Descriptive Statistics Vocabulary

Now that it is time write up results in Chapter Four, it is also time to revisit some statistical terms.  White space under the words “Chapter Four” brought panic.  Instantly, I related to students who complained of not knowing what to write, so there is that silver lining. 


Revisiting terms for descriptive statistics reminded me that I know more than I thought for this chapter.  Here are a few terms to pepper in your chapter, for statistical description.  No academic embellishment here.  I boiled it down to my understanding to avoid embarrassment for the very exciting submission of my first final draft.

Sample Size:  How many participants interacted with your study

Population Group:  What group of society your participants represent

Population Subgroup:  Divisions within the sample sizes; often separated by demographics

Central Tendency:  Measures used to describe data; mean, median, and mode

Measures of Dispersion:  aka measures of variability.  How close your data lies together on a scatter plot, histogram, or what have you.

Standard Deviation:  One measure of dispersion.  It is demonstrated in the bell curve that shows the “bump” between the measures of data.  So Einstein would be very far to the right in a demonstration curve of IQ.

Variance:  Another measure of dispersion.  How far your data spreads out.

Interquartile range:  Yet another measure of dispersion.  Difference between upper and lower quartiles of the data.

Univariate Analysis:  Discuss one variable at a time in the descriptive portion, unless this variable is part of your research question.  Then discuss under a research question heading.

Bivariate and Multivariate Analysis:  Use this to show how variables interact and whether correlations exist in your work.

Okay, I think I am ready to give it a better shot.  Any other basic terms to include?


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