## variable (statistics)

### In statistics, a variable is a characteristic or attribute that can vary or take on different values within a population or a sample

In statistics, a variable is a characteristic or attribute that can vary or take on different values within a population or a sample. Variables are used to collect and analyze data in order to study relationships, make predictions, or draw conclusions.

There are two main types of variables in statistics:

1. Categorical Variables: These variables are qualitative and represent categories or groups. They can be further divided into two subtypes:

– Nominal Variables: These variables have categories that do not have any inherent order or ranking. Examples include gender, nationality, or eye color.

– Ordinal Variables: These variables have categories that can be ranked or ordered but do not have a consistent numeric measurement. Examples include education level (e.g., high school, college, graduate degree), or a Likert scale (e.g., strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree).

2. Numerical Variables: These variables are quantitative and represent a measurable quantity or value. They can be further divided into two subtypes:

– Continuous Variables: These variables can take on any numerical value within a given range. Examples include age, height, weight, or time.

– Discrete Variables: These variables can only take on specific numerical values. Examples include the number of siblings, number of pets, or number of cars owned.

Understanding the type of variable is important because it determines the appropriate statistical methods and analyses to be used. Categorical variables often require appropriate measures like mode or chi-square test, while numerical variables may require measures of central tendency (such as mean or median) and measures of dispersion (such as variance or standard deviation).

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