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is science of collecting, organizing, summarizing, and analyzing information to draw conclusions or answer questions.
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numeric values that are gathered through measurements and/or observations.

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Data Set

a collection of data values

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Data Value (datum)

an individual value  in a data set

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Entire group to be studied

Ex: people, animals, foods, 

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person or object that is a member of the population being studied

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is a subset of the population that is being studied

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numerical summary of a sample

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Descriptive statistics

consist of organizing and summarizing data. Described data through numerical summaries, tables, and graphes.

Examples include:  the U.S. Census, Special Interest, Group Studies, Marketing Studies, Consumer

                                             Habits, etc

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Inferential Statisitics

uses methods that take a result from a sample, extend it to the population, and measure the reliability of the result. 

Ex: Games of chance,  insurance industry, simulations, consumer taste, 

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numerical summary of population

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Process of Statistics

1. Identify the research objective: A researcher must determine the questions he or she wants answered. The questions must be detailed so that it identifies the population that is to be studied. 

2. Collect the data needed to answer the questions posed in #1

3. Describe the data

4. Perform Inference: Apply appropriate techniques to extend the results obtained from the sample to the population and report a level of reliability of the results

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are the characteristics of the individuals within the population

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Qualitative, or categorical, variables

allow for classification of individuals based on some attribute or characteristic

Examples are: gender,  geographic area, religious affiliation, membership in a group, etc

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Quantitative variables

provide numerical measures of individuals. The values of a quantitative variable can be added or subtracted and provide meaningful results. 

Examples : age,  weight,  height,  GPA, IQ,  distance, payments,  tax  owed, etc.

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way to look at and organize a problem so that it can be solved 

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Discrete Variable 

quantitative variable that has either a finite number of possible values or a countable number of possible values. The term countable means that the values result from counting, 1,2,3. A discrete variable cannot take on every possible value between any teo possible values. 

Examples:  # of Baseball Games won  by the Cardinals ,  # of members of a family,  # of  students in a class, # of  leaves on a tree,  # of  digits in a zip code,  # of  stars in the galaxy,  # of people who wear glasses, etc.

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Continuous Variable

quantitative variable that has an infinite number of possible values that are not countable. A continuous variable may take on every possible value between any two values. 

Examples:   a person's temperature, distance between two places,  the speed of an object,  time,  amount of force applied,  etc

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Nominal level of measurement

if the values of the variable name, label, or categorize. In addition, the naming sceme does not allow for the values of the variable to be arranged in a ranked or specific order. 

EX: Grouping people by their nationality, gender, their religion, zip code of residence, marital  status, etc.

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Ordinal level of measurement

if it has the properties of the nominal level of measurement, however the naming scheme allows for the values of the variable to be arranged in a ranked or specific order 

Ex: Letter Grades  ( A, B, C, D, & F); Rating Scales ( Outstanding, Excellent,  Good, Average,  Poor, Unsatisfactory); Rankings ( General, Colonel, Captain, Sergeant , Corporal, Private)

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Interval level of measurement

if it has the properties of the ordinal level of measurement and the differences in the values of the variable have meaning. A value of zero foes not mean the absence of the quanitity. Arthmetic operations such as addition and subtraction can be performed on values of the variable. 

EX: IQ  may be  100 or  110 ( An  IQ of zero does not exist), Temperature may be  90  or  91 degrees ( 0  temperature does not mean  no heat)

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Ratio level of measurement

if it has the properties of the interval level of measurement and the ratios of the values of the variable have meaning. A value of zero means the absence of the quantity. Arithmetic operations such as multiplication and division can be performed on the values of the varibale. 

Ex: (Examples include height, weight,  area,  # of phone calls, etc.)


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Random variable

is one whose values are determined by chance

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Independent variable

is one whose value is chosen free of any influence by the value of other variables or any given situation

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Dependent variable

is one whose value is determined by the value held by another variable at a given time. 

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Grams of carbohydrates in a doughnut


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Number of unpopped kernals in a bag of ACT microwave popcorn


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Phone number


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Goals scored in a season by a soccer player


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Length (in minutes) of a country song