The Study Of Statistics

 Statistics is a study based on the collection, analysis, organization, interpretation, and presentation of a set of data. Data can be defined as the values of variables based on quality or quantity that belong to a set of items. Statistics deals with all aspects of this data. An example of a statistical data set would be if a teacher was to write down the number of children in her classroom with brown hair, black hair, blonde hair, and red hair. The teacher could then use this data to perform a calculation of the percentage of children with red hair. Over time, if the teacher continues to collect this data, she can conduct further statistical research.

What is Statistical Research?

The most common reason for statistical research is to determine causality. Causality is the relationship between two events, where the second event is understood as a consequence of the first event. The investigator tries to determine a conclusion on the effect of the independent variables, or predictors, on the dependent variables, or response. If after many years of collecting data, the aforementioned teacher decides to research if the students' hair color had a determination on which row that they choose to sit in during class, then the hair color of the child would be the predictor and the row they were sitting in would be the response.

The Two Types of Statistical Studies

There are two main types of studies that are performed using statistical research:
Experimental Studies: In experimental studies, the system that is being studied is kept the same while additional variables are added to manipulate the system. Measurements are taken before the additional variables are added and again afterwards in order to determine their effects. An example of an experimental study would be if a person planted four garden plots, each exactly the same size, with the same amount of sunlight and same vegetable seeds, but each being fed a different type of fertilizer. The person doing the experiment could then investigate which plants would grow the highest and biggest.
Observational Studies: In observational studies, data are gathered and investigated to find correlations, such as in the earlier example of the teachers and the students.

The Significance of Statistical Research

Statistical research rarely yields a direct yes or no response. The interpretation of the results received is often based on the significance applied to the numbers and typically refers to the probability of the hypotheses not being rejected due to findings being determined to be inconsequential. For a statistical research project to be deemed of value, it needs to determine that the observation is very unlikely to have been the result of random chance. This can often be very difficult to determine.  d.

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