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Sampling and Data: Introduction

Module by: Susan Dean, Barbara Illowsky, Ph.D.. E-mail the authors

Summary: This module provides a brief introduction to the field of statistics, including examples of how these topics shows up in a variety of real-life examples.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this chapter, the student should be able to:

  • Recognize and differentiate between key terms.
  • Apply various types of sampling methods to data collection.
  • Create and interpret frequency tables.

Introduction

You are probably asking yourself the question, "When and where will I use statistics?". If you read any newspaper or watch television, or use the Internet, you will see statistical information. There are statistics about crime, sports, education, politics, and real estate. Typically, when you read a newspaper article or watch a news program on television, you are given sample information. With this information, you may make a decision about the correctness of a statement, claim, or "fact." Statistical methods can help you make the "best educated guess."

Since you will undoubtedly be given statistical information at some point in your life, you need to know some techniques to analyze the information thoughtfully. Think about buying a house or managing a budget. Think about your chosen profession. The fields of economics, business, psychology, education, biology, law, computer science, police science, and early childhood development require at least one course in statistics.

Included in this chapter are the basic ideas and words of probability and statistics. You will soon understand that statistics and probability work together. You will also learn how data are gathered and what "good" data are.

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Definition of a lens

Lenses

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