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PS296 Week 1 (Introduction and basic concepts)

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Max Gwynn

PS296 Week 1 Lecture notes (Introduction and basic concepts) What is statistics? The measurement of variables • Measurement – The assignment of numbers to objects. – translating information about attributes or characteristics of cases into numbers. • Constant – A number that does not change in value in a given situation. • Variables – Properties of objects or events that can take on different values. Types of variables • Categorical variables (qualitative variables) – Variables that divide cases into different groups or categories; measurement involves assigning arbitrary numbers to different categories. • Quantitative variables – Variables that involve the measurement of some attribute; measurement involves real numerical values. • Discrete variables – Variables that take on a small set of possible values. • Continuous variables – Variables that involve measurement along a continuum. Types of data • Categorical data (frequency data, count data) – Data representing counts or number of observations in each category. • Measurement data (quantitative data) – Data obtained by measuring objects or events. Samples and Populations • Sample – Set of actual observations; subset of a population. • Population – Complete set of events in which you are interested. • Statistics (sample statistics) – Numerical values summarizing sample data. • Parameters (population p
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