Lesson 5: Descriptive Statistics
Descriptive Statistics are typically distinguished from inferential Statistics. With descriptive Statistics you are simply describing what is or what the data shows. With inferential Statistics, you are trying to reach conclusions that extend beyond the immediate data alone. For instance, we use inferential Statistics to try to infer from the sample data what the population might think. Or, we use inferential Statistics to make judgments of the probability that an observed difference between groups is a dependable one or one that might have happened by chance in this study. Thus, we use inferential Statistics to make inferences from our data to more general conditions; we use descriptive Statistics simply to describe what’s going on in our data.