Inferential statistics

Inferential statistics





The first article I considered is on an experiment to test whether a person can keep administering painful electric shocks to another person just because they are ordered to do so. Most theories suggest that only very disturbed people can administer pain to an ordinary citizen if they were ordered to do so (Vernn, 2007). This experiment tested people’s obedience to authority. The expectation of the research outcome was that very few will keep giving shocks, and that most participants would disobey the order.

There were 30 participants recruited by advertisement in a newspaper and were paid $4.50. a shock generator was used to trick the participants into thinking that they were giving an electric shock to another person in another room. In the procedure, the participant met another participant in the waiting room before the experiment. The other participant was an actor. Each participant got the role as a teacher who would then deliver a shock to the actor every time an incorrect answer as produced. The participants believed that they were delivering real shocks to the learner and the learner would pretend to be shocked. Beyond 300-volt level, the learner became completely silent and refused to answer any more questions. The experimenter then instructed the participant to treat this silence as an incorrect response and deliver a further shock. The results showed that, out of 40 participants in the study, 26 delivered the maximum shocks. 14 persons did not obey the experimenter and stopped before reaching the highest levels. All 40 participants continued to give shocks up to 300 volts (Vernn, 2007). We can say that, most participants became very agitated, stressed and angry at the experimenter. Many continued to follow orders throughout even though they were clearly uncomfortable. The study shows that the people are able to harm others intentionally if ordered to do so. It provides evidence that this dynamic is far more important than previously believed, and that personal ethics are less predictive of such behavior.

The second article is a study on sudden cardiac arrest during participation in competitive sports. The incidence of sudden cardiac arrest during participation in sports activities remains unknown at preventing pre-participation screening programs aimed sudden cardiac arrest during sports activities are thought to be able to identify at-risk athletes, however the efficacy of these programs remains controversial (Landry, 2017). The researchers of this article sought to identify all sudden cardiac arrest that occurred during participation in sports activities within a specific region of Canada and determine their causes.

The Rescu Epistry cardiac arrest database (which contains records of every cardiac arrest attended by paramedics in network region) to identify all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests that occurred from 2009 through 2014 in persons 12 to 45 years of age during participation in a sport. Cases were adjudicated as sudden cardiac arrest (having cardiac cause) or as an event resulting from a non-cardiac cause, based on records from multiple sources, including ambulance call reports, autopsy reports, in-hospital data and records of direct interviews with patients or family members (Landry, 2017 pg 1951). Over the cause of 18.5million person-years of observation, 74 sudden cardiac arrests occurred during participation in a sport; of these, 16 occurred during competitive sports and 58 occurred during non-competitive sports. The incidence of sudden cardiac arrest during competitive sports was 0.76 cases per 100000 athlete-years, with 43.8% of the athletes surviving until they were discharged from the hospital. Among the competitive athletes, two deaths were attributed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and none to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Three cases of sudden cardiac arrest that occurred during participation in competitive sports were determined to have been potentially identifiable if the athletes had undergone pre-participation screening. The conclusion for this analysis was that the occurrence of sudden cardiac arrest due to structural heart disease was uncommon during participation in competitive sports (Landry, 2017).

The first article tested people’s obedience to authority while the second article is a medical research. For data collection, in the first article participants were recruited by advertisement in a newspaper and were paid but for the medical research article, they used existing information from the records that had been kept from 2009 to 2014. For the two articles, any statistical analysis package used would yield same results (Al-Benna, 2010). The medical study on cardiac arrest is a test on the linear relationship between participation in sports activities and occurrence of cardiac arrest. Test of obedience to authority was a study to compare variances between populations. Both researches were inferential since it provided an information and conclusion that extended beyond the immediate data.


Al-Benna, S., Al-Ajam, Y., Way, B., & Steinstraesser, L. (2010). Descriptive and inferential statistical methods used in burns research. Burns36(3), 343-346.

Landry, C. H., Allan, K. S., Connelly, K. A., Cunningham, K., Morrison, L. J., & Dorian, P. (2017). Sudden Cardiac Arrest during Participation in Competitive Sports. New England Journal of Medicine377(20), 1943-1953.

Vernn, R. (2007). Inferential Statistics. Encyclopedia of Measurement and Statistics, 6, 23-27. doi:10.4135/9781412952644.n214