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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Readings

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PSYC 1010
Anne Bergen

PSYCH 1010 – Chpt. 1 Readings Intro to Stats and Research Design Descriptive Statistics: organizes, summarizes and communicates a group of numerical observations Inferential Statistics: uses sample data to make general estimates about the larger population Sample: a set of observations drawn from the population of interest Population: includes all possible observations about which we’d like to know something - Two main branches of statistics are descriptive statistics & inferential statistics - Descriptive statistics describe large amounts of data in a single/few numbers o Ex. Average weight of women has increased from 140.2lbs to 164.3lbs - Inferential statistics infer or make an intelligent guess about the population o Inferring that all women weigh more now when only a few were physically weighed - Population is typically who we are interested in but a sample is used for conducting studies o Sample is used because it is very difficult to study every person in a population  Too expensive & too time consuming Transforming Observations into Variables Variable: any observation of a physical, attitudinal or behavioural characteristic that can take on different values Discrete Observation: can take on only specific values (eg. whole numbers) no other values can exist between these numbers Continuous Observation: take on a full range of values (numbers out to several decimals) infinite number of potential values exists - Behavioural scientists study abstract variables such as motivation, self-esteem & attitudes - Discrete & continuous observations are used to quantify variables Nominal Variable: variable used for observations that have categories or names as their values st nd rd Ordinal Variable: variable used for observations that have rankings (1 , 2 , 3 ) as their values Interval Variable: variable used for observations that have numbers as their values & the distance (or interval) between pairs of consecutive numbers is assumed to be eq
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