Confidence intervals are a tool used in inferential statistics to estimate a parameter (often the mean) of an entire population. Remember that inferential statistics can never "prove" anything. Here, I concentrate on inferential statistics that are useful in experimental and quasi-experimental research design or in program outcome evaluation. Hypothesis testing is a tool used in inferential statistics to determine the effectiveness of an experimental treatment. Instead, scientists express these parameters as a range of potential numbers, along with a degree of confidence. For more on inferential statistics, check out this overview from Purdue University. This information about a population is not stated as a number.
Sometimes it can be used as primary evidence or sometimes it is used in a more supporting role. Statistics are powerful tools, but it's the analysis provided afterwards by inferential statistics that explicitly makes claims about what those results mean, why, and in what context.

In this blog post, I show you how both types of statistics are important for different purposes. You should think of statistics as a body of evidence (much like a fingerprint at a crime scene) that provides support for your argument. Reporting Results of Common Descriptive and Inferential Statistics in APA Format The Results sections of any manuscript (APA format or non-APA format) are intended to report the quantitative and sometimes qualitative results of descriptive summaries and inferential tests performed to support or refute a hypothesis.

Remember that inference involves moving focus from smaller and more specific to larger and more general. Descriptive and inferential statistics are two broad categories in the field of statistics. Inferential statistics start with a sample and then generalizes to a population.

Interestingly, some of the statistical measures are similar, but the goals and methodologies are very different.

Reporting Results of Descriptive and Inferential Statistics in APA Format The Results section of an empirical manuscript (APA or non-APA format) are used to report the quantitative results of descriptive statistics and inferential statistics that were applied to a set of data. SPSS: Descriptive and Inferential Statistics 10 The Department of Statistics and Data Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin Section 2: Inferential Statistics 2.1 Chi-Square Test In the section above, it appeared that there were some differences between men and women in terms of their distribution among the three employment categories. Thus, we use inferential statistics to make inferences from our data to more general conditions; we use descriptive statistics simply to describe what’s going on in our data.

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