inferential statistics

(noun) The branch of statistics that makes generalizations about a population using data from a sample.

Example: Determining the percentage of students at a university that like vanilla ice cream by sampling several classes in multiple departments.

Audio Pronunciation: (in·fer·en·tial sta·tis·tics)

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Usage Notes:

  • Inferential statistics use probability to determine the level of confidence in conclusions drawn from data and called an inference.
  • Inferential statistics differ from descriptive statistics in that descriptive statistics summarizes a sample and inferential statistics uses the sample to make extrapolations about the larger population the sample represents.
  • Also called:
    • inductive statistics
    • statistical inference

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