Statistical and Critical Thinking

The word statistics is derived from the Latin word status (meaning “state”).

Early uses of statistics involved compilations of data and graphs describing various aspects of a state or country.  (Triola 5)


  • Data– are collections of observations, such as measurements, genders, or survey responses.
  • Statistics– is the science of planning studies and experiments; obtaining data; and then organizing, summarizing, presenting, analyzing, and interpreting those data and then drawing conclusions based on the data.
  • A population – is the complete collection of all measurements or data that are being considered.
  • census- is the collection of data from every member of the population.
  • sample- is a subcollection of members selected from a population.



  1. Context

What do the data mean?

What is the goal of the study?


  1. Source of the Data

Are the data from a source with a special interest so that there is pressure to obtain results that are favorable to the source?


  1. Sampling Method

Were the data collected in a way that is unbiased, or were the data collected in a way that is biased (such as a procedure in which respondents volunteer to participate)?



  1. Graph the Data
  2. Explore the Data

Are there any outliers (numbers very far away from almost all of the other data)?

What important statistics summarize the data (such as the mean and standard deviation described later)?

How are the data distributed?

Are there missing data?

Did many selected subjects refuse to respond?

  1. Apply Statistical Methods

Use technology to obtain results.



  1. Statistical Significance

Do the results have statistical significance?

Do the results have practical significance?

(Source: Triola, Mario “Elementary Statistics” 6

I just wanted to take a minute to share all that I have been learning. Stay tuned for more Statistics Basics.   Thanks for stopping by and Enjoy your weekend!

Love, Joy, and Blessings Always,

Alana Xoxoxoxo


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