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Descriptive and Inferential Statistics

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Descriptive and Inferential Statistics

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  • July 1, 2013
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Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
Statistical methods in psychology have two main branches, which are descriptive and inferential. They each play a major part in the data that is collected for research and other studies. This paper will show the functions of statistics, how descriptive and inferential statistics are defined and the relationship between the two. Statistics is a necessary tool in psychology. It provides data for research studies as well as providing background information and support. Without it, understanding the various aspects of psychology and what causes disorders and behaviors would be almost impossible. Scientific, social, and economic studies use statistics in one form or another (Anand, 2013). These disciplines make use of observations, facts and figures, enquiries, and experiments using statistics and statistical methods (Anand, 2013). Statistics presents facts in a simple form for researchers and psychologists to understand the findings from a research study. It reduces the complex nature of data, especially raw data. Statistics are put into various graphs or diagrams to make data more accessible and intelligible. When statistics are put into a graph, it helps draw inferences and aids in interpretation. Another function of statistics is allowing different sets of observation to be compared and contrasted with other data to predict the likelihood of a situation occurring again or the changes that have been made (Aron, Aron, & Coups, 2009). Statistics allows for hypothesis testing, which develops new theories and examines the truth and aides in improving ideas. It also aides in forecasting the future of trends and tendencies; meaning that it will aid in predicting the future of values in variables. For example, when estimating the growth of the population, research analysts look at trends of births in various areas. This can help predict the need for more schools or the expansion of schools. Statistics also derives valid...