AP Statistics Curriculum 2007 IntroVar

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General Advance-Placement (AP) Statistics Curriculum - Introduction to Statistics

The Nature of Data & Variation

No mater how controlled the environment, the protocol or the design, virtually any repeated measurement, observation, experiment, trial, study or survey is bound to generate data that varies because of intrinsic (internal to the system) or extrinsic (due to the ambient environment) effects.

For example, a UCLA study of Alzheimer’s disease*, analyzed the data of 31 MCI and 34 probable Alzheimer’s disease patients. The investigators made every attempt to control for as many variables as possible, yet, the demographic information they collected on the subjects contained unavoidable variation. The same study found variation in the MMSE cognitive scores even in the same subjects.

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