Lesson 3.9 – Using Studies Wisely

  • Identify when it is appropriate to use information from a sample to make an inference about a population and when it is appropriate to make an inference about cause and effect.
  • Evaluate if a statistical study has been carried out in an ethical manner.

Definition Inference

Activity: Does listening to music improve GPA?Lesson 3-9

Today is one of the first times we really focus on the importance of inference.  We taught this lesson a little differently than our normal routine.    We started by going over the notes portion for the first learning target.  We try to keep the notes as minimal as possible.  After going through the notes, we gave the students about 10 minutes to work through activity where they have to identify if surveys use random sample and/or random assignment.  Once that has been identified, proper conclusions can be made.  If a random sample was used we can generalize the results to the population.  If random assignment was used, we can determine causation.

After going through the activity, make sure to address the last learning target on data ethics.  We had students read through that portion of the text and annotate.



Make sure to emphasize the importance of properly identifying the population.  Students tend to think that population means all people in the country or in the world.  So if the population is, for example, all students at a high school and the sample is a random sample of 100, students tended to say we cannot generalize because the sample was just from one high school, not all students across the country.


Previous Day | Next Day