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10 Jun 2011
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Statistical imagination Chap. 1
Field of statistics: a set of procedures for gathering, measuring, classifying, coding, computing, analysing
and summarizing systematically acquired numerical information.
Statistic is based on carefully analysis of facts rather than emotional reactions to isolated
Statistics is about having a balanced perspective and using exacting precision in the gathering and
presentation of information/ obtaining an accurate sense of proportion in regard to reality (to see
thing objectively, make fair judgment, and give the correct amount of attention to things that
really matter and not be distracted)
Sociological imagination: awareness of the relationship of the individual to the wider society and to
history/ the recognition that individual behaviour is conducted in relation to larger social structures, that
most actions by individuals involve conformity to societys rules and not personal initiative, and that right
and wrong are defined by cultural context.
Statistical imagination: an appreciation of how usual or unusual event, circumstances or behaviour is in
relation to a larger set of similar events and an appreciation of an events causes and consequences.
We understand that most events are predictable/ ability to think through a problem and maintain a
sense of proportion or balance/ involves recognizing highly unusual events for what they are and
not overreacting to them.
Statistical interpretation must take into account the circumstances of a phenomenon, including the
social values of a society or some group within it.
Normative : its interpretation depends on the place, time and culture in which it is observed
Social norm: its a shared idea of the behaviour that is appropriate or inappropriate in a given
situation in given culture.
Statistical norms : an average rate of occurrence of a phenomenon. This average may differ
because statistical norms are influenced by social norms.
Statistical ideal: a socially desired rate of occurrence of a phenomenon (an optimum target rate)/
often reflect social values : shared ideas among the members of a society about the way things
ought to be.
The significance of a statistic depends on statistical norm (average), statistical ideals (optimum
target rates) and practical circumstances.
Data: systematically acquired information that is organized by following the procedures of science and