# Descriptive Statistics

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1 Descriptive Statistics Primer Descriptive statistics Central tendency Variation Relative position Relationships Calculating descriptive statistics Descriptive Statistics Purpose to describe or summarize data in a parsimonious manner Four types Central tendency Variability Relative position Relationships Central Tendency Purpose to represent the typical score attained by subjects Three common measures Mode Median Mean 1

2 Central Tendency Mode The most frequently occurring score Appropriate for nominal data Median The score above and below which 50% of all scores lie (i.e., the mid-point) Characteristics Appropriate for ordinal scales Doesn t take into account the value of each and every score in the data Mean Central Tendency The arithmetic average of all scores Characteristics Advantageous statistical properties Affected by outlying scores Most frequently used measure of central tendency Formula Variability Purpose to measure the extent to which scores are spread apart Four measures Range Quartile deviation Variance Standard deviation 2

3 Range Variability The difference between the highest and lowest score in a data set Characteristics Unstable measure of variability Rough, quick estimate Quartile deviation Variability One-half the difference between the upper and lower quartiles in a distribution Characteristic - appropriate when the median is being used Variability Variance The average squared deviation of all scores around the mean Characteristics Many important statistical properties Difficult to interpret due to squared metric Formula 3

4 Standard deviation Variability The square root of the variance Characteristics Many important statistical properties Relationship to properties of the normal curve Easily interpreted Formula The Normal Curve A bell shaped curve reflecting the distribution of many variables of interest to educators See the attached slide The Normal Curve Characteristics Fifty-percent of the scores fall above the mean and fifty-percent fall below the mean The mean, median, and mode are the same values Most participants score near the mean; the further a score is from the mean the fewer the number of participants who attained that score Specific numbers or percentages of scores fall between 1 SD, 2 SD, etc. 4

5 Skewed Distributions Positive many low scores and few high scores Negative few low scores and many high scores Relationships between the mean, median, and mode Positively skewed mode is lowest, median is in the middle, and mean is highest Negatively skewed mean is lowest, median is in the middle, and mode is highest Measures of Relative Position Purpose indicates where a score is in relation to all other scores in the distribution Characteristics Clear estimates of relative positions Possible to compare students performances across two or more different tests provided the scores are based on the same group Measures of Relative Position Types Percentile ranks the percentage of scores that fall at or above a given score Standard scores a derived score based on how far a raw score is from a reference point in terms of standard deviation units Z-score T-score Stanine 5

6 Measures of Relative Position Z-score The deviation of a score from the mean in standard deviation units The basic standard score from which all other standard scores are calculated Characteristics Mean = 0 Standard deviation = 1 Positive if the score is above the mean and negative if it is below the mean Relationship with the area under the normal curve Measures of Relative Position Z-score (continued) Possible to calculate relative standings like the percent better than a score, the percent falling between two scores, the percent falling between the mean and a score, etc. Formula Measures of Relative Position T-score a transformation of a z-score where t = 10(Z) + 50 Characteristics Mean = 50 Standard deviation = 10 No negative scores 6

7 Measures of Relative Position Stanine a transformation of a z-score where the stanine = 2(Z) + 5 rounded to the nearest whole number Characteristics Nine groups with 1 the lowest and 9 the highest Categorical interpretation Frequently used in norming tables Measures of Relationship Purpose quantify the relationship between two variables Magnitude Direction Characteristics of correlation coefficients Strength or magnitude 0 to 1 Direction positive (+) or negative (-) Types of correlations coefficients dependent on the scales of measurement of the variables Spearman Rho ranked data Pearson r interval or ratio data Measures of Relationship Interpretation correlation does not mean causation Formula for Pearson r 7

8 Inferential Statistics Primer Concepts underlying inferential statistics Types of inferential statistics Parametric T-tests ANOVA Multiple regression ANCOVA Non-parametric Chi-Square Important Perspectives Inferential statistics Allow researchers to generalize to a population based on information obtained from a sample Assesses whether the results obtained from a sample are the same as those that would have been calculated for the entire population Probabilistic nature of inferential analyses The probability reflect actual differences in the population Underlying Concepts Sampling distributions Standard error of the mean Null and alternative hypotheses Tests of significance Type I and Type II errors One-tailed and two-tailed tests Degrees of freedom Tests of significance 8

