Descriptive statistics are often combined with frequency distributions to quickly determine a basic mathematical as well as a visual understanding of a large amount of collected data (Mihaescu, 2012). Basic inferential statisticsâ€”involving more advanced hypothesis testing and predictive powerâ€”will be introduced later in the course.
This week, you will be exploring data with graphs using SPSS. Researchers use graphs to present a better and clearer picture of the data. Among the different types of graphs that you will be examining in this section are line graphs, bar charts, and pie charts. Some of these graphs better represent nominal and ordinal data, while some better represent interval and ratio data.
You will also examine frequency distributions, such as tables and histogramsâ€”which is a way of presenting data that shows the number of cases in each of the variables. For parametric statistics, the histogram is an important depiction of the data, as it displays the counts of interval and ratio data. Histograms are used to explore whether the data is normally distributed (this will be discussed later on in the course).
Remember that there are additional resources available in the Supplemental Resources under Course Resources from the course home page.
Be sure to review this week’s resources carefully. You are expected to apply the information from these resources when you prepare your assignments.
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