ASU What is Descriptive Statistics Lab


This week, we are building on the concept of levels of measurement to show how different descriptive statistics are appropriate for different types of variables. That is, some descriptive statistics are better at describing certain variable types but not others. For example, if I want to describe the center of an interval or ratio level variable, I would be better served by using the mean or median than I would be if I used the mode. Your task will be to apply the conceptual knowledge of matching levels of measurement with appropriate descriptive statistics as a way to analyze variables in SPSS.

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To start, watch this video, then proceed by following the prompts to complete the activity: (Links to an external site.)


  • Download the lab data HERE Edit
  • Download HERE
  • This data set should be familiar because we worked with it last module. Review the data and refresh your understanding of the variables.
  • Take particular note of the information in the Measure column. Use this information to make decisions about which descriptive statistics you will run for each variable.
  • For each variable, run descriptive statistics and identify which measures are most appropriate for describing the variable.


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