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Types of Data in Statistics, Some Examples, and Statistics Definitions (Intro to Stats)

Types of Data

Parameter – this is always a numerical measurement which describes a characteristic of a population.

Statistic – this is always a numerical measurement which describes a characteristic of a sample.

Though these both may sound similar, a parameter and statistic are not the same at all except for the fact they are both numerical measurements. Since they sound similar it would prove wise to provide a couple of examples to make sure we understand the difference between the 2.

Take into consideration the congress of the United States, we can see there are so many men and so many women. If we are talking about the entire group of congress, that would be a parameter.

A statistic would deal with, for example, the average amount of time one may spend waiting to check out at the grocery store. This would require only a sample of people waiting as opposed to a parameter which describes a population, not a sample.

Quantitative data -data which consists always of numbers which represent counts or measurements.

Qualitative data – this is data which consists and is distinguished by any non-numerical characteristic. It is also referred to commonly as categorical or attributes data).

Discrete data – this type of data results when the amount of possible values is a countable or a finite number. (So the number of possible values would be something like 0, 1, 2, and continue forward so on and so on.

Continuous (numerical) data – this data results from values whos possibilities are infinite. These values correspond to a continuous scale which covers ranges of values with no gaps, jumps, or interruptions.

Example and Difference Between Continuous Data and Discrete Data

If several sets of data, would they all be considered the same? Let’s look at an example to better understand the difference between discrete data and continuous (numerical) data.

For discrete data, let us picture counting the average eggs a chicken hatches. This number at the end of the day will be a number such as 1, 2, 3, etc.

For continuous data, let us picture milking a cow instead, and ending up with what we believe to be 2 gallons of milk, but really it could be something like 2.03, or better yet it might be something like 2.03111, in other words, it could take any value that is within a continuous range.

We counted for chicken eggs (that was discrete), but for cows milk, we measured it (that would be continuous).

The 4 different levels of measurement (With examples)

So how would we break down the different data? We can use different levels of measurements. How do we take a particular data set and then try to determine its level of measurement? We should always start at the nominal level. Any data will satisfy the requirements of the nominal level.

The nominal level of measurement – this level is always characterized in data which consists of labels, names, or categories. This data can’t be arranged in any ordering scheme, such as high to low.

If we are looking at NBA player heights, the data would meet the first level of measurement since the data is height. Since it meets the nominal level, we would then check the ordinal level.

The ordinal level of measurement – this is when the data can be arranged in a specific order, but the differences between the values either are meaningless or can’t be determined. Such as in the question “rate your degree of discomfort, 1-not bad , 2-kind of bad, or 3- bad”. In this example, the numbers are only used as tags.

Can we arrange the data in a meaningful order regarding NBA player heights? With height, we are able to arrange the data from shortest to tallest, or tallest to shortest. This means it satisfies the ordinal level which means we can ignore the nominal level since that is the lowest level. The next level we want to look at is the interval level.

Then we have the interval level of measurement – this is similar to the ordinal level, the addition would be that the differences between 2 values of data are meaningful. (Data that is at this level doesn’t have a natural zero starting point or in other words, where none of the quantity is present.)

Do our heights satisfy this? If we have a height of 5’6 and another of 5’12, then the data between those 2 values are meaningful. This data type (heights) also satisfies the interval level of measurement. The last and highest possible level is the ratio level of measurement.

The ratio level of measurement – Here we are the same as the interval level, with the simple addition of there being a natural zero starting point. Zero would, of course, indicate that there is none if a quantity present). At this level, ratios and differences are meaningful.

Does our height example meet this last and highest level? Does zero have meaning in terms of height? You bet your socks it does! Zero would mean there is no height, so it is meaningful.

Here is another example for you

What would be the level of measurement for Consumer Reports which provides 3 ratings, “not recommended”, “recommended”, and “best buy”.

Since we are able to put our data in order from “best buy” to “not recommended” this satisfies the ordinal level of measurement. But since we are not able to determine a meaningful difference between all classifications of “best buy”, “recommended”, and “not recommended”. So the highest level would be the ordinal level.

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An Intro to Statistics

A survey concerning reading ebooks vs printed books

Surveys usually help us in improving or making adjustments to products or services. As well as to educate and attempt to explain questions. These may shape different aspects of our life. Surveys allow us to learn the insights and opinions of other people. One survey conducted by USA Today wanted to see if people prefer printed books over electronic ones. There were 281 respondents of which 35% preferred electronic books, while 65% preferred printed books. This survey may seem to suggest that most people rather read printed books than ebooks.

One of the main objectives of statistics is critical thinking. One should not blindly accept the results that are presented. Questioning the validity of survey results is important. Asking questions such as, “How were the respondents chosen?” or “Who is conducting this survey?”, are a couple of important questions to ask before accepting results.

