Students are trying to choose new school colors. Which is the most appropriate statistical question to be investigated for a study of school colors preference?

(A) What colors are the colors of your main rival school?
(B) What colors were the old colors of your school?
(C) Which colors are most popular in your school?
(D) Which colors do you like best?



6.SP.1: Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates variability in the data related to the question and accounts for it in the answers.

Correct answer and commentary

At the beginning level of the GAISE framework, students are expected to distinguish between statistical solutions and fixed answers. In the Common Core State Standard 6.SP.1, statistical questions are defined based on this same distinction: Statistical questions anticipate and account for variability (statistical solutions not fixed answers).

This question asks students to recognize a statistical question by choosing the one that require a statistical solution. Answering the question in option (C) would require students to collect, analyze, and interpret data. In contrast, neither question posed in options (A) and (B) require the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. The question in option (D) does not require a statistical solution either; it is a survey question to which each person asked will respond with his or her preference. Survey questions may be an important part of a statistical study, but they are distinct from statistical questions.

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