DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS PROCESSES
By Edwin Amuga
Descriptive statistics in psychology and criminology encompass methods of describing and analyzing data set characteristics and include the calculation of such values as data average, spread, and its procedure shapes. It involves determining relationships, differences, and effects in psychology and criminology research through the description, summarization, and organization of data for easy understanding and graphical displays and quantitative measures can be used for clarified communication, thereby helping in exploring and making conclusions about the data for more rational decision making as informed by the variability, shape, position and other outlier patterns of a data set (Spiegel & Stephens, 2017).
Descriptive statistics processes include position measures also referred to as the central tendency or location measures, spread measures also referred to as dispersion measures or variability and shape measures. Position statistics aim to measure the central tendency of data and include the mean, median, mode, range, and standard deviation. The mean refers to the total of all the data values divided by the data set size used with symmetrical data distribution with no outliers (Benard, Wutich & Ryan, 2016). The median is the middle value where the exact half of the data values are either half below it or half above it and reduces the effects of outliers in nonsymmetrical data. The mode refers to the value to occur most frequently in the data set and is rarely used in central tendency measures but is useful in distinguishing unimodal and multimodal distributions.
Measures of spread refer to how data deviates from the position measurement of mean or median giving a variation indication for quality improvement and control process variability in such areas as transactional and manufacturing processes. The measures include standard deviation and range. Range refers to the difference of the higher and lowest value whereas standard deviation refers to the average distance of the data points from the mean.
Bernard, H. R., Wutich, A., & Ryan, G. W. (2016). Analyzing qualitative data: Systematic approaches. SAGE publications.
Spiegel, M. R., & Stephens, L. J. (2017). Schaum’s outline of statistics. McGraw Hill Professional.