Research Writing

What is descriptive statistics in research/Concepts/elements

What is descriptive statistics?

It is worth starting by clarifying that descriptive statistics is a branch of mathematics , with which a certain set such as age, sex, height or any other data of a certain segment of the mass is characterized and described. For this, the variables must be known, which can be qualitative or quantitative. What is descriptive statistics in research?

Qualitative variables

They are also known as categorical variables and are those that cannot be measured numerically and are part of characteristics such as sex or nationality of a specific group of people on whom some type of study is carried out.

Quantitative variable

These variables are related to those data that can be counted or quantified such as age, annual income and the price of a certain product in the market, all very important characteristics for a statistical study. What is descriptive statistics in research?

Classification of variables

Variables can also be classified according to various criteria and may be subject to change according to the object of study, which can be an institution, a segment of the population or objects, in this way there are many classifications of variables, among which the following stand out.


They gather data and information about a specific characteristic, it can be the age of a group of people, a classroom or whatever the object of study is, for a variable to be one-dimensional this is fundamental, that is, one-dimensional is related to a single feature.

Two-dimensional variables

Easily definable through the name, this classification refers to a type of variable that takes 2 characteristics or data from the population or object of study. These data generally have some relationship depending on the information to be collected, it can be weight and age, height and sex in order to obtain specific statistical data. What is descriptive statistics in research?

Multidimensional variables

If the study requires it, various data can be used to form the statistical studies, all this depends on the information that is wanted to be obtained and the nature of the study, that is, these data can be weight, sex and age of the workers of a certain company or institution.

Discrete variables

This is a classification that corresponds to the quantitative variables and are those in which integer values ​​are used unlike other data such as the height, which could be 1.60. These variables are, for example, age, or the number of siblings.

Continuous variables

The data of these variables are obtained from the real numbers with a variable, that is, when a number or data can be approximated or rounded as when we talk about the speed at which a car traveled 65.5 km / h or any distance 45.8 meters. What is descriptive statistics in research?

Concepts and elements within descriptive statistics

To carry out a descriptive statistical study it is necessary to know the variables, but also certain elements that will allow you to carry out the study in a complete way, fundamental in any scientific study.

The individual

It is related to the phenomenon you are studying, that is, if we study the height of the workers in a shoe factory, these workers are the individuals. The term individual also refers to what cannot be divided and in statistics the best way to define it is as each of the elements that make up the population.


The population, although it may sound obvious, is the set of individuals, that is, several individuals form a population, if the statistical study is carried out on a company, a classroom or a university, this will be the population and each of them an individual of statistics. What is descriptive statistics in research?

The elements of a population do not necessarily have to be people, we generally relate population in this way, but in statistics, objects and other elements can be part of the population with respect to the study.


When descriptive statistics refer to the sample, they refer to a segment of the population, that is, within the classroom, which would be the population, how many are women, the sample is defined as the subset of individuals in a population.

As you can see, these are some concepts that make it possible to show defined information about a set of data that, as we saw, can represent a population or just be a sample of them.

From the descriptive statistics it follows:

  • Measures of central tendency
  • Arithmetic average
  • Median
  • fashion

At the same time, there are also measures of dispersion, which are statistical concepts that reflect how some data departs from the arithmetic mean. Within it there are concepts such as the range, which indicates how certain factors are dispersed and the way to calculate the range is through the subtraction of the highest and the lowest value of the variable. What is descriptive statistics in research?

What is the standard or standard deviation?

It is a measure of dispersion used in descriptive statistics that helps to indicate how dispersed the data is with respect to the mean.

To know in depth and detail much more is necessary than the measures corresponding to the so-called central tendency, in order to be able to describe them in a correct way, which is the ultimate goal of this branch of mathematics known as descriptive statistics, which As we have seen many times, it relies on tables and graphs to show in an understandable way some of this data that can be difficult to understand in its mathematical form What is descriptive statistics in research?

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