Misleading Information, Deceptive Charts, and Data

Deceptive charts and graphs may lead us to believe the wrong facts. Always make sure to validate all information by looking into the veracity of all claims!

The information and results gathered and presented must be tested to ensure validity. The chart presented above shows the same pie chart from different positions. We see on the left pie chart, item C is shown and represented in a way that is similar from the current position to item A. But when we see the pie chart from above (image on the right) we see item C is more than double the size of item A.

Flaws to be aware of:

As mentioned above one of the flaws to look for when analyzing survey results is misleading graphs and misrepresentation of data. Another flaw to look for is when the survey is done using bad sampling methods. In our USA Today survey, the survey was made available to those willing participants who visited the USA Today site. This type of sample is a voluntary response sample. This is a sample in which the respondent decided whether or not they would like to participate in the survey. These type of surveys usually aren’t the greatest, since people who decide to participate usually have a strong interest in the topic mentioned (or else they wouldn’t willingly choose it). For this reason, the results may be questionable.

Things to consider when collecting sample data

  • The sample data which is collected should be collected using an appropriate method, such as random selection.
  • If sample data is not collected using an appropriate method, the data may be useless.

Using results blindly may seem accurate after conducting much research, yet if we miss the flaws described in the list above, we may produce fundamentally misleading or even wrong results. Statistical thinking, as well as critical thinking, can help understand when a survey is flawed.

Throughout the rest of these blog posts concerning statistics, we will hopefully conquer the following objectives.

  • Critical thinking and statistical thinking.
    • We should be able to analyze some sample data which is relative to its context, as well as source and sampling method.
    • Understand the main differences between practical significance as well as statistical significance.
    • We should be able to identify as well as define a voluntary response sample, as well as know that statistical conclusions that are based on certain data from the sample are generally not valid.
  • Different types of data
    • What is the difference between a statistic and a parameter?
    • What is the difference between discrete data and continuous data?
    • Check whether our basic statistical calculations are correct and appropriate regarding a particular data set.
    • What are the difference between categorical (attribute or qualitative) and quantitative data?
  • Sample Data Collecting
    • Identify and define what a simple random sample is.
    • Know what the importance is regarding sound sample methods and good design regarding our experiments.
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Notes on Biology, An Intro to the Chemistry of Life

What are the building blocks of molecules?

This section will teach us how to:

  • Describe what matter and elements are
  • Describe the relationship between electrons, protons, & neutrons, as well as the different ways which electrons are shared between certain atoms

Matter, is essentially the material which makes up life. Matter, is that which has mass and occupies some space. All matter is made up of elements. Those elements are made up of a certain amount of atoms. Those atoms have a constant number of unique properties as well as protons (discussed below). There are 118 elements, though only 92 of them occur naturally. Of those 92 that occurs naturally, there are fewer than 30 which are located in living cells. There is 26 which are not stable and don’t exist for long or they are considered theoretical and have not been detected.

Every element has its own chemical symbol (some of these are H, O, C, N, etc). They each also have unique properties which make them up. These properties all different elements to combine and form chemical bonds with each other.

The Atom

The smallest component of an element, which still retains its chemical properties, is considered an atom. A hydrogen atom, for example, has all the unique properties of the hydrogen element. Properties such as existing in the form of gas when at room temperature. Or the fact that it can bond with oxygen and creates the water molecule. Once the hydrogen atom is broken into subatomic particles, it wouldn’t have hydrogen’s properties anymore.

Living organism are, at their most basic level, made up of a combination of elements. They have atoms which combine together and form molecules. In any multicellular organism (for example, animals), molecules interact to form the cells, which then combine and form tissue, which then makes organs. These different combinations happen until an entire multi-celled organism is formed.

The Makeup of the Atom

All atoms are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Only hydrogen (H), is made up of one electron and one proton. An electron is a particle with a negative charge and travels around the core of the atom (or nucleus). The proton has a positive charge (or +1) and the neutron has no charge. Both the proton and the neutron reside in the nucleus. The proton and neutron have a mass of 1. The mass of the electron is negligible with a negative charge or (-1). The electron travels outside of the nucleus.

Neutral atoms have a net zero charge. This means the protons(positive) and electrons(negative) end up balancing each other out.

Since both neutrons and protons have a mass of 1, the mass of the atom would be equal to the number of neutrons and protons that atom has. Since the mass of an electron is so small and negligible, we do not need to factor in its overall mass.

As was mentioned earlier, every element has unique properties. This means they each have different numbers of neutrons and protons which gives them each their own mass number and atomic number. A mass number is also referred to as atomic mass. This is the sum of the protons and the neutrons of that element. The atomic number is the number of protons which that element contains. We can find the number of neutrons in an element when we subtract the atomic number from the mass number.

