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1

Descriptive statistics

Used to summarize large datasets, present patterns in data, and communicate results.

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Sample

A subset of the population being studied.

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Population

A group of organisms of one species that interbreed and live in the same place at the same time.

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Bar graph

Used if the data is parametric. It's a good idea to show variance of the data by including the standard error.

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Pie graph

Usually used to summarize data that is collected as percentages, or the results of a genetic cross.

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Histogram

Making one is like setting up bins, or intervals with the same range that cover the entire dataset.

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Line graph

Useful for displaying data or information that changes continuously over time.

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Box-and-whisker plot

Should be used for nonparametric data.

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Scatterplot

Used to present data from association experiments. Each data point is plotted as a dot.

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Quantitative data

Based on numbers or amounts that can be measured or counted.

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Qualitative data

Data that is descriptive, subjective, or difficult to measure.

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Count data

Generated by counting how many of an item fit into a category.

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Measurements

Continuous, meaning that there is an infinitely number of potential measurements over a given range.

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Normal or parametric data

Measurement data that fit a normal curve or distribution, usually when a large sample size is used.

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Sample size

How many members of the population are included in the study.

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Normal distribution

Any of a family of bell-shaped frequency curves whose relative position and shape are defined on the basis of the mean and standard deviation.

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Mean

The average of the sample.

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Standard deviation

Can determine if numbers are packed together or dispersed.

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Standard error

Can be used to report how much a given dataset varies, and is calculated by dividing the standard deviation by the square root of the sample size.

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Nonparametric data

Often include large outliers, and do not fit a normal distribution.

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Histogram or frequency diagram

Give information on the spread of the data and the central tendencies.

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Median

The middle number in a dataset. Determined by putting the numbers in consecutive number and finding the middle number. If there is an even amount of numbers, it is found by averaging the two middle numbers.

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Mode

The most frequently recurring number in the dataset.

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Range

The difference between the smallest and largest number in a sample.

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Time-course experiments

Experiments that look at how something changes over time.

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Dependent variable

The variable in a functional relation whose value is dependent upon, or influenced by, an independent variable.

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Independent variant

The variable in a functional relation whose value is independent, or is not affected by other variables.

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Comparative experiments

These experiments compare populations, groups, or events.

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Association experiments

Look for association between variables.

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Product rule

Used for independent events, and is also called the "and" rule. The probability of independent events occurring together is the product of their separate probabilities.

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Sum rule

Used when studying two mutually exclusive events, and can be thought of as the "either-or-rule". The probability of either two events occurring is the sum of their individual probabilities.

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t-test

Can be used to calculate whether the means of two groups are significantly different from each other. Often applied to datasets that are normally distributed.

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p-value

A p-value equal to below 0.05 is considered significant in most biology-related fields.

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Chi-square test

A statistical tool used to measure the difference between observed and expected data.

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Null hypothesis

What you are expecting to happen.

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Critical value

Expected values are compared to actual values, and a x^2 value is calculated. This value is compared to a critical value.

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Degrees of freedom

Represents the number of independent variables in the data. Often, this is the number of possibilities being compared minus one.

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