Define descriptive and inferential statistics
Statistical analysis can be an intimidating task for many. Most people do not have good experiences with math in grade school or college causing them to dread the use of numbers or taking any further math courses. Although it may not be as daunting as it seems. “Descriptive statistical analysis is the simplest statistical analysis available” (Delaney, 2009, p. 1). The intention of descriptive statistics is to describe the sample group from where the data came from. Data is examined closely so that the important features can be described. The processes used allow for order to be used in the data so sample group’s story can be told. Descriptive statistics simplify large amounts of data in a sensible way. Inferential statistics reach conclusions that go beyond the initial data. It is used to make assumptions from the data collected. For example, inferential statistics will try to conclude what the sample group might think from the data collected. It helps generalize the facts that are represented from the population. Descriptive statistics are generally characterized from inferential statistics. The difference between the two applied branches of statistics is descriptive is describing the group and inferential is making a conclusions or judgments that go beyond the immediate data.
Delaney, L. (2009). Descriptive statistics: simply telling a story. British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 4(6), 283-289. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Trochim, W. (2006). Descriptive Statistics. Research Methods Knowledge Base. http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/statdesc.php
Social psychologists use descriptive and inferential statistics to analyze data collected during a research experiment. Descriptive statistics are used to explain the meaning of numbers discovered during a research project. They help social psychologists make sense of data collected during research. Both systems rely on the same numbers accumulated...
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