Statistical Article Review: Young Children Use Statistical Sampling to Infer the Preferences of Other People

Statistical Article Review: Young Children Use Statistical Sampling to Infer the Preferences of Other People

This statistical article by Kushnir, Xu, and Wellman (2010) illustrates how young children utilize statistical sampling approaches/techniques to study and evaluate human actions in the context of intention and goals. The authors argue that young children may employ statistical sampling to determine the underlying psychological causes of other people. Particularly, they show how preschoolers use a breach of random sampling to deduce that the other person is communicating a preference for a given toy instead of another different one. This article uses both descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.

By definition, a descriptive statistic is simply a number that describes or summarize the data or information being collected. This article uses several types of descriptive statistics the major one being percentages. For instance, the authors argued that participants infer preferences strongly, intermediary, least strongly in 18%, 50%, and 100% respectively. In this case, the measure of percentage has been used to describe the level by which young children use the infringement on random sampling to make inferred preferences.

On the other hand, an inferential statistic is a technique that allows the use of samples in generalizing about a population. Ideally, inferential statistics uses data drawn from a population to make inferences. The sample shows the use of inferential statistics in this article. The authors did not collect data from the entire population of young children but instead used a sample of seventy-two preschoolers. They represented the entire population of young children.

Data: The term ‘data’ is used in this article to imply a collection of information for making conclusions about the population.

Sample: The term sample is used in this article to mean a group 72 preschoolers that were chosen for collection of data.

Population: The term ‘population’ is employed in this article to imply the entire young children.

References

Kushnir T., Xu F., & Wellman H. (2010). Young Children Use Statistical Sampling to Infer the Preferences of Other People. Association for Psychological Science. 21(8) 1134–1140. DOI: 10.1177/0956797610376652.