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Chapter 1

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University of Guelph
PSYC 1010

Chapter 1- An Intro to Stats & Research Design Two Branches of Statistics: 1. Descriptive Statistics - Summarize numerical information about a sample - Organize, summarize, and communicate a group of numerical observations 2. Inferential Statistics - Draw conclusions about the broader population based on numerical information from a sample - Use sample data to make general estimates about the larger population Variables: observations of physical, attitudinal, and behavioural characteristics - Quantified with discrete or continuous observation Discrete Observations - Only specific values, no other values can exist between these numbers (ex. Whole numbers) - Nominal Variables- Categorical  Used for observations that have categories or names as their values (ex. Male- #1, Female- #2) - Ordinal Variables- Ranked  Observations that have rankings as their values (ex. 1 place, 2 nd place) Continuous Observations - Can take on a full range of values, an infinite number of potential values exists - Interval Variables- Scale  Used for observations that have numbers as their values (ex. Time- the interval from 1s to the next is always the same)  The distance (or interval) between pairs of consecutive numbers is assumed to be equal - Ratio Variables- Scale  Variables that meet the criteria for interval variables but also have meaningful zero points (sometimes discrete) (has a true zero point) - Scale Variable  Meets the criteria for an interval variable or a ratio variable Three Types of Variables Levels: the discrete values or conditions that variables can take on - Variables vary (i.e. a variable can be anything from time to gender) Independent Variable - Has at least two levels that we either manipulate or observe to determine its effects on the dependent variable Dependent Variable - The outcome variable that we hypothesize to be related to, or caused by, changes in the independent variable (depends on the independent variable)  The independent variable predicts the dependent variable Confounding Variable - Any variable that systematically varies with the independent variable so that we cannot logically determine which variable is at work (ex. During a hurricane it is unclear as to whether a home was destroyed by
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