Talk:Descriptive statistics

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Moved from the main article as it doesn't belong here:

One consequence of a network effect is that the purchase of a good by one individual indirectly benefits others who own the good - for example by purchasing a telephone a person makes other people's telephones more useful. This type of side effect in a transaction is known as an externality in economics, and externalities arising from network effects are known as network externalities.

I think some of the information here could be merged with summary statistics, although I'm not sure how best to go about it. Wmahan. 03:21, 2004 Aug 28 (UTC)

Under the Descriptive Statistics part of the Statistics bar at the bottom of the page, there are Continuous and Catagorical, but these do not exhaustively describe all the types of data, which include count data, also known as Ordinal data. Briancady413 (talk) 19:15, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Missing table and figure[edit]

Subsection Summarizing_statistical_data#Distribution refers to "Table 1" and "Figure 2" which the wiki page does not contain.

The source of this material is http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/statdesc.php which contains the table and figure referred to. What is the right way to fix it - (a) removing the references; or (b) adapting the table and figure from the original source? -- CaptSolo (talk) 23:14, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for a better introduction text[edit]

Currently it says:

Descriptive statistics is the discipline of quantitatively describing the main features of a collection of information,[1] or the quantitative description itself. Descriptive statistics are distinguished from inferential statistics (or inductive statistics), in that descriptive statistics aim to summarize a sample, rather than use the data to learn about the population that the sample of data is thought to represent. This generally means that descriptive statistics, unlike inferential statistics, are not developed on the basis of probability theory.[2] Even when a data analysis draws its main conclusions using inferential statistics, descriptive statistics are generally also presented. For example in a paper reporting on a study involving human subjects, there typically appears a table giving the overall sample size, sample sizes in important subgroups (e.g., for each treatment or exposure group), and demographic or clinical characteristics such as the average age, the proportion of subjects of each sex, and the proportion of subjects with related comorbidities.

I would change it to:

Descriptive statistics is the result of a process of presenting a collection of raw data in a more efficient and informative way. This results in presenting summary measures of the data or in presenting the data in a graphical format. 'Descriptive statistics' can also refer to the academic discipline involved in the foundation and further development of this process.

Descriptive statistics are distinguished from inferential statistics (or inductive statistics), in that descriptive statistics aim to take a population as the object of a study, rather than try to infer information about the population from a sample. This generally means that descriptive statistics, unlike inferential statistics, are not developed on the basis of probability theory.[3]

However, also when a sample is involved, descriptive statistics are generally presented. For example in a paper reporting on a study involving a sample of human subjects, there typically appears a table giving the overall sample size, sample sizes in important subgroups (e.g., for each treatment or exposure group), and demographic or clinical characteristics such as the average age, the proportion of subjects of each sex, and the proportion of subjects with related comorbidities.

Kind regards, Marcocapelle (talk) 15:47, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

The differences in short:

  • describing 'raw data' instead of describing 'information' (information is the result, not the source)
  • 'in a more efficient and informative way' instead of 'quantitatively'
  • adding of graphics
  • a population (census data) is the primary application of descriptive statistics instead of a sample
  • descriptive statistics is in practice applied 'also when a sample is involved' instead of also 'when using inferential statistics'

Kind regards, Marcocapelle (talk) 17:41, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Mann, Prem S. (1995). Introductory Statistics (2nd ed.). Wiley. ISBN 0-471-31009-3. 
  2. ^ Dodge, Y. (2003). The Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms. OUP. ISBN 0-19-850994-4. 
  3. ^ Dodge, Y. (2003). The Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms. OUP. ISBN 0-19-850994-4.