Descriptive Statistics

Used to summarize and describe quantitative data sets

Before proceeding, you should assess the distribution of your data and consider variable transformations or non-parametric options, if necessary. It’s also a good idea to identify missing data and start thinking about how you might want to handle this (e.g. listwise deletion, imputation).

Descriptive statistics are commonly used to describe and explore quantitative datasets.

Common Descriptive Statistics

  • Minimum (Min): lowest/smallest score in a data set
  • Maximum (Max): highest/largest score in a data set
  • Frequency: number of times a certain score appears in a data set
  • Mean (Average): sum of all the scores divided by the number of scores
  • Median: middle score of a data set after values ordered numerically; it divides the distribution in half
  • Mode: most frequently occurring score in a data set
  • Standard Deviation (SD): represents the average amount that a given score deviates from the mean score