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# Select Parameter or Statistic to classify each statement.

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Select Parameter or Statistic to classify each statement.

Jun 3, 2018

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What is the difference between a parameter and a statistic? Well, they both describe a group of something. The subtle difference, however, is that a parameter always represents the population while a statistic always represents a sample.

It may be better to use an example to demonstrate the difference.

If I administer a survey to a class of 300 students and I ask them to state their hair color, then let's assume that 150 out of 300 say that their hair color is blond. An example of a parameter would be that 50% of students in my class has blond hair.

If I administer a survey to a class of 300 students and I ask only 100 of them to state their hair color, then let's assume that 50 out of 100 answered with blond. An example of a statistic would be that 50% of students in my class has blond hair.

Notice the difference. In a parameter, I questioned everyone in the class. In a statistic, I took only a portion of all the information that I had. Let's apply this to the following questions!

"85% of the golf team has scored lower than 80 strokes."

This is a parameter. The "golf team" is the population, and we are taking the information directly from everyone on the golf team

"A sample of football players suggests that 26% of football players run on weekends."

This is a statistic. The information mostly gives it away once it uses the keyword "sample."

"The soccer team has won 3 games for every 5 they have played."

This is a parameter. The information from the entire population.

"78% of those surveyed at the fair bought popcorn."

"those surveyed" is key. This implies that there were others that were not surveyed, which mean that the information is from a sample. Is would be a statistic, then.

Jun 3, 2018