Statistics: Interpretation of Confidence Intervals

Title: Interpretation of Confidence Levels
Discipline(s) or Field(s): Mathematics, Statistics
Authors: Jeff Baggett, Brooke Fridley, David Reineke, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
Submission Date: June 9, 2006

Report Excerpts:

Our group decided to address the topic of confidence intervals and the interpretation and use of confidence intervals, in particular focusing on the interpretation of confidence intervals (i.e. what intervals say and what they do not say). We chose this topic after having noticed students having difficulty with the interpretation and use of the confidence interval and not so much the computation of the confidence interval.

Based on the results of the pre and post quiz, the misconception regarding the interpretation of a confidence interval by applying it to individuals rather than means seems to have been adequately addressed by the lesson.  However, students still do not have a clear understanding of the interpretation of a confidence interval for the mean as it relates to the subtle difference between probability and confidence.

Full Report Below:

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