are a way to describe data (Laird Statistics, 2013), as well as to “summarize and describe a group of numbers from a research study,” whereas, inferential statistics are used to “draw conclusions and...

Words: 1507 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

...Descriptive and Inferential Statistics Paper Casie Thibeault PSY/315 July 27, 2013 Michelle A. Williams, PhD Descriptive and Inferential Statistics Paper The very word “statistics” seems to produce anxiety in most students - anxiety produced from its connection to mathematics. The first step in controlling anxiety is to understand the connection and just how useful statistics can be for comprehending information that has been gathered. A statistic is a representation of information, and its function is to help researchers either to organize, summarize, or understand data. The ability to describe data is essential when gathering statistics. Statistics can be broken down into two basic types: descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics are a summary of information that makes the data presented more easily understood. The descriptive method is limited to only the population in which the researcher is dealing with, and only describes that particular group (Purdue OWL, 1995-2013). Inferential statistics offers a more detailed conclusion regarding the hypothesis. A benefit of the inferential method is that it can be used to take a broader view of populations, making it possible to draw conclusions about sizeable groups of people (Purdue OWL, 1995-2013). In a nutshell, the simple way to distinguish between the two would be that descriptive statistics summarize and inferential statistics draw conclusions. Both descriptive and inferential...

Words: 1196 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

...Descriptive and Inferential Statistics Paper Terrance Douglas, Katie Faiman, Marika Schlindwein, Christyl Schoultz, & Samantha Sisk PSY/315 February 3, 2013 Dr. Deborah Suzzane Descriptive and Inferential Statistics Paper Have you ever noticed that we just keep moving forward? There are countless, unseen individuals who make this happen each day, but how do they operate? How do they accomplish all of this? We live in a complex world. Behind the scenes, researchers are steadily developing new theories and testing their outcome. For them, statistics serves a very different purpose. In the next few paragraphs, the role of statistics is explained as their role in the psychological community. Statistics itself is then further subdivided into two different methodologies; descriptive and the inferential (Aaron & Aaron & Coups, 2009). Each method utilizes data for a different purpose, and in each method, data may be gathered differently. Lastly, an example of each of the two types of statistics which helps the reader to distinguish clearly between the descriptive and inferential types of statistics which researchers use to conduct their work. It will further be shown how the two methods of statistics relate to each other in research. It is by understanding the two different roles of each of these types of statistics that researchers are able to gather meaningful data, which is testable and provable and keeps us on a forward moving trajectory...

Words: 1193 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

...Rodney Goudy RES/351 July 6, 2015 Tracy Sipma Descriptive statistics Descriptive statistics suggests a straightforward quantitative outline of a data-set which has been gathered. It helps us comprehend the experimentation or data-set in-detail and tells people concerning the mandatory details that help show the data perceptively. Descriptive statistics, we just convey exactly what the data reveals and tell us. Most of the statistical averages and numbers we estimate are essentially illustrative averages. For instance the Dow Jones Industrial tells us about the typical performance of select firms. The grade-point avg. tells us about the typical performance of a pupil in school. The GDP growth rate tells us about the typical performance of a state. Therefore illustrative statistics attempts to catch a sizable group of observations and offers us some concept concerning the data-set. Descriptive statistics aims to describe data set information with summary graphs and tables (Linda Hollis, n.d.). Inferential Statistics Inferential statistics includes drawing the correct conclusions from your statistical evaluation that's been performed using descriptive data. Ultimately, it really is the inferences that make studies significant and this element is dealt with-in inferential data. Most forecasts of the potential and generalizations of a population by analyzing a smaller sample come under the scope of inferential statistics. Many social sciences experiments offer with analyzing...

Words: 904 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

...Descriptive and Inferential Statistics ________________________________________ Statistics can be broken into two basic types. The first is known as descriptive statistics. This is a set of methods to describe data that we have collected. Ex. Of 350 randomly selected people in the town of Luserna, Italy, 280 people had the last name Nicolussi. An example of descriptive statistics is the following statement : "80% of these people have the last name Nicolussi." Ex. On the last 3 Sundays, Henry D. Carsalesman sold 2, 1, and 0 new cars respectively. An example of descriptive statistics is the following statement : "Henry averaged 1 new car sold for the last 3 Sundays." These are both descriptive statements because they can actually be verified from the information provided. The second type of statistics in inferential statistics. This is a set of methods used to make a generalization, estimate, prediction or decision. Ex. Of 350 randomly selected people in the town of Luserna, Italy, 280 people had the last name Nicolussi. An example of inferential statistics is the following statement : "80% of all people living in Italy have the last name Nicolussi." We have no information about all people living in Italy, just about the 350 living in Luserna. We have taken that information and generalized it to talk about all people living in Italy. The easiest way to tell that this statement is not descriptive is by trying to verify it based upon the information provided. Ex....

