Monthly Archives: February 2016

Statistics note: What is statistical inference?

In the previous post we learned that inferential statistics uses information from individuals observed in a sample to provide information about other individuals in the population that were not observed. A description of the population provides information about all individuals. But how is a sample or population described, and how are sample data used to make inferences about a population?

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Blind data analysis can contribute to reproducible research

Blind analysis does not refer to closing your eyes, crossing your fingers and hitting GO! on your statistical analysis! In a previous post, I highlighted an article published in Nature on cognitive biases and their impact on reproducible science. Various debiasing techniques have been proposed to tackle this issue, including blind data analysis. This technique was new to me, so

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Statistics note: Why statistics is needed

Scientists ask questions about the world, design experiments, and use experimental findings to work out answers. In an experiment, descriptive statistics are used to summarise and describe observations from a sample (e.g., honey bees in Paris, voters from 5 electorates). However scientists are more interested in the population from which the sample was drawn (e.g., all honey bees in Europe,

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