This chapter provides the foundation for our discussion throughout the book. Its emphasis is on basic concepts and assumptions. The topics discussed in this chapter are:

- The concept of statistical inference (Section 1.1).
- An overview of different types of statistical intervals: confidence intervals, tolerance intervals, and prediction intervals ( Section 1.2).
- The assumption of sample data (Section 1.3) and the central role of practical assumptions about the data being “representative” (Section 1.4).
- The need to differentiate between enumerative and analytic studies (Section 1.5).
- Basic assumptions for inferences from enumerative studies, including a brief description of different random sampling schemes (Section 1.6).
- Considerations in conducting analytic studies (Section 1.7).
- Convenience and judgment samples (Section 1.8).
- Sampling people (Section 1.9).
- The assumption of sampling from an infinite population (Section 1.10).
- More on practical assumptions (Sections 1.11 and 1.12).
- Planning the study (Section 1.13).
- The role of statistical distributions (Section 1.14).
- The interpretation of a statistical interval (Section 1.15).
- The relevance of statistical intervals in the era of big data (Section 1.16).
- Comment concerning the subsequent discussion in this book (Section 1.17).

Decisions frequently have to be made from limited sample data. For example:

- A television ...

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