Words: 2703 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

...Understanding Business Research Terms and Concepts: Part 2 Justin Wilson RES 351 Business Research 31 Mar 2015 Biman Ghosh Descriptive statistics is the term given to the analysis of data that helps describe, show or summarize data in a meaningful way such that, for example, patterns might emerge from the data. Descriptive statistics do not, however, allow us to make conclusions beyond the data we have analysed or reach conclusions regarding any hypotheses we might have made. They are simply a way to describe our data. Descriptive statistics are very important because if we simply presented our raw data it would be hard to visulize what the data was showing, especially if there was a lot of it. Descriptive statistics therefore enables us to present the data in a more meaningful way, which allows simpler interpretation of the data. For example, if we had the results of 100 pieces of students' coursework, we may be interested in the overall performance of those students. We would also be interested in the distribution or spread of the marks. Descriptive statistics allow us to do this. How to properly describe data through statistics and graphs is an important topic and discussed in other Laerd Statistics guides. Typically, there are two general types of statistic that are used to describe data: * Measures of central tendency: these are ways of describing the central position of a frequency distribution for a group of data. In this case, the frequency distribution...

Words: 1657 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

...Understanding Business Research Terms and Concepts: Part 2 Descriptive statistics Descriptive statistics suggests a straightforward quantitative outline of a data-set which has been gathered. It helps us comprehend the experimentation or data-set in-detail and tells people concerning the mandatory details that help show the data perceptively. Descriptive statistics, we just convey exactly what the data reveals and tell us. Most of the statistical averages and numbers we estimate are essentially illustrative averages. For instance the Dow Jones Industrial tells us about the typical performance of select firms. The grade-point avg. tells us about the typical performance of a pupil in school. The GDP growth rate tells us about the typical performance of a state. Therefore illustrative statistics attempts to catch a sizable group of observations and offers us some concept concerning the data-set. Descriptive statistics aims to describe data set information with summary graphs and tables (Linda Hollis, n.d.). Inferential Statistics Inferential statistics includes drawing the correct conclusions from your statistical evaluation that's been performed using descriptive data. Ultimately, it really is the inferences that make studies significant and this element is dealt with-in inferential data. Most forecasts of the potential and generalizations of a population by analyzing a smaller sample come under the scope of inferential statistics. Many social sciences experiments offer with analyzing...

Words: 915 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

...BSHS 382 Week 5 Learning Team Statistics and Hypothesis Testing Presentation To Buy This material Click below link http://www.uoptutors.com/BSHS-382/BSHS-382-Week-5-Learning-Team-Statistics-and-Hypothesis-Testing-Presentation Prepare a 10- to 15-slide Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation on statistics and hypothesis testing. This is a Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation with speaker notes. Anorexia, as described on p. 383 of Statistics Enchiladas, as described on pp. 113 and 114 of Statistics FL Student Survey, as described on pp. 22 and 23 of Statistics Georgia Student Survey, as described on pp. 22, 23, and 151 of Statistics Olympic High Jump, as described on pp. 124, 125, and 128 of Statistics Introduction o Introduce the Learning Team members and the data set. o Briefly explain how the data was gathered and identify the study population. Descriptive Statistics o Define descriptive statistics and list the various descriptive measures. o Explain how descriptive statistical analysis increases understanding of the data. o Include an original graph created with StatCrunch that uses at least one descriptive statistical measure to illustrate the data set. Inferential Statistics o Define statistical inference and include and explain at least one original inferential statistical calculation. o Use StatCrunch to check the calculation and show the steps in your presentation. o Explain how inferential statistical analysis increases...

Words: 366 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

...Statistics: Highly Informative Latosha Greer BUS308: Statistics for Managers Instructor Hayes June 1, 2014 In this essay I am aim to discuss the differences between descriptive statistics and Inferential statistics and the reasons why we use them. I will also discuss hypothesis development and testing, when to select the appropriate statistical test, and how to evaluating statistical results. In this class I learned the difference between descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. We use descriptive statistics to measure and analysis data. There are a number of reasons why we use Descriptive statistics. We use it, because Descriptive statistics numerical summaries measure the central tendency of a data set, it can include graphical summaries that show the spread of the data, and they provide simple summaries about the sample that help interpret and analyze data. First, there are a number of reasons why we use descriptive statistics we use it because descriptive statistics numerical summaries that either measure the central tendency of a data set. In business therefore descriptive statistics helps in making conclusions about various issues and therefore helps in making decision. Description statistics is the first step in analyzing data before making inferences of data, therefore it is important in analyzing any data collected that will help in describing the characteristics of data collected. There are three measurements that we tend to use. One measurement...

