Full Text

Statistics, Explanatory

Bertram Scheufele


Explanatory statistics is also called inferential statistics or statistical induction and deals with inferences about the population from the characteristics of a random sample, i.e., with making (probability) statements about usually unknown parameters of a population. For instance, when taking a random sample (e.g., n = 1,000) of television viewers from the population of all TV viewers (e.g., N = 1,000,000), we want to know if the average time of TV viewing in the sample (e.g., 184 minutes/weekday) comes close to the average time in the population from which the sample was taken (→  Statistics, Descriptive ; Sampling, Random ; Generalizability ). Explanatory statistics includes point and interval estimation as well as hypothesis tests for statistical significance. They are based on probability theory (e.g., the work of Richard von Mises, Thomas Bayes, and Pierre-Simon Laplace). On the one hand, probability can be interpreted as the ratio of a favorable outcome and the number of possible outcomes. For instance, if one expects a “6” when throwing a single die once, the probability of getting a “6” is the ratio of this favorable ourcome (n = 1) divided by the possible outcomes (n = 6) – thus p(“6”) = 1/6. Throwing a single die is an example of a random experiment. It is called random since we do not know the outcome before having thrown the die. On the other hand, we can assume ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top