Chapter 3. Descriptive Statistics

  1. Robert C. Elston1 and
  2. William D. Johnson2

Published Online: 31 OCT 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470740781.ch3

Basic Biostatistics for Geneticists and Epidemiologists: A Practical Approach

Basic Biostatistics for Geneticists and Epidemiologists: A Practical Approach

How to Cite

Elston, R. C. and Johnson, W. D. (2008) Descriptive Statistics, in Basic Biostatistics for Geneticists and Epidemiologists: A Practical Approach, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470740781.ch3

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Case Western Reserve University, USA

  2. 2

    Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 31 OCT 2008
  2. Published Print: 24 OCT 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470024898

Online ISBN: 9780470740781

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Keywords:

  • interval, ordinal, and nominal scale;
  • quantitative, qualitative;
  • continuous data, categorical or discrete data;
  • table, frequency distribution;
  • histogram, bar graph, frequency polygon, cumulative plot, scatter plot (scatter diagram), tree diagram, decision tree;
  • proportion, percentage, rate;
  • prevalence, incidence;
  • relative risk, odds ratio, prevalence ratio, attributable risk;
  • sensitivity, specificity, predictive values;
  • measures of central tendency: mean, median, mode;
  • measures of spread (variability): range, interquartile range, variance, standard variation, coefficient of variation;
  • skewness, kurtosis

Summary

This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Why Do We Need Descriptive Statistics?

  • Scales of Measurement

  • Tables

  • Graphs

  • Proportions and Rates

  • Relative Measures of Disease Frequency

  • Sensitivity, Specificity and Predictive Values

  • Measures of Central Tendency

  • Measures of Spread or Variability

  • Measures of Shape

  • Summary

  • Further Reading

  • Problems