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Role of Statistics in Scientific Research

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Statistical methods and analyses are used to communicate research findings and give credibility to research methodology and conclusions. It is important for researchers and also consumers of research to understand statistics so that they can be informed, evaluate the credibility and usefulness of information, and make appropriate decisions.

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Role of Statistics in Scientific Research

  1. 1. Role of Statistics in Scientific Research A Special Topic Discussion By; Waruna Kodituwakku & Harsha Perera
  2. 2. "Statistics is the grammar of science.” Karl Pearson "If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment....“ Ernest Rutherford
  3. 3. Questions What is statistics? Why Study Statistics? What is the importance of statistics in scientific research? What is the role of statistics in research? Describe the importance of statistics in different fields of study
  4. 4. Questions Contd. What are the statistical terms used in research studies? What are the misuses of statistics in a research? How effectively present stat findings using tools such as tables, graphs etc.
  5. 5. What is Statistics?
  6. 6. “Statistics is the science of learning from data, and of measuring, controlling, and communicating uncertainty; and it thereby provides the navigation essential for controlling the course of scientific and societal advances” (Davidian and Louis, 2012) “Statistics is the study of the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation and organization of data”. (Dodge, Y. (2006) The Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms)
  7. 7. Statistical methods can be used to summarize or describe a collection of data; this is called descriptive statistics. In addition, patterns in the data may be modeled in a way that accounts for randomness and uncertainty in the observations, and are then used to draw inferences about the process or population being studied; this is called inferential statistics.
  8. 8. "Applied statistics" contains descriptive statistics and the application of inferential statistics. “Theoretical statistics” consist of logical arguments underlying justification of approaches to statistical inference. “Mathematical statistics” contains the manipulation of probability distributions necessary for deriving results related to methods of estimation and various aspects of computational statistics and the design of experiments.
  9. 9. Why Study Statistics?
  10. 10. • Knowledge in statistics provides you with the necessary tools and conceptual foundations in quantitative reasoning to extract information intelligently from this sea of data. • Statistical methods and analyses are often used to communicate research findings and to support hypotheses and give credibility to research methodology and conclusions. • It is important for researchers and also consumers of research to understand statistics so that they can be informed, evaluate the credibility and usefulness of information, and make appropriate decisions.
  11. 11. What is the importance of statistics in scientific research?
  12. 12. • Statistics play a vital role in researches. For example statistics can used as in data collection, analysis, interpretation, explanation and presentation. Use of statistics will guide researchers in research for proper characterization, summarization, presentation and interpretation of the result of research. • Statistics provides a platform for research as to; How to go about your research, either to consider a sample or the whole population, the Techniques to use in data collection and observation, how to go about the data description (using measure of central tendency).
  13. 13. • Statistical methods and analyses are often used to communicate research findings and to support hypotheses and give credibility to research methodology and conclusions. • It is important for researchers and also consumers of research to understand statistics so that they can be informed, evaluate the credibility and usefulness of information, and make appropriate decisions.
  14. 14. • Statics is very important when it comes to the conclusion of the research. • In this aspect the major purposes of statistics are to help us understand and describe phenomena in our word and to help us draw reliable conclusions about those phenomena.
  15. 15. What is the role of statistics in scientific research?
  16. 16. Describe the importance of statistics in different fields of study.
  17. 17. Statistics has important role in determining the existing position of per capita income, unemployment, population growth rate, housing, schooling medical facilities etc…in a country. Now statistics holds a central position in almost every field like Industry, Commerce, Trade, Physics, Chemistry, Economics, Mathematics, Biology, Botany, Psychology, Astronomy, Information Technology etc…, so application of statistics is very wide.
  18. 18. Specialties have evolved to apply statistical theory and methods to various disciplines. So there are different fields of application of statistics. Some of those are described below. • Astrostatistics is the discipline that applies statistical analysis to the understanding of astronomical data. • Biostatistics is a branch of biology that studies biological phenomena and observations by means of statistical analysis, and includes medical statistics. • Econometrics is a branch of economics that applies statistical methods to the empirical study of economic theories and relationships. • Business analytics is a rapidly developing business process that applies statistical methods to data sets to develop new insights and understanding of business performance & opportunities.
  19. 19. • Environmental statistics is the application of statistical methods to environmental science. Weather, climate, air and water quality are included, as are studies of plant and animal populations. • Statistical mechanics is the application of probability theory, which includes mathematical tools for dealing with large populations, to the field of mechanics, which is concerned with the motion of particles or objects when subjected to a force. • Statistical physics is one of the fundamental theories of physics, and uses methods of probability theory in solving physical problems. • Actuarial science is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in the insurance and finance industries.
  20. 20. What are the statistical terms used in research studies?
  21. 21. Population sampling Generalization Hypothesis Significance tests Correlation Regression analysis Correlation coefficient (r) Dependent and Independent variable Elasticity Standard deviation Factor analysis t-Test Q-Test Chi-squared test Mann–Whitney U-test Wilcoxon matched pairs test Fisher's exact test One-way ANOVA
  22. 22. What are the misuses of statistics in a research?
  23. 23. Discarding unfavorable data Loaded questions Overgeneralization Biased samples Misreporting or misunderstanding of estimated error False causality Proof of the null hypothesis Confusing statistical significance with practical significance Misleading Graphs Data manipulation Suspect Samples Ambiguous Averages
  24. 24. References Bu.edu, 'Why Study Statistics » Statistics » Boston University', 2014. [Online]. Available: http://www.bu.edu/stat/undergraduate-program-information/why-study-statistics/. [Accessed: 23- Oct- 2014]. Understanding Descriptive and Inferential Statistics. 2014. Understanding Descriptive and Inferential Statistics. [ONLINE] Available at:https://statistics.laerd.com/statistical-guides/descriptive-inferential-statistics.php. [Accessed 27 October 2014]. Kent, J 2013, ' Why Statistics Is Important To A Research?', Viewed 24 October 2014, http://education.blurtit.com/335945/why-statistics-is-important-to-a-research Journalists Resources 2014, 'Statistical terms used in research studies', Viewed 24 October 2014, http://journalistsresource.org/skills/research/statistics-for-journalists# Theanalysisfactor.com, 'Factor Analysis: A Short Introduction, Part 1', 2014. [Online]. Available: http://www.theanalysisfactor.com/factor-analysis-1-introduction/. [Accessed: 25- Oct- 2014]. Stattrek.com, 'Regression Example', 2014. [Online]. Available: http://stattrek.com/regression/regression-example. aspx. [Accessed: 26- Oct- 2014]. Ats.ucla.edu, (2014). What statistical analysis should I use? Statistical analyses using Stata. [online] Available at: http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/whatstat/whatstat.htm [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014].

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