Descriptive Statistics vs. Inferential Statistics

Descriptive statistics are statistical procedures used to summarize, organize, and simplify data.  Descriptive statistics are techniques that take raw scores and organize or summarize them in a form that is more manageable.

Inferential statistics consist of techniques that allow us to study samples and then make generalizations about the populations from which they were selected.  Typically, researchers use sample statistics as the basis for drawing conclusions about population parameters.


Gravetter, F. J. & Wallnau, L. B. (2013). Statistics for the behavioral sciences (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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