The verb to infer is something that goes beyond the literal understanding of a given information , therefore, inference can be defined as the conclusion or a value judgment drawn from that information.
An example of this can be approached from the following text: “My father was born in the same year that man reached the moon”. So, if we were to ask someone when my father was born and that person replied that it was 1969, we would be making an inference, as the text does not show the year explicitly.
the inference process
To reach the previous conclusion, the person who answered this question would have to read the text first and then understand the content, reflect on the topic, remember previous knowledge and, finally, give an answer.
From this, it can be said that inference can be used in three different phases. There would be a first before receiving the information through which, simply by the context, certain predictions or hypotheses about the subject can be made. Later, while receiving the information, it is already possible to formulate inferences or reformulate them if you believe they are wrong. And finally, once all the information has been received, it is possible to differentiate between the explicit data received and the ideas that are inferred from it.
In the field of mathematics and statistics, the term inference is also used to refer to the deductions that can be made from the observation of certain elements. Statistics can be divided into two major branches: descriptive and inferential. While the first refers basically to collecting data, organizing and classifying them; inferential statistics studies the predictions that are made from these data.
The predictions of this branch of statistics are carried out on groups of samples that represent the total population, and it is very important to have high confidence in the methods used to study these data.
Inferential statistics is the set of techniques that allow us to draw conclusions that exceed the limits of knowledge obtained from the original data.
An example of this type of inference is electoral polls, which make predictions of general results based on data obtained from a small sample of the population.