The Statistic and the Parameter

Dear Students,

In class today, someone asked whether the sample statistic and the population parameter need to focus on the same concept (such as the mean). Let me take a stab here at explaining why the answer to this question is a big, fat "YES."

Let's imagine that there are two researchers, A and B. They both take a sample from a population. Researcher A uses the sample data to compute the mean because he/she wants to make a guess as to the value of the population mean. Thus, the statistic and the parameter both deal with the mean. Researcher B takes the sample data and computes the variance, but he/she is really interested in the population's median. Here, the statistic and the parameter deal with different concepts.

Now, your job is to tell me which of these two researchers (A or B) was completely inebriated!

Sky Huck

Copyright © 2012

Schuyler W. Huck
All rights reserved.

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