The mass number and atomic number are both useful and provide info about the different elements as well as how they will interact and react when combined. Certain elements have certain boiling and melting points. They are in different states (gas, solid, or liquid) at different temperatures. Different elements combine in different ways. Some elements will form specific types of chemical bonds, while others will not. This is based on how many electrons are present. Because of this, the different elements are placed into the periodic table of elements. This is a chart of the different elements which includes their atomic number as well as the relative atomic mass of each number. The table of elements also provides important info about the properties of the elements (usually available through color-coding).

One can get different forms of the same element. These are called isotopes. Isotopes are elements with the same number of protons but have a different number of neutrons. There are some naturally occurring isotopes, such as uranium, carbon, and potassium. Carbon-12 is the most common isotope of the element carbon. This element contains six protons and six neutrons. For this reason, it has a mass number of 12 (6 protons and 6 neutrons) and the atomic number of 6(which makes it the element carbon). Then there is carbon-14 which has eight neutrons and six protons. For this reason, it has a mass number of 14 with an atomic number of 6. Both of these forms of carbon are isotopes of the carbon element. There are isotopes which are unstable and lose subatomic particles, protons, or energy which allows them to become stable. Those elements are referred to as radioactive isotopes (also called radioisotopes).

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What are the different ways to study sexuality?


Bio-medical research looks at the mechanism underlying sex. Research in bio-medicine has the most impact which is most practical concerning the sex lives of individuals. These include drug treatment (concerning reproductive cancers), hormone-based abortion and contraception, technologies that treat infertility, methods to prevent STIs, etc.

Usually, research in biomedicine is conducted on animals but since the invention of modern imaging technologies, we have been capable of researching humans to better understand brain function during sexual encounters.

The decipherment regarding the human genome project unraveled many truths previously unknown to humanity. This allowed us to ascertain the sex of individuals as well as detecting any abnormalities. There is current research being conducted attempting to focus in on those genes which might influence important traits like a person’s sexual orientation.

The studying of parts of the brain has allowed conceptions to shift from learned cultural phenomena to more like innateness based on traits.


Studying behavior and mental processes have branched into a plethora of subdisciplines. Social Psychology contributes most significantly to our understanding of sexuality. Social Psychology has to do with looking at the way humans relate to other people, and how they think about and influence them. One example test was performed with college students. Half of the students where shown rape scenes. After a few days, the students were asked questions, and the students who saw the rape scenes were more favorable towards sexual violence than the control group. This showed that exposure to scenes of violence could predispose certain men to enact sexual assaults. Social Psychology allows for us to learn this about sexuality.


Studying societies and large social structures allows for an exceptional way to contribute to studying human sexuality. A sociologist is able to research in what ways sexual orientation may vary with race, age, religious beliefs, political views, national origin, etc. Through the utilization of public surveys, large data is able to be gathered to create particular views of different societies.

Problems with Surveys

Though surveys help gather large amounts of data to better represent a population, sometimes the data may not be as accurate as possible. Many people might be sensitive in disclosing personal sexual information, especially if it is information one regards as shameful.

Even very large random sample surveys may not accurately represent minorities within minorities. The data can become skewed quickly when taken nested minorities into consideration.

Economic Approach to Learning About Sexuality

What are the costs and benefits of one’s sexuality? Sometimes, the answer can’t be expressed in dollar amounts. Sometimes the cost is your time, or it might cost you your shame. Studying the risks one is willing to take helps us understand sexuality tremendously. People are constantly, unconsciously or consciously, regarding the costs and benefits of encounters they regard (or want to regard) as sexual. The benefit isn’t always monetary, it may be something like protection, or a family.

9 Sex Facts I learned the first week of my Human Sexuality Class

  • Social Psychology is the study of our relationship with others.
  • In the women’s movement of the 1970s and 80s we see arguments for:
    • a woman’s right to have full control of their body
    • a man’s shared responsibility to provide pleasure
    • their right to look for sexual pleasure in relationships
    • freedom from coercion regarding sex
  • Transgender is defined as one who identifies with the opposite sex or even rejecting any gender norms.
  • The 1960’s sexual revolution allowed for greater acceptance by the public regarding sex before marriage.
  • Simon LeVay’s research concerning the evaluation of the brains of straight and gay men revealed that the hypothalamus differs in size.
  • For most of history organized Christianity did not allow sex outside of marriage.
  • Using college students or any specific population is unlikely to give us a representative dataset of the general population
  • Castration was performed in Italy on young males to preserve their childlike singing voices. Slaves and prisoners were also castrated to keep tighter control over them. Castration was mostly unwilling in the past, today it is usually undertaken willingly.
  • An influx and increase in population are usually linked to higher possibilities of STIs.

