Statistical Argument

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A statistical argument is an inductive argument (under an inductive formal language) that is supported by a random sample.



  • (Wikipedia, 2011) ⇒
    • Statistical inference is the process of drawing conclusions from data that are subject to random variation, for example, observational errors or sampling variation.[1] More substantially, the terms statistical inference, statistical induction and inferential statistics are used to describe systems of procedures that can be used to draw conclusions from datasets arising from systems affected by random variation.[2] Initial requirements of such a system of procedures for inference and induction are that the system should produce reasonable answers when applied to well-defined situations and that it should be general enough to be applied across a range of situations. The outcome of statistical inference may be an answer to the question "what should be done next?", where this might be a decision about making further experiments or surveys, or about drawing a conclusion before implementing some organizational or governmental policy.


    • statistical inference: The extension of sample results to a larger population. Descriptive statistics (such as the mean or a histogram) provide concise methods for summarizing a lot of information. However, it is inferential statistics that allows one to make statements about the population from a sample. For example, it is often virtually impossible to measure an entire population, but by statistical inference one can use the measured sample statistics to make statements about the unmeasured population (see estimation). However, in order to use the power of statistical inference, certain assumptions about the statistic must first be met. For example, making correct inferences about a population from a sample can often require that random sampling be employed.


  1. Upton, G., Cook, I. (2008) Oxford Dictionary of Statistics, OUP 978-0-19-954145-4
  2. Dodge, Y. (2003). The Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms, OUP. ISBN 0-19-920613-9 (entry for "inferential statistics")