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Variation in Data


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• The weights of the soups (19 ounces, 14.1 ounces, 19 ounces) are quantitative continuous data because you measure weights as precisely as possible.

• Types of soups, nuts, vegetables and desserts are qualitative data because they are categorical.

Try to identify additional data sets in this example.

Example 1.8

The data are the colors of backpacks. Again, you sample the same five students. One student has a red backpack, two students have black backpacks, one student has a green backpack, and one student has a gray backpack. The colors red, black, black, green, and gray are qualitative data.

1.8 The data are the colors of houses. You sample five houses. The colors of the houses are white, yellow, white, red, and white. What type of data is this?


You may collect data as numbers and report it categorically. For example, the quiz scores for each student are recorded throughout the term. At the end of the term, the quiz scores are reported as A, B, C, D, or F.


Example 1.9

Work collaboratively to determine the correct data type (quantitative or qualitative). Indicate whether quantitative data are continuous or discrete. Hint: Data that are discrete often start with the words “the number of.”

a. the number of pairs of shoes you own

b. the type of car you drive

c. where you go on vacation

d. the distance it is from your home to the nearest grocery store

e. the number of classes you take per school year.

f. the tuition for your classes

g. the type of calculator you use

h. movie ratings

i. political party preferences

j. weights of sumo wrestlers

k. amount of money (in dollars) won playing poker

l. number of correct answers on a quiz

m. peoples’ attitudes toward the government

n. IQ scores (This may cause some discussion.)

Solution 1.9 Items a, e, f, k, and l are quantitative discrete; items d, j, and n are quantitative continuous; items b, c, g, h, i, and m are qualitative.

1.9 Determine the correct data type (quantitative or qualitative) for the number of cars in a parking lot. Indicate whether quantitative data are continuous or discrete.

Example 1.10

A statistics professor collects information about the classification of her students as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors. The data she collects are summarized in the pie chart Figure 1.2. What type of data does this graph show?