Writing about descriptive statistics in research

The mean, the mode, the median, the range, and the standard deviation are all examples of descriptive statistics. Note how the author has used a footnote to define the p-values that correspond to the number of asterisks.

Statistics should be used to substantiate your findings and help you to say objectively when you have significant results. Statisticians still debate how to properly calculate a median when there is an even number of values, but for most purposes, it is appropriate to simply take the mean of the two middle values.

Overview Descriptive Statistics Inferential Statistics Graphical Summary Overview The results of your statistical analyses help you to understand the outcome of your study, e.

The line spanning two adjacent bars indicates that they are not significantly different based on a multiple comparisons testand because the line does not include the pH 2 mean, it indicates that the pH 2 mean is significantly different from both the pH 5.

The Mean The mean is the most common form of central tendency, and is what most people usually are referring to when the say average.

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Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. For two groups, the larger mean may have asterisks centered over the error bar to indicate the relative level of the p-value.

Therefore, when reporting the statistical outcomes relevant to your study, subordinate them to the actual biological results.

The first example below shows a comparison of three means. The system you use depends on how complicated it is to summarize the result.

Understanding the distribution of a data set helps us understand how the data behave. This handout explains how to write with statistics including quick tips, writing descriptive statistics, writing inferential statistics, and using visuals with statistics. In addition, you should present one form of variability, usually the standard deviation.

The mode is best used when you want to indicate the most common response or item in a data set. Note that information about how to interpret the coding system line or letters is included in the figure legend.

Several common methods for summarizing statistical outcomes are shown below. Generally, when writing descriptive statistics, you want to present at least one form of central tendency or averagethat is, either the mean, median, or mode. Incomes of baseballs players, for example, are commonly reported using a median because a small minority of baseball players makes a lot of money, while most players make more modest amounts.

Two common ways to express the mean and variability are shown below: For example, the following data set has a mean of 4: If a regression is done, the best-fit line should be plotted and the equation of the line also provided in the body of the graph.

It is imperative that you include information in your Materials and Methods, or in the figure legend, to explain how to interpret whatever system of coding you use.

For example, if you wanted to predict the score of the next football game, you may want to know what the most common score is for the visiting team, but having an average score of For example, the first data set would have a higher standard deviation than the second data set: This organization of a data set is often referred to as a distribution.

Comparing groups t-tests, ANOVA, etc Comparison of the means of 2 or more groups is usually depicted in a bar graph of the means and associated error bars. AVOID writing whole sentences which simply say what test you used to analyze a result followed by another giving the result.

In order to calculate the median, all values in the data set need to be ordered, from either highest to lowest, or vice versa.

Standard Deviation The standard deviation is a measure of variability it is not a measure of central tendency.

Always report the mean average value along with a measure of variablility standard deviation s or standard error of the mean. Courtesy of Shelley Ball For three or more groups there are two systems typically used: It is simply the total sum of all the numbers in a data set, divided by the total number of data points.

In all cases, the p-value should be reported as well in the figure legend The asterisk may also be used with tabular results as shown below.

What Are Some Examples of Descriptive Research?

The Mode The mode is the most commonly occurring number in the data set.basic descriptive statistics from household survey data; and section D makes recommendations on how to prepare a general report (often called a statistical abstract) that disseminates basic results from a household survey to a wide audience.

Generally, when writing descriptive statistics, you want to present at least one form of central tendency (or average), that is, either the mean, median, or mode. In addition, you should present one form of variability, usually the standard deviation.

Descriptive statistics implies a simple quantitative summary of a data set that has been collected. It helps us understand the experiment or data set in detail and tells us everything we need to put the data in perspective. Reporting Statistics in APA Format PSYC —Burnham Reporting Results of Descriptive and Inferential Statistics in APA Format The Results section of an empirical manuscript (APA or non-APA format) are used to report the quantitative results of descriptive statistics and inferential statistics that were applied to a set of data.

Descriptive Statistics

Some examples of descriptive research include case studies and preliminary observation of a group. Case studies are examples of a relevant event that can be analyzed to learn about a specific group or topic.

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Observation is an essential part of descriptive research, and is the main way of gathering. Descriptive Analysis: The method to numerically describe the features of a set of data is called descriptive statistics. It is, in other words, a summary of the data collected. It is widely used for descriptive analysis of data, along with graphic statistics.

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Writing about descriptive statistics in research
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