3/17/2017 Sorry — the statistics definitions page isn’t working right now. I’m working on a fix. In the meantime, please use the Google search box at the top right to find what you’re looking for. Stephanie
Confused about a term in elementary probability and statistics? Check out our explanations for statistical terms. Statistics definitions in simple English! Many of the statistics definitions you’ll find here include videos, graphs and charts to make the explanations easier to understand.
How to Use the Statistics Definitions Database
Tip: Type the name of the topic you’re looking for after you click the drop down menu. For example, typing w stat on your keyboard will bring you to the W statistics definition link.
Finding What You Need
I have listed the most popular articles here. If I added all the terms on the site, it would be a thousand links long! The best way to find statistics definitions that aren’t listed here is to perform a search. At the top right of the page, you’ll see a search button. Click on that, and type in the term you want to find. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please leave a comment. I am usually pretty fast at finding what you need. If I don’t get back to you right away, it means I’m sick or on vacation.
I try to keep things simple with definitions, using as few words as possible. That’s because these articles are aimed at beginners, or lay people who want an overview. Some people say the articles are too simple. If you’re looking for more in depth, head over to Wolfram or Wikipedia. Those places are going to have a lot more formulas, but be prepared to do a bit of translation.
Why I Started This Site
I remember when I first started learning statistics. I’d look up a term, and what I got was either one sentence (not helpful) or a two page technical manual. Often the words in the manual were ones I didn’t know and they were usually not explained at all. I’d have to go on the hunt for a term and often it would turn into an hours long venture to find what I wanted. What I wanted was simple: an overview of the term so that I could get a general idea of what it was.
Once you’ve got an overview of a topic, then things start to connect in your brain. Things start falling into place. Only then can you go back and tackle the in-depth stuff.
I started this site in 2009 and back then, there was little out there in the way of simple explanations. Now it seems there’s a lot of choices from large sites with articles not written by statisticians. That’s where this site is different:
I’m a statistician, and I’ve taught statistics at the college/university level.
I’ve got a graduate degree in education, which means I know how to get my point across in a variety of ways. If you don’t like reading, then there’s usually a video. I’m working on videos all the time to add to articles.
I have struggled with math my whole life. So I know what it’s like to “not get it.” Give me a page of equations and I still get sweaty palms and a churning stomach.
This site is for YOU, not me, and I love feedback. The bulk of the articles on here were developed in part with feedback and comments.
I hope you find these statistics definitions useful. But if you don’t, please leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help clarify or expand the article.