Functions of Statistics

Statistics are in use in every science, business, society in general and the government (Fiona, M., 2005, what is statistics?, para. 5). In other words, statistics are a part of everyday life in civilization. The fact that statistics is in use so abundantly a basic understanding of statistics is essential to determine fact and fallacy.

Medicine and Statistics

According to Fiona Malone (2005), of the University of Melbourne Statistical Consulting Centre, heart surgeons use random allocation to determine which heart valve to use in heart surgery patients. The surgeons are participants in a case study to find what valve works best for which kind of patient. The surgeons before beginning the operation open an envelope that tells which valve to use for that particular patient. The random choice removes any bias pre-knowledge might have on the choice of valves. This ensures the validity of the sample groups. (Medicine, random surgery, p. 1)


Fiona Malone (2005, sport, sydney to hobart, p. 1) explains the yearly Sydney to Hobart yacht race has variance of winning times because of new innovations to yacht design and differences in

weather. In order to analyze the differences in winning times statistics in the form of frequency

tables and point charts show the differences from year to year.


Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911, as cited by Malone, 2005) made an assumption through observation that the offspring of parents of significant height were shorter than their parents at maturity. (family heights, para. 1)

Karl Pearson (1857-1936, as cited by Malone, 2005) to prove Galton’s theory did a study of 1078 sons of tall and shorter fathers. In the study, Pearson found the sons of tall fathers were slightly shorter and inversely shorter fathers had taller sons. Pearson gave the title “regression to mediocrity” to the relationship of these two variables and since that time, scientists use the term regression analysis to study how variables relate. (family heights, para. 1)


Malone (2005) gives an example of statistics in relation to finance. This study consists to determine the affect on shopkeepers when Australia cut out the use of one and two cent coins.

The method to compensate for the lack of the coins is to round to the nearest five cents. The study was a sample of 5 shops and 1000 purchases by customers. The results of the study show only a little over 1percent of shop owners lose any money. (1 and 2 cent coins, para. 1-4)


Malone, F. (2005). What is statistics?, the University of Melbourne, statistical consulting centre,

Retrieved December 21, 2007 from

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