Descriptive and Inferential Statistics

Read these sections and complete the questions at the end of each section. Here, we introduce descriptive statistics using examples and discuss the difference between descriptive and inferential statistics. We also talk about samples and populations, explain how you can identify biased samples, and define differential statistics.

Descriptive Statistics


  1. The two divisions of statistics are inferential and descriptive. (See the text for more details.)

  2. Descriptive statistics summarize and describe data. Inferential statistics use data from a sample to answer questions about a population. Inferential statistics involves generalizing beyond the data at hand.

  3. Descriptive statistics are numbers that are used to summarize and describe data. Predicting next month's unemployment rate involves predicting future data, no describing the data at hand.