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- Mode (Statistics): Topic Page
Together with the mean and the median, the mode is one of the main measurements of the central tendency of a sample or a population. The mode is particularly important in social research because it is the only measure of central tendency that is relevant for any data set. That being said, it rarely receives a great deal of attention in statistics courses. The purpose of this entry is to identify the role of the mode in relation to the median and the mean for summarizing various types of data.
- Census Topic Page
Census, periodic official count of the number of persons and their condition and of the resources of a country. In ancient times, among the Jews and Romans, such enumeration was mainly for taxation and conscription purposes. The introduction of the modern census—a periodic and thorough statistical review—began in the 17th cent. The first efforts to count people in areas larger than cities at regular periods were in French Canada (1665), Sweden (1749), the Italian states (1770), and the United States (1790). The first British census was taken in 1801. The Belgian census of 1846, directed by Adolphe Quetelet, was the most influential in its time because it introduced a careful analysis and critical evaluation of the data compiled. Most industrialized countries now take a census every 5 to 10 years.
- Distribution Topic Page
Distribution, in economics, the allocation of a society's total wealth among various economic groups. Distribution, in that sense, does not refer to the physical marketing or circulation of goods, which is part of the process of exchange, but to the relative well-being and economic wealth of persons and groups. By classifying people according to their share of the distribution—usually by means of relative income—a picture of society's stratification, and thus its structure, may emerge. Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto developed (1897) one of the best-known theories on the subject, arguing that a pattern of income distribution is evident throughout history, in all societies. Inequalities in distribution are related to inequalities in political power; in most societies, the economically dominant strata tend also to be politically dominant.
- Probabilities Topic Page
Probability, in mathematics, assignment of a number as a measure of the "chance" that a given event will occur. There are certain important restrictions on such a probability measure. In any experiment there are certain possible outcomes; the set of all possible outcomes is called the sample space of the experiment. To each element of the sample space (i.e., to each possible outcome) is assigned a probability measure between 0 and 1 inclusive (0 is sometimes described as corresponding to impossibility, 1 to certainty). Furthermore, the sum of the probability measures in the sample space must be 1.
- Quartile (Statistics) Topic Page
In statistics, any one of the three values that divide data into four equal parts. They comprise the lower quartile, below which lies the lowest 25% of the data; the median, which is the middle 50%, half way through the data; and the upper quartile, above which lies the top 25%. The difference of value between the upper and lower quartiles is known as the interquartile range, which is a useful measure of the dispersion of a statistical distribution because it is not affected by freak extreme values (see range). These values are usually found using a cumulative frequency diagram.
- Statistics: Topic Page
Statistics is a set of mathematical techniques used to organize, analyze, and interpret information that takes the form of numbers. If we want to see how the sexual behavior of teenagers is affected by making contraceptives available to them, we might gather information on sexual behavior from teenagers who differ in how much access they have to contraception. We could calculate various indicators of sexual activity such as the percentage who are sexually active or the average number of sexual encounters per month and use these to make comparisons based on differing access to contraception. Statistics refers not only to the calculation of quantities such as percentages and averages but also to the results — the percentages and averages themselves, each of which can be referred to as "a statistic."