While this chapter only provided a quick basic summary of descriptive statistics, it should give you a good idea of how data is summarized. Remember, the goal of descriptive statistics is to describe, in numerical format, what is currently happening within a known population. We use measures such as the mean, median, and mode to describe the center of a distribution. We use standard deviation, range, or interquartile range to describe the variability of a distribution, and we use correlations to describe relationships among two or more distributions.
By knowing this information and by understanding the basics of charting and graphing in descriptive statistics, inferential statistics become easier to understand. In fact, much of the information in this chapter becomes the foundation for the advanced statistics discussed in the chapter 9.