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Chapter 1

PSYC 210 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Morphine, Statistical Inference, Descriptive Statistics


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 210
Professor
Russell Day
Chapter
1

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Chapter 1
Introduction
The word statistics is used in at least 3 different ways”
1. It refers to a set of procedures and rules for reducing large masses of data
to manageable proportions and allowing us to draw conclusions
2. It is used in place of the much better word data (not used so much in
psych)
3. It refers to the result of the same arithmetic or algebraic manipulation
applied to data. Example: mean
Thus, we have 2 proper terms that you will always be able to tell from context
1. A set of producers and rules
2. The outcome of the application of those rules and procedures to samples
of data
Important  how statistical methods and procedures are used to tie the results of
the same experiments to the hypothesis that led to that experiment
1.1 The importance of context
Example given  of heroin and morphine tolerance and the effects of taking the
same dose in a new environment/setting
1.2 Basic terminology
Statistical procedures can be separated into roughly two overlapping areas:
descriptive statistics and inferential statistics
Descriptive statistics
Used whenever your purpose is merely to describe a set of data
Example  a statement about the average length of time it takes a normal mouse to
lick its paw when placed on a warm surface would be a descriptive statistic as
would be the time is takes a morphine injected mouse to do the same thing
Reporting measures that describe the average latency scores or their variability
Example  rates, summary of information
Inferential statistics
Small samples or single observations may be fine when we want to study
something that has very little variability
Example  we dont need a whole heard of cows to count how many legs a cow
has
However, when we want to measure something that varies from one individual to
another we need a larger sample
Example  change in response
Important concept in statistics is: VARIABILITY
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