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Descriptive statistics are commonly encountered, relatively simple, and for the most part easily understood. Most of the statistics encountered in daily life, in newspapers and magazines, in television, radio, and Internet news reports, and so forth, are descriptive in nature rather than inferential. Compared with the logic of inferential statistics, most descriptive statistics are somewhat intuitive. Typically the first five or six chapters of an introductory statistics text consist of descriptive statistics (means, medians, variances, standard deviations, correlation coefficients, etc.), followed in the later chapters by the more complex rationale and methods for statistical inference (probability theory, sampling theory, t and z tests, analysis of variance, etc.)

Descriptive statistical methods are also foundational in the sense that inferential methods are conceptually dependent on them and use ...

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