Statistic and significance testing

Date of publication: September 1, 1998

Author: Paul Harris


Statistics may be defined as ‘the collection, analysis and interpretation of numerical data’. As market research is concerned mostly with counting and measuring, it is not surprising that the theory of statistics can play an important part in assisting researchers to collect valid samples of data, and in helping them to draw correct conclusions from those data. In this chapter, the emphasis will be on the ‘analysis and interpretation’ aspects of statistics dealing mainly with simple descriptive measures calculated from survey data and the testing of hypotheses about those data. The techniques and significance tests described below are those which have been found most useful in interpreting survey tabulations. This is not an exhaustive list, by any means, and the reader who wishes to know more about statistical analysis in market research may consult the texts given in the references at the end of the chapter.

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