Words: 1422 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

...Statistical Research: Descriptive and Inferential Week 5 RES/351 The articles that describe each method, one is for descriptive statistical and the other is for inferential. With the descriptive statistical method in Statistical Primer for Cardiovascular Research by Martin G Larson 2007, uses the descriptive method to determine the cases of acute myocardial infarction cases during 2006. The inferential method in the article, Determination of Predictors of Cause of Mortality in HIV Cohorts from years 2002 to 2011, by Kennedy N Otwombe (Feb 2014), using the statistical method of determining exactly mortality rates in HIV cases. The specific situation with Mortality rates in HIV cases would be to find the variation methods over time to determine either binary dependant variable and the independent predictor for the HIV causing death to patients with no opinion of what caused the death. But with Cardiovascular research the differences of BMI, overweight and underweight all determining factors on the causes of the primers. As well as diet to play a major role in helping with the research. With the differences in descriptive statistics and inferential, the descriptive in the Cardiovascular research compares in a more mathematical way of determining if the diet, BMI, overweight and underweight determine their health condition. This method can also be not as accurate as other methods by using measure of central tendency and is about small portion observations by rounding or...

Words: 670 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

... Introduction to Statistics LEARNING OBJECTIVES The primary objective of chapter 1 is to introduce you to the world of statistics, enabling you to: 1. Define statistics. 2. Be aware of a wide range of applications of statistics in business. 3. Differentiate between descriptive and inferential statistics. 4. Classify numbers by level of data and understand why doing so is important. CHAPTER OUTLINE 1.1 Statistics in Business Best Way to Market Stress on the Job Financial Decisions How is the Economy Doing? The Impact of Technology at Work 1.2 Basic Statistical Concepts 1.3 Data Measurement Nominal Level Ordinal Level Interval Level Ratio Level Comparison of the Four Levels of Data Statistical Analysis Using the Computer: Excel and MINITAB KEY TERMS census ordinal level data descriptive statistics parameter inferential statistics parametric statistics interval level data population metric data ratio level data nominal level data sample nonmetric data statistic nonparametric statistics statistics STUDY QUESTIONS 1. A science dealing with the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of numerical data is called _______________. 2. One way to subdivide the field of statistics is into the two branches...

Words: 1190 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

...variability describes a given set of of data by analyzing how data varies from its centre of distribution.examples of variability measures include range, standard deviation and variance. There are two main branches of statistics that include descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.Descriptive statistics gives numerical measures that describes the features of a given set of data. Inferential statistics on the other hand takes a sample of a given population, analyses the sample, and from it draw conclusions about the population .Malcolm.O.Asadoorian and Demetrius Kantarelis in their book: Essentials of inferential statistics argue that descriptive statistics organize , summarize and display data whereas inferential statistics utilize probabilistic techniques to analyze sample information from a certain population to improve our knowledge about the population. Measures of central tendancy and variability fall under descriptive statistics. Inferential statistics is divided into two i.e confidence interval which give a range of values for unknown parameters of a population by measuring a statistical sample and the test of significance also called hypothesis testing whereby a claim about a population is tested by analyzing a statistical sample. Descriptive statistics only gives numerical measures to describe a set of data but we cannot draw...

Words: 397 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

...HCS 465- Health Care Research Utilization Evaluating the Research Process Class Group: BSDD10S8G8 University of Phoenix Online Professor: Donald Steacy December 5, 2011 Literature Review The literature review is based upon an effort to search for and obtain information relative to a study for the purpose of offering a critical appraisal (Flores, Win, Susilo, 2010). The literature review used in this article examines how patient's right to privacy terms be violated and how biometric technologies can ease or eliminate the consequences related. The literature review details how the implementation of biometric technologies can be important for identification, verification, and for compliance with patient privacy laws. Literatures used in this study were obtained through proQuest databases from Walden University, and from professional journals, business publications, technical reports, newspaper articles, and EBSCO-host online databases. The author of the research study also obtained information from related areas of research, and from doctorial dissertations of the same subject. Ethical considerations for data collection Ethical consideration given to the data that was collected for this study, was the insurance that all information obtained by participants would be shared only with their written consent and by select individuals affiliated with the study; as well as blinding all identifying information...

Words: 1463 - Pages: 6