9 Sampling Distributions: Strange Yet Familiar What is a sampling distribution anyway? If we select 100 groups of first graders and give each group a reading test, the groups mean reading scores will: Differ from each other Differ from the true population mean Form a normal distribution that has: a mean (i.e., mean of the means) that is a good estimate of the true population mean an estimate of variability among the mean reading scores (i.e., a standard deviation, but it s called something different) Sampling Distributions: Strange Yet Familiar Using consistent terminology would be too easy. Different terms are used to describe central tendency and variability within distributions of sample means Based On Estimates Central Tendency Variability Distribution of scores Scores from a single sample Performance of a single sample Mean - describes single sample Standard Deviation - variability within the sample Distribution of sample means Average scores from several samples Performance of the population Mean of Meansestimates true population mean Standard Error of the Mean - describes sampling error Sampling Distributions: Strange Yet Familiar Different Distributions of Sample Means A distribution of mean scores A distribution of the differences between two mean scores Apply when making comparisons between two groups A distribution of the ratio of two variances Apply when making comparisons between three or more groups 9

10 Standard Error of the Mean Remember that Sampling Error refers to the random variation of means in sampling distributions Sampling error is a fact of life when drawing samples for research The difference between the observed mean within a single sample and the mean of means within the distribution of sample means represents Sampling Error. Standard Error of the Mean Standard error is an estimate of sampling error Standard error of the mean The standard deviation for the distribution of sample means Standard error of the mean can be calculated for every kind of sampling distribution from a single sample Knowing Standard Error of the Mean allows a researcher to calculate confidence intervals around their estimates. Confidence intervals describe the probability that the true population mean is estimated by the researcher s sample mean Confidence Interval Example Lets say, we measure IQ in 26 fourth graders (N= 26) We observe an average IQ score within our sample of 101 and a Standard Deviation of 10 Step 1: Calculate Standard Error of the Mean using formula Step 2: Use characteristics of the normal curve to construct confidence range 10

11 Null and Alternative Hypotheses The null hypothesis represents a statistical tool important to inferential statistical tests The alternative hypothesis usually represents the research hypothesis related to the study Null and Alternative Hypotheses Comparisons between groups (experimental & causal-comparative studies) Null Hypothesis: no difference exists between the means scores of the groups Alternative Hypothesis: A difference exists between the mean scores of the groups Relationships between variables (correlational & regression studies) Null Hypothesis: no relationship exists between the variables being studied Alternative Hypothesis: a relationship exists between the variables being studied Null and Alternative Hypotheses Acceptance of the null hypothesis The difference between groups is too small to attribute it to anything but chance The relationship between variables is too small to attribute it to anything but chance Rejection of the null hypothesis The difference between groups is so large it can be attributed to something other than chance (e.g., experimental treatment) The relationship between variables is so large it can be attributed to something other than chance (e.g., a real relationship) 11

12 Tests of Significance Statistical analyses determine whether to accept or reject the null hypothesis Alpha level An established probability level which serves as the criterion to determine whether to accept or reject the null hypothesis It represents the confidence that your results reflect true relationships Common levels in education p <.01 (I will correctly reject the null hypothesis 99 of 100 times) P <.05 (I will correctly reject the null hypothesis 95 of 100 times) p <.10 (I will correctly reject the null hypothesis 90 of 100 times) Tests of Significance Specific tests are used in specific situations based on the number of samples and the statistics of interest t-tests ANOVA MANOVA Correlation Coefficients And many others Type I and Type II Errors Correct decisions The null hypothesis is true and it is accepted The null hypothesis is false and it is rejected Incorrect decisions Type I error - the null hypothesis is true and it is rejected Type II error the null hypothesis is false and it is accepted 12

