PSY 315

Descriptive and Inferential Statistics

Whether doing original research or conducting literature reviews, one must conclude what a powerful and versatile tool statistics are in the hands of researchers. From basic statistics such as data description, to using complex statistical methods to foresee future patterns or strengthen scientific claims about current climates, the role of statistics in research cannot be taken lightly and is essential in almost any field, especially in psychology. The statistical method is divided into two main branches called descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics is a summary of information and the data presented is easily

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Relationship between Descriptive and Inferential Statistics

When using statistics in research, it is easy to get lost in the numbers and end up confused and with more questions than answers. The best way to sort through the mess and confusion of statistics in data research is to know when to use descriptive statistics or inferential statistics. Of course, these two ideas can become difficult if they are not clearly defined before starting the research. Descriptive statistics is a term the definition of which can be easily confused with inferential because one would think that the former would be the more defined of the two statistics. This is not true; descriptive statistics is a summary of information rather than more definitive and complete. It is an average of the gathered numbers or information. If a more in-depth and complete study of the research is necessary, one would need to use statistics from inferentials. Statistics from inferentials, one is “trying to reach conclusions that extend beyond the immediate data alone” (Trochim, 2006). These two statistical