What Can Statistics Be Used For?
Basics on the topic What Can Statistics Be Used For?
What are statistics? What are the key parts of representative statistics? Learn all about statistics and what they can be used for in this video.
Transcript What Can Statistics Be Used For?
Future grandpa Luis is reminiscing on days gone by, thinking about all the technology from the past. He's suddenly intrigued by some statistical data he has found online about his generation, but Grandpa Luis has a lingering question; What can statistics be used for? You may have come across statistics before, on social media asking for your opinion, on the news, or in scientific data to back up claims. But what exactly are statistics? Statistics is the science of collecting, organizing, analyzing, and interpreting data. Its purpose is to help us understand and make sense of the information we gather. When looking at statistics, you will often come across the term population. Population is the entire group of individuals or objects that we are interested in studying. For example, Grandpa Luis found some statistics about the screen time habits across different generations in the USA, so the population is all the people in the USA. However, it is often not possible to collect data from an entire population due to time, cost, or logistical constraints. This is where a sample comes in! A sample is a smaller group selected from the population that we study in order to make inferences about the larger population. Imagine trying to find the screen time habits of every person in the USA. This would be a massive task, so instead you would select a representitive sample; a smaller group of people from each generation that accurately represent the larger population. But why is having a representative sample so important? Well, if we want to make valid inferences about the entire population based on our sample, it's crucial that the sample accurately reflects the population's characteristics and diversity. Let's consider the statistics Grandpa Luis came across, which was on screen time habits across different generations. We would probably want to know if there are any differences in the average time spent on screens between Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, Generation Z. This graph shows the results of a survey conducted on a sample of individuals from multiple generations. By analyzing this sample, we can draw conclusions about the entire population of diverse generations. But remember, generalizations about a population from a sample are only valid if the sample is representative. If the sample consists mainly of individuals who spend an excessive amount of time on screens, this wouldn't accurately represent the entire population. So, how do we ensure a sample is representative? By using random sampling, which is a method of selecting individuals for a sample in a way that every member of the population has an equal chance of being chosen. By using random sampling, we can reduce biases and ensure our sample reflects the diversity of the population. This helps us make more reliable and valid inferences. Another important consideration is sample size. Sample size is simply the amount of people that are used in a sample. The larger the sample size, the more reliable data tends to be. So a large sample size is usually better. To summarize, statistics can be used to gain information, draw conclusions, and make inferences about a population by examining a representative sample. Generalizations about a population from a sample are only valid if the sample accurately reflects the population's characteristics. Random sampling plays a crucial role in producing representative samples, reducing biases, and supporting valid inferences. Statistics are a powerful tool that helps us understand the world around us. And what about Grandpa Luis? He concluded that his generation were lucky to have access to such great technology growing up!