Chapter 1 Introduction to Statistics Looking Ahead What Is This Chapter About When a student came to me recently for help with statistics I posed the question “What is the chapter about ” Th by gks27426


									Chapter 1: Introduction to Statistics

Looking Ahead: What Is This Chapter About?
When a student came to me recently for help with statistics, I posed the question, “What is the chapter
about?” The student’s answer, “About 36 pages,” was not what I had hoped to hear. To give you a heads
up, I provide a brief overview at the beginning of each chapter.
     This chapter begins with a discussion of what statistics is and why you should study it. I then share tips
for studying statistics and define some basic concepts: population, sample, and random sample. You will
learn that there are two broad categories of statistics: descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. The
chapter continues with a discussion of the way mathematicians classify variables and the rules
psychologists and others use to assign numbers to characteristics of people. For history buffs, I end the
chapter with a brief description of the origins of statistics.
     After reading the chapter, you should know the following:
          ■ What statistics is
          ■ Why you should study it (although you might prefer almost any other form
          ■ of torture)
          ■ How to study statistics
          ■ The meaning of basic concepts such as population, sample, and random sample
          ■ The two broad categories of statistics
          ■ The way mathematicians classify variables and the way psychologists measure
          ■ characteristics
          ■ The origins of statistics

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