KEY FEATURES: Introduces students to developing research questions and shows their importance in driving research design. Rarely taught topics, such as how to enter and clean data, offer students information missed in both research methods and statistics courses. Shows how to write up survey results for academic, business and nonprofit reports to alleviate the confusion students feel about how to write up findings. Rigorous treatment of sampling focuses on many sampling issues from probability theory to weighting. Offers the process of actually conducting a survey with advice on administering surveys, incentives, and improving response rates.

How Do We Infer the Population Parameter?

Erin Ruel

A major problem with using our sample point estimates to predict the population parameter (point estimate at population level) is that each single sample we choose, out of the infinite possible samples, could provide us with a somewhat different point estimate because the members of each sample will differ. Therefore, there is some uncertainty about how well the one chosen sample’s estimate reflects the population parameter. Inferential statistics are designed to help us with these uncertainties.

One option is to create a range of possible population parameters. We learned in Q76 that 95% of the sample members of a bell curve are within two standard deviations of the mean. This mean only 5% falls outside that area. ...

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