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The Statistical Imagination

Imagination

2008 McGraw-Hill

The Field of Statistics

As a field of study, statistics is a
set of procedures for gathering,
measuring, classifying, coding,
computing, analyzing, and
summarizing systematically
acquired numerical information

2008 McGraw-Hill

Applications of Statistics
Scientific applications: A tool for
testing scientific theories
Practical applications : Used by
makers, public health officials,
insurance underwriters, educators,
survey firms, stock investors and
analysts, and odds makers
2008 McGraw-Hill

The Statistical Imagination

An appreciation of how usual or
unusual an event, circumstance, or
behavior is in relation to a larger
set of similar events, and an
appreciation of an events causes
and consequences

2008 McGraw-Hill

Features of the
Statistical Imagination
It is a balanced way of observing the
world
It involves the ability to think through
a problem and maintain a sense of
proportion when weighing evidence
against preconceived notions
It helps us to understand that most
events are predictable
2008 McGraw-Hill

Sociological Imaginations
Social reality is normative:
interpretation depends on the place,
time, and culture
Statistical norms are measurements of
social norms
Statistical ideals often reflect social
values
2008 McGraw-Hill

Tools for Proportional

Thinking
Data: Systematically acquired
information, following the
procedures of science and
statistics
Statistical error: Known degrees of
imprecision in procedures used to
gather information
2008 McGraw-Hill

Two Purposes of Statistics

Descriptive statistics: Used to tell
us how many observations were
recorded and how frequently each
score or category occurred
Inferential statistics: Used to show
cause and effect relationships and
to test hypotheses and theories
2008 McGraw-Hill

What is Science?
Science is the systematic study of
empirical phenomena
Empirical means observable and
measurable
Phenomena are facts,
happenstances, events, or
circumstances
2008 McGraw-Hill

The Purpose of Science

The purpose of scientific investigation
is to explain things
These explanations take the form of
theory : A set of interrelated, logically
organized statements that explain a
phenomenon of special interest, and
that have been corroborated through
observation and analysis
2008 McGraw-Hill

The Limitations of Science

Restricted to examining empirical
phenomena
Many sound, factually based
scientific arguments lack political or
taxpayer support
Ethical dilemmas often arise
creating resistance to its application
2008 McGraw-Hill

Data and Variables

Data: Systematically acquired
information
Variables: Measurable phenomena that
vary or change over time, or that differ
from place to place or from individual to
individual
Constants: Characteristics of study
subjects that do not vary
2008 McGraw-Hill

Study subjects
Study subjects: The people or
objects under scientific
observation
Variation: How much the
measurements of a variable differ
among study subjects

2008 McGraw-Hill

A Hypothesis
between two variables, asserting
that differences among the
measurements of an independent
variable will correspond to
differences among the
measurements of a dependent
variable
2008 McGraw-Hill

Independent and
Dependent Variables
Dependent variable: The variable
whose variation we wish to explain
Independent variables: The predictor
variables that are related to, or predict
variation in, the dependent variable

2008 McGraw-Hill

Relationships Between
Independent and Dependent
Variables
Cause
Predictor
Stimulus
Intervention

Effect
Outcome
Response
Result

(action taken)
Correlation: measures of the two
variables fluctuate together
2008 McGraw-Hill

The Research Process

Involves organizing ideas into a
theory, making empirical
predictions that support the theory,
and then gathering data to test
these predictions
Cumulative process a continual
process of accumulation of
knowledge
2008 McGraw-Hill

7 Steps of the Research

Process
Specify the research question
Review the scientific literature
Propose a theory and state hypotheses
Select a research design
Collect the data
Analyze the data and draw conclusions
Disseminate the results
2008 McGraw-Hill

Mathematical Proportions
Division problems that weigh a part (the
numerator) against a whole (the
denominator)
Proportional thinking: placing an
observation into a larger context
A sense of proportion: to see things
behavior, and give the correct amount
of attention to things that really matter
2008 McGraw-Hill

Calculating Proportions
and Percentages
Divide the fraction to obtain a
proportion (in decimal form)
The quotient will always have
values between 0 and 1
Multiply the proportion by 100 to
change it into a percentage
2008 McGraw-Hill

Transforming Fractions,
Proportions, and
Percentages
To change a fraction into
a proportion:
Divide to decimalized
A proportion into a percentage: Multiply
by 100
A percentage into a proportion: Divide
the percentage by 100
To express a proportion as a fraction:
Observe the decimal places (See
Appendix A)
2008 McGraw-Hill

Rates
A rate is the frequency of occurrence of a
phenomenon per a specified, useful base
number of subjects in a population
Rate of occurrence = (p) (a base number)
Rates standardize comparisons for
populations at risk
The choice of a base number depends on the
phenomenon being measured

2008 McGraw-Hill

Encourage Proportional
Thinking
Symbol

=
=

Formula
Contents of

formula

2008 McGraw-Hill

How to Succeed in This

Course and Have Fun
Never miss class and keep up
Organize materials in a three-ring
binder