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Topic 2: Variables & Measurement in Statistics

Topic 2 introduces students to ways of thinking about variables in statistics such as units of measurement, levels of measurement, and dependent vs. independent variables.

Suggested Readings:

  • Healey, Chapter 1: Introduction to Statistics
  • Bennett, Chapter 2: Measurement in Statistics


  1. understand commonly reported statistics and connect them to the basic math used in statistics (including percentages, decimals, ratios, and index numbers) 
  2. understand major indices such as CPI and be able to apply such indices to understand changes in goods such as tuition, salary, etc. 
  3. be able to identify and correctly determine the level of measurement of variables and the unit of measurement of variables

Suggested Practice:

Objectives Check:

  1. Define precision and accuracy.
  2. Explain how the four levels of measurement for variables differ.
  3. Explain how the two units of measurement differ. 
  4. Explain the use of indices including the CPI.