stats i definitions

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21 Terms
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sample

a subset of the population of interest

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selection bias

a systematic fault in a method that will typically lead to a wrong answer

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representative

the qualities/attributes of the sample reflect those of the entire population of interest

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endogenous factors (coin flip)

factors that are latent to the coin itself which influence the outcome of coin flip

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exogenous factors (coin flip)

factors that are external to the coin that will affect the outcome of the coin flip

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descriptive statistics

summarize data by describing what was observed numerically or graphically

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inferential statistics

uses patterns in the data to draw conclusions about the population of interest, accounting for randomness

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experimental unit

a single entity or element, usually a person, object or an event, whose characteristics are of interest

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statistical/target population

the collection or set of experimental units whose properties are to be analyzed

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sample

a set of experimental units, usually derived from a statistical population as a subset of the population

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variable

a characteristic of interest about each individual element of a statistical population or sample

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data (singular)

the manifestation of the variable/s associated with one element of a population or sample. This can be a number, a word, or a symbol

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data (plural)

the set of values collected for the variables from each of the elements belonging to the sample

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qualitative or categorical

a variable that categorizes or describes a characteristic of an element, usually with a word

  • subdivided into two scales: nominal then ordinal

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qualitative or numerical

a variable that quantifies a characteristic of an element, that is a number is attributed to the element

  • subdivided into two scales: interval then ratio

  • numerical variables from either scale can be discrete or continuous

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nominal scale

a qualitative variable in which there is no ordering to its categories

  • e.g. race, religion, occupation, state

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ordinal scale

a qualitative variable in which there is some ordering to its categories, but they themselves, nor any differences between them are quantifiable e.g. education level, military rank

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interval scale

a variable that not only is described by a number, but also the difference between values have meaningful interpretations

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ratio scale

a variable that is not only on the interval scale (i.e. can be described via a number with quantifiable differences) but there also exists a ‘true zero’ (i.e. a meaningful, unique and non-arbitrary value that is a reference/starting point) so that multiplicative statements (such as constructing a ratio) are meaningful

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discrete variable

a quantitative variable whose set of possible values is either finite or else can be listed in an infinite sequence

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continuous variable

a quantitative variable whose set of possible values consists of an entire interval on the number line (or the whole number line)

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