Lead Author(s): Jeff Martin, MD

The goal of any study is make an accurate (true) inference or to find the truth about the source. There are two types of inferences and inferences vary according to the type of study.

Types of Inferences

From the sample to the source population


From the sample of the external population


Inferences by Study Type

Inference in descriptive studies

In a descriptive study this would be the measure of disease occurrence or exposure occurrence.

Inferences in analytic studies

In an analytic study this would be the measