Introduction to Statistics (MAT/SST 115.03 2008S)

Learning Objectives

The following are the learning objectives that Kent McClelland, Professor of Sociology, has identified for introductory statistics. Since these objectives match my own, I quote them directly.

1. To learn how high-quality data is produced and to evaluate the quality of data collected for statistical studies (Data Quality).

2. To learn basic graphing and data-analysis techniques that can reveal hidden patterns within data sets (Data Analysis).

3. To understand basic techniques of statistical inference - confidence intervals and tests of significance - and to know when and how to use these inferential procedures (Statistical Inference).

4. To learn how to communicate statistical results effectively in writing and speaking (Statistical Communication).

5. To appreciate the uses and limitations of statistical data for making decisions and producing scientific knowledge, so that one can intelligently evaluate arguments based on statistical findings (Statistics in Science and Public Policy).


McClelland, Kent (2008). Introduction to Statistics: Syllabus. Unpublished document.

Disclaimer: I usually create these pages on the fly, which means that I rarely proofread them and they may contain bad grammar and incorrect details. It also means that I tend to update them regularly (see the history for more details). Feel free to contact me with any suggestions for changes.

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