Statistics For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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In statistics, a confidence interval is an educated guess about some characteristic of the population. A confidence interval contains an initial estimate plus or minus a margin of error (the amount by which you expect your results to vary, if a different sample were taken). The following table shows formulas for the components of the most common confidence intervals and keys for when to use them.

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Deborah Rumsey, PhD, is an auxiliary faculty member and program specialist in department of statistics at The Ohio State University. An author of several Dummies books, she is a fellow of the American Statistical Association.

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