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Biology Notes Introduction to Life

What my Intro to Biology Study Guide Looks Like

  1. Identify and describe the properties of life.  – Living things share some common properties. According to our online reading material the properties of life are order, sensitivity or response to stimuli, reproduction, adaption, growth and development, regulation, homeostasis, and energy processing.  These 8 characteristics characterize living things.  Life displays order through the organization of the organism.  Living things will either respond positively or negatively to stimuli.  Then, there is reproduction. which single-celled organisms are able to do by copying and duplicating its DNA. Once the information is copied it divides equally, while many multi-celled organisms produce special reproductive cells that form new individuals. DNA, which contains the genetics, are passed down to offspring after reproduction  Adaptation has to do with how a living organism “fits” into their environment and the process of natural selection allows for organisms to change accordingly to that environment.  Though adaption is not constant, whenever there are changes in the environment, the population of that environment will change to maximize their reproductive potential in accordance with those new changes. Growth and development is an obvious sign of something living and it happens based on the genes which were passed by the parents.  The regulation of all these complex processes happens constantly while that organism remains alive.  Even small organisms need a mechanism to coordinate and regulate internal functions. Homeostasis allows an organism to keep a constant internal state or “steady-state”.  A polar bear, for example, keeps homeostasis through a process called thermoregulation.  Last is energy processing.  All living organisms use a source of energy.  Energy allows for metabolic activities to happen.  Some organisms get their energy from the sun which is changed and converted into chemical energy.  Other organisms get their energy from molecules taken in.
  2. Describe the levels of organization among living things – Organisms organize in complex ways.  We start this organization at the atomic level with the smallest unit of matter, the atom.  The atom is comprised of a nucleus that is surrounded by electrons.  Then, when 2 atoms form a chemical bond we get a molecule.  There are macromolecules (which are pretty important biologically!) which usually form by the combination of these smaller units named monomers.  DNA is an example of a macromolecule.   There are cells that aggregate macromolecules that are surrounded in membranes.  These are called organelles.  Organelles are tiny structures within cells that perform functions that are highly specialized for that cell.  Cells are fundamental for life and the smallest unit of function and structure in all living things. Viruses have no cells, which is why most do not consider viruses to be alive).  Those cells which consist of only one cell are considered prokaryotes. These cells lack nuclei as well as organelles. Multicellular cells are made up of at least 2 cells, these are called eukaryotes.  Eukaryotes do contain nuclei and organelles that are membrane-bound.  
  3. List examples of different sub-disciplines in biology –  There are many fields of sub-disciplines within biology. Molecular biology deals with those things at the molecular level and the interaction between molecules.  Then there is microbiology which looks at how microorganisms interact with each other. Neurobiology (also referred to as neuroscience) studies the nervous system.  There is also the field of forensics that looks at the evidence left at crime scenes to figure out information on what happened.
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Billionaire Many Never Heard Of

who is Manoj_Bhargava

Who Is Manoj Bhargava?

If you are yet to hear of this man, you have certainly seen his product frequently every time you go to the gas station and grocery shopping.  5 Hour Energy was released to the market in 2004.  In less than 10 years, sales grew to over 1 billion dollars.  Now, 5 Hour Energy is estimated a worth of over 4 billion dollars.

What About The Money?

What you probably don’t know is what founder, Manoj Bhargava, is doing with his accumulated wealth.  Manoj has pledged over 90 percent of  his accumulated wealth to charity.  There are over 400 charities that he has funded.  He looks at philanthropy as a thing that should be approached realistically.  Manoj does not simply just give money away to these charities but he becomes involved with them personally.  He is working on projects that are designed to help the world, he says, ” if you have wealth, it’s a duty to help those who don’t”.

Manoj is focusing in on 3 areas.  Water, electric and health.

There is over 1 billion people on the planet that do not have access to clean and drinkable water, but this can soon be a thing of the past.  The “Rain Project” will aid in providing clean water to the world.


This apparatus is said to be able to filter about 1,000 gallons of sea water.  Imagine these within thousands of barges  scatter in throughout the “seven seas“.  There are plenty of projects helping the world, but being able to filter sea water is an amazing achievement!

Project “Free Electric”, is a pretty simple but extremely beneficial project!


This will simply require about an hour of pedaling to provide about a days worth of electricity.   A great and worthy of mention part of this project is that it’s pollution free, which as Manoj says, “that’s everything”.  Not only would this be beneficial for our pockets and the environment, but also for our health.

There are plenty of medical projects as well but “Renew”, is one in particular that will help stop preventable illnesses.


This product will augment circulation throughout the body.  It will press blood from your feet and help it circulate up to your upper body and heart.  It will act as an auxiliary and aid in the proper distribution of blood throughout the body.

All these inventions have the potential to help change the world forever for the better!

There is a major part of the world’s money that is held by a small percentage. It is good to see that some of those people are attempting to help those in need. Manoj’s project “Billions in Change”, has created an amazing set of individual’s who are dedicated in creating products that will help humanity like never before.

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