Fundamentals of Statistics


1. Purpose and Fundamentals of Statistics

(This section is organised in the form of a book, please follow the blue arrows to navigate through the book or by following the navigation panel on the right side of the page.)

Data alone is not interesting. It is the interpretation of the data that we are really interested in…
Jason Brownlee – 2018

Statistical methods provide formal accounting for sources of variability in patients’ responses to treatment. The use of statistics allows the clinical researcher to form reasonable and accurate inferences from collected information, and sound decisions in the presence of uncertainty. Statistics are key to preventing errors and bias in medical research.

Hypothesis testing is one of the most important concepts in statistics because it is how you decide if something really happened, or if certain treatments have positive effects or are not different from another treatment. Hypothesis testing is common in statistics as a method of making decisions using data. In other words, testing a hypothesis is trying to determine if, based on statistics, your observations are likely to have really occurred. In short, you want to proof if your data is statistically significant and unlikely to have occurred by chance alone. In essence then, a hypothesis test is a test of significance.

Basics elements of hypothesis testing to be explored: