**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. Copyright
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