13 Type I & Type II Errors Is there real difference between the groups? Was the Null Hypothesis Rejected? Did your statistical test suggest that a the treatment group improved more than the control group? YES NO YES Correct Rejection of Null Stat. test detected a difference between groups when there is a real difference Type I Error (false Positive) Stat. test detected a group difference when there is no real difference between groups NO Type II Error (false negative) Stat. test failed to detect a group difference when there is a real difference between groups Correct Failure to Reject Null Stat. test detected no difference between groups when there is no real difference Type I and Type II Errors Reciprocal relationship between Type I and Type II errors As the likelihood of a Type I error decreases, the likelihood a a Type II error increases Control of Type I errors using alpha level As alpha becomes smaller (.10,.05,.01,.001, etc.) there is less chance of a Type I error Control Type I errors using sample size Very large samples increase the likelihood of making a type I error, but decrease the likelihood of making a type II error Researcher must balance the risk of type I vs. type II errors Tests of Significance Parametric and non-parametric Four assumptions of parametric tests Normal distribution of the dependent variable Interval or ratio data Independence of subjects Homogeneity of variance Advantages of parametric tests More statistically powerful More versatile 13

14 Types of Inferential Statistics Two issues discussed Steps involved in testing for significance Types of tests Steps in Statistical Testing State the null and alternative hypotheses Set alpha level Identify the appropriate test of significance Identify the sampling distribution Identify the test statistic Compute the test statistic Steps in Statistical Testing Identify the criteria for significance If computing by hand, identify the critical value of the test statistic Compare the computed test statistic to the criteria for significance If computing by hand, compare the observed test statistic to the critical value 14

15 Steps in Statistical Testing Accept or reject the null hypothesis Accept The observed test statistic is smaller than the critical value The observed probability level of the observed statistic is smaller than alpha Reject The observed test statistic is larger than the critical value The observed probability level of the observed statistic is smaller than alpha T-test for independent samples Comparison of two means from independent samples Samples in which the subjects in one group are not related to the subjects in the other group Example - examining the difference between the mean pretest scores for an experimental and control group T-test for dependent samples Comparison of two means from dependent samples One group is selected and mean scores are compared for two variables Two groups are compared but the subjects in each group are matched Example examining the difference between pretest and posttest mean scores for a single class of students 15

16 Simple analysis of variance (ANOVA) Comparison of two or more means Example examining the difference between posttest scores for two treatment groups and a control group Is used instead of multiple t-tests Multiple comparisons Omnibus ANOVA results Significant difference indicates whether a difference exists across all pairs of scores Need to know which specific pairs are different Types of tests A-priori contrasts Post-hoc comparisons Scheffe Tukey HSD Duncan s Multiple Range Conservative or liberal control of alpha Multiple comparisons (continued) Example examining the difference between mean scores for Groups 1 & 2, Groups 1 & 3, and Groups 2 & 3 16

17 Two factor ANOVA Comparison of means when two independent variables are being examined Effects Two main effects one for each independent variable One interaction effect for the simultaneous interaction of the two independent variables Two factor ANOVA (continued) Example examining the mean score differences for male and female students in an experimental or control group Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) Comparison of two or more means with statistical control of an extraneous variable Use of a covariate Advantages Statistically controlling for initial group differences (i.e., equating the groups) Increased statistical power Pretest, such as an ability test, is typically the covariate 17

18 Multiple regression Correlational technique which uses multiple predictor variables to predict a single criterion variable Characteristics Increased predictability with additional variables Regression coefficients Regression equations Multiple regression (continued) Example predicting college freshmen s GPA on the basis of their ACT scores, high school GPA, and high school rank in class Is a correlational procedure High ACT scores and high school GPA may predict college GPA, but they don t explain why. Chi-Square A non-parametric test in which observed proportions are compared to expected proportions Types One-dimensional comparing frequencies occurring in different categories for a single group Two-dimensional comparing frequencies occurring in different categories for two or more groups Examples Is there a difference between the proportions of parents in favor or opposed to an extended school year? Is there a difference between the proportions of husbands and wives who are in favor or opposed to an extended school year? 18

19 Formula for the Mean Formula for Variance 19

20 Formula for Standard Deviation Formula for Pearson Correlation Formula for Z-Score 20

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