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6th-8th Grade Math: Practice & Review55 chapters | 469 lessons

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Lesson Transcript

Instructor:
*Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer*

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Watch this video lesson and you will learn how to spot statistical and non-statistical questions. You will learn that statistical questions have variance in their answers while non-statistical questions don't.

In math, we like to label everything: numbers, symbols, and other things. Everything has a name. For example, the number 1 is an integer, a whole number, and a positive number, among other things. The function *y* = 4*x* - 2 is a function, a line, and an algebraic expression. We know different types of numbers have names, but did you know that different types of questions have labels, too? That's right. In this lesson, we will look at those types of questions: the statistical question and the non-statistical question.

First, **statistical questions** are those questions that have more than one possible answer. This type of question requires the collection of various points of data. For example, the question, 'How much food does a koala bear typically eat per day?' is a statistical question. Why? Because to answer this question, we need to collect data for several days so we can get an average. We might answer, 'A koala bear eats on average 3 pounds of food per day.' Our answer might also be a range. Our answer might be, 'A koala bear eats anywhere from 2 to 4 pounds of food every day.' There is no one correct answer here.

A statistical question has an answer that depends, or varies, with the situation. This is the identifying aspect of a statistical question. Look at these questions and see if you can see why these are statistical questions.

- How much water do people generally need to drink to stay well hydrated?
- How fast do cheetahs typically run?
- How many puppies do momma dogs typically give birth to?

All of these are statistical questions. The first one about how much water we need to drink is a statistical question because the answer varies depending on the size of the person and where the person lives. An answer could be a range. A person typically needs to drink between 6 and 8 cups of water a day.

The second question is also a statistical one because this one, too, has an answer that varies. Each cheetah is different in its ability. One cheetah may be slower than another. We can answer, on average, that cheetahs can run about 70 miles per hour.

The third question about the number of puppies is a statistical question because this answer also depends on the situation. One momma dog can have just three puppies while another momma dog can have twelve puppies. To answer this question, we will also need to gather data from several dogs. We can answer with an average or a range. We can answer, 'Momma dogs give birth to an average of nine puppies each time'. Or, we can answer, 'Momma dogs can give birth to anywhere from three to twelve puppies at a time.'

The next type of question is the **non-statistical question**. This is the type of question that only has one answer. This one answer also doesn't change. You don't need to gather several points of data to answer the question. For example, the question, 'What is 2 plus 2?' is a non-statistical question. This question has only one correct answer that doesn't change. 2 plus 2 will always equal 4.

Take a look at these non-statistical questions, and see if you can see why these are non-statistical.

- How tall is Eric?
- How many slices of pizza did Sarah eat last night?
- What does 3 plus 4 equal?

All of these are non-statistical because all of them have only one answer that doesn't change. The first question about Eric has only one answer because there is only the one Eric that we are talking about, and his height is only one number. All we have to do is measure Eric if he himself doesn't how tall he is.

The second question only has one answer because Sarah had just the one pizza meal last night and she could easily count the number of pizza slices she had. This number won't change.

The third question only has one answer. 3 plus 4 will always equal 7. That won't change.

Let's review what we've learned. Questions can be categorized into two types. The first type is the **statistical question**. This is a question that has more than one possible answer. These questions have answers that vary based on the circumstances. The second type is the **non-statistical question**. This is the type of question that only has one answer. This one answer also doesn't change.

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6th-8th Grade Math: Practice & Review55 chapters | 469 lessons

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