What is a statistical question?

By Susan LoFranco on Apr 24, 2017

Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates variability in the data related to the question and accounts for it in the answers. For example, “How old am I?” is not a statistical question, but “How old are the students in my school?” is a statistical question because one anticipates variability in students’ ages.

Materials

  • Statistical Question Worksheet

Procedure

  • statistical question worksheetReview vocabulary with student: variable, statistic, survey, data, categorical data, numerical data
  • Review with the student the difference between a statistical question and one that does not rely on the collection data to answer.  Start off with easy questions; Non-Statistical:  What is your favorite pizza?;  Statistical:  What type of pizza is the favorite among your classmates? 
  • Using the above two questions investigate with the student how they are different (one is a single answer, the other requires the collection of data to answer).
  • Brainstorm with the student two more examples of each type of question. 
  • If the student is successful in understanding the difference between the two types of questions then he/she should, using media of their choice, write one of each type of question. 
  • Provided the student is successful, have the student complete the Statistical Question Worksheet.  
statistical questions collage
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