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Appendix A

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Descriptive Statistics

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Statistics used to organize and summarize data in a meaningful way

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Frequency Distributions

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A summary of how often various scores occur in a sample of scores. Score values are arranged in order of magnitude, and the number of times each score occurs is recorded

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Histogram

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A way of graphically representing a frequency distribution; a type of bar chart that uses vertical bars that touch

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Frequency polygon

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a way a graphically representing a frequency distribution; frequency is marked above each score category on the graph’s horizontal axis, and the marks are connected by straight lines

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Skewed Distributions

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An asymmetrical distribution; more scores occur on one side than the other; In a positively skewed distribution, more scores are low

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Symmetrical Distribution

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A distribution in which the scores fall equally on both sides of the graph, the normal curve is an example

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Measure of Central Tendency

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A single number that presents some information about the “center” of a frequency distribution

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Mode

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The most frequent occurring score in a distribution

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Median

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The score that divides a frequency in half, so that the same number of scores lie one both sides

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Mean

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The sum of a set of scores in a distribution divided by the number of scores; the mean is usually the most representative measure of central tendency

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Measure of Variability

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A single number that presents information about the spread of scores in a distribution

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Range

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A measure of variability; the highest score distribution minus the lowest score

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Standard Deviation

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A measure of variability; expressed as the square root of the sum of the squared deviations around the mean divided by the number of scores in the distribution

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z Score

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A number, expressed in standard deviation units, that shows a score’s deviation from the mean

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Standard Normal Curve

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A symmetrical distribution forming a bell- shaped curve in which the mean, median, and mode are all equal and fall in the exact middle

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Correlation

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The relationship between two variables

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Correlation Coefficient

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A measure of the magnitudes and directions of the relationships between two variables. The closer the correlation is to +1 or –1, the stronger the relationship is. A positive correlation coefficient indicates that as one variable increase, the other tends to increase, the negative correlation coefficient indicates as one variable increases, the other tends to decrease

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Scatter Diagram

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A graph that represents the relationship between two variables

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Inferential Statistics

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Statistical techniques that allow researchers to determine whether the outcomes in a study are likely to be more than just chance events and whether they can legitimately generalized to a larger population

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Population

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A complete set of something-people, nonhuman animals, objects, or events

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Sample

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A subset of a population

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PSYCHOLOGY: Themes and Variations Weiten and McCann Appendix B : Statistical Methods Copyright © 2007 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited.

PSYCHOLOGY: Themes and Variations Weiten and McCann Appendix B : Statistical Methods Copyright © 2007 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited.

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