Chapter 2: Statistical Foundations


Related links:

DIANA - Diagnostic Instructional Aid for Noetic Advancement
This site provides a very nice online quiz on basic probability concepts. The questions are all based on practical applied problems. Detailed explanations are provided that review the relevant probability concept.

Statistics Every Writer Should Know
This site, designed for journalists, provides a very basic discussion of fundamental statistical concepts. If your background in statistics is weak, browsing through this site should help to provide a good intuitive understanding of basic statistical concepts.

Monty Hall Problem
This page contains a quite nice discussion of the "Monty Hall Problem." In this problem, a game show contestant is asked to choose among three doors; a valuable prize is located behind only one of these doors. After a door is selected, the game show host reveals that one of the remaining doors does not contain the prize. The contestant is then able to choose between keeping their existing choice or choosing the remaining door. Is it better to keep your initial choice or will you have a better chance of winning the prize if you switch? This problem provides an interesting example of a conditional probability. When Marilyn Vos Savant presented the correct solution to this problem in her weekly column, she was overwhelmed with mail (many from people posessing Ph.D.'s in mathematics or statistics -- not economics, of course -- arguing for various incorrect solutions).

Coin Flipping Page (Ken White)
This site, provided by the SHAZAM econometrics software producers, allows the user to flip a set of coins and display the results on the screen. Outcomes of past experiments can be found on this page.

The CUWU Statistics Program
This page contains a collection of online java applets written by John Marden (supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Center for Asynchronous Learnings Environments). The data analysis applet provides basic sample statistics, histograms, scatterplots, and a graphical depiction of a bivariate regression line for a variety of data sets or user-supplied data. Other interactive applets on this page illustrate the central limit theorem, the concept of confidence intervals, the Monty Hall problem, and a variety of other statistical concepts.

HyperStat Online (David M. Lane)
This is an online hyperlinked statistics text that discusses most of the statistical concepts that you will need for this course.

Statistics UCLA - Case Studies
This site, provided by the University of California at Los Angeles, contains a wonderful collection of case studies illustrating real-world applications of basic statistical analysis. Each of these case studies is set up as a problem for students to solve using basic statistical techniques.
John Kane - kane@oswego.edu
Department of Economics, SUNY-Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126