Descriptive Statistics at Work and in Your Personal Life

How could you use descriptive statistics at work and in your personal life?

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I think that all of us have used descriptive statistics from time to time. We have all used graphs, tables, etc… to describe statistical data as part of our jobs or as part of our personal economic management. However, after reading chapter one I now realize that there are more words to describe the shape of a graph than there are to describe an apple. I had no idea. As to how I could use descriptive statistics in my life…I could use them to identify choke points in my finances. Paychecks and bills arrive at odd intervals. Paychecks are bi-weekly, most bills are monthly, but some are weekly. I could use descriptive statistics to properly illustrate the frequency of these bills as compared to my paychecks, in order to find troughs that overlap with peaks during the year. Upon identifying these statistical phenomena I might need to make arrangements to save money during other times in order to make sure I have enough money for these eventualities. In this case, the amount of money for each bill and paycheck is a continuous variable and the dates that the bills/paychecks are due would be discrete variables. I guess the best way to illustrate the tables would be a dual, overlapping frequency polygon. As I look back on the chapter though, this is not exactly what the chapter is describing, because the chapter is about frequency tables and graphs. Strictly speaking, in that light we might need to analyze the frequency that troughs and peaks overlap, inverted or otherwise, and then describe that data in a frequency table. Then we could properly express the data in a frequency graph.   

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Aron, A., Aron, E., & Coups, E. (2006). Statistics for psychology (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.

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