Analysis of Newspaper Research Report Ã¯Â¿Â½ PAGE Ã¯Â¿Â½1Ã¯Â¿Â½

Analysis of Newspaper Research Report

Statistics, the mathematical "science of collecting, organizing, and interpreting data" (Bennett, Briggs & Triola, 2003, p. 2) changed the world by establishing a method for researchers to collect and interpret statistical data. The orderly collection and interpretation of data provides a basis for decision making based on fact rather than on supposition (University of Phoenix, 2007). The goal of researchers is to study a population, "the complete set of people or things being studied" (Bennett, et al., 2003, p. 3) and to analyze characteristics, known as population parameters, particular to the group, in order to assess the validity of what is believed to be true. "Statistical science provides methods that enable researchers to determine how well a sample statistic estimates a population parameter" (Bennett, et al., 2003, p. 5).

Inferential statistics uses random sampling of the general population to draw conclusions.

Surveys or opinion polls are a method to use sample statistical estimates to study population parameters. An important tool for strengthening the validity of the research is application of a margin of error. The margin of error is added or subtracted to the sample statistic to find the "range or interval, of values likely to contain the population parameter" (Bennett, et al, 2003, p. 5). Margin errors for well conducted surveys or polls range from 10% for a sample size of 100 to 1% for a sample of 10,000 (Bennett, et al, 2003).

Dr. Matthew M. Davis of the University of Michigan recently released the results of an internet poll which surveyed 2,060 adults. The purpose of the survey was to measure the perception of parents regarding the weights of their children. The adults self reported the height and weight measurements of their children and were...