Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Stacie Ezelle Taylor
Most statistical analysis is done with the desire to reach a conclusion or decision about one or more parameters associated with a population of interest (σtatistical inference). Two types of estimators are used to assist in reaching a conclusion: point estimators and interval estimators. The goal of estimation is to provide a ‘best guess’ at the true value of an unknown population parameter. To this end, a point estimator is a rule or function for computing a single quantity from a sample that will be used to approximate most closely a population parameter. Statistically, the point estimate is the value itself that is obtained when the rule is applied to sample data. Often the term point estimate is used to refer to any value computed from the data that is used to estimate a population parameter, even if it is not the ‘best’ estimator. The point estimate is the most ...