Descriptive statistics allow you to characterize your data based on its properties. There are four major types of descriptive statistics:

1. Measures of Frequency:

* Count, Percent, Frequency

* Shows how often something occurs

* Use this when you want to show how often a response is given

2. Measures of Central Tendency

* Mean, Median, and Mode

* Locates the distribution by various points

* Use this when you want to show how an average or most commonly indicated response

3. Measures of Dispersion or Variation

* Range, Variance, Standard Deviation

* Identifies the spread of scores by stating intervals

* Range = High/Low points

* Variance or Standard Deviation = difference between observed score and mean

* Use this when you want to show how "spread out" the data are. It is helpful to know when your data are so spread out that it affects the mean

4. Measures of Position

* Percentile Ranks, Quartile Ranks

* Describes how scores fall in relation to one another. Relies on standardized scores

* Use this when you need to compare scores to a normalized score (e.g., a national norm)

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