In an increasingly data-driven world, it is more important than ever for students as well as professionals to better understand basic statistical concepts. 100 Questions (and Answers) About Statistics addresses the essential questions that students ask about statistics in a concise and accessible way. It is perfect for instructors, students, and practitioners as a supplement to more comprehensive materials, or as a desk reference with quick answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What Are Inferential Statistics, and How Are They Used?

What Are Inferential Statistics, and How Are They Used?

Inferential statistics allow us to infer findings from a smaller group (often called a sample) to a larger group (often called a population). Inferential statistics are often an extension of descriptive statistics, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, knowing the average of a set of scores (using descriptive statistics) is sufficient, given the question being asked, and it is not necessary to use inferential statistics to see, for example, whether a particular average of one group differs from the average of another group.

As an example of how inferential statistics could be used, consider the examination of differences between two groups of elementary school students on a test of reading skills. One group might ...