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Lesson 1: Statistical Methods
3 Parameters and Statistics < Back | Next >
Parameters and statistics are both numbers which are calculated. The difference between these two terms comes from where you get the numbers from.
bulletA parameter is any number calculated from a population.
bulletA statistic is any number calculated from a sample.

It is important to remember that we are often concerned about the population and the calculated parameters associated with that population. However, we usually do not know or can not obtain these values, so we rely on sampling and statistics to provide us with inferences about the population.

For any given population such as the fire rate of spread for all forest fires in Idaho during 2006 the parameters are fixed numbers, while statistics will vary depending upon the sample within the population.

It is important to understand that the use of statistics is simply a means to an end. We only use statistics to estimate the corresponding parameter in the population.

LESSON 1
1 Concepts and Terms
2 Populations and Samples
3 Parameters and Statistics
4 Descriptive Statistics
5 Inferential Statistics
6 Review Questions
< Back | Next >

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