Inferential Statistics and the Use of Administrative Data in US Educational Research
Statistics, inference, regression, administrative data
While the use of inferential statistics is a nearly universal practice in the social sciences, there are instances where its application is unnecessary and potentially misleading. This is true for a portion of research using administrative data in educational research in the United States. Surveying all research articles using administrative data published in Educational Researcherand American Educational Research Journal between 2011 and 2013, we find that over half use inferential techniques to help interpret results despite the use of population data. To the extent that these practices and findings are replicated and interpreted in the United States and elsewhere, this can lead to the undervaluing of potentially meaningful patterns and trends.
Original Publication Citation
Gibbs, Benjamin G., Kevin Shafer and Aaron Miles*. “Inferential Statistics and the Use of Administrative Data in Educational Research” International Journal of Research & Method in Education 40:214-220.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Gibbs, Benjamin G.; Shafer, Kevin; and Miles, Aaron, "Inferential Statistics and the Use of Administrative Data in US Educational Research" (2014). All Faculty Publications. 2858.
International Journal of Research & Method in Education
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
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