Descriptive statistics are numerical measures of a condition and often considered a snapshot of a point in time. As such, they are useful for understanding but not designed to predict. This entry discusses the use of statistics for reporting basic results.

In many cases, it is only necessary to produce an estimate of the number, proportion, or distribution of one variable at a time (univariate statistics). In other cases, it is more helpful to subdivide the data and look at the interaction between one variable and another (multivariate statistics), as when, for example, considering if a particular speech pattern is more likely in one region or another.

Normally, a small group (sample) is studied to infer or generalize the results to a much larger group (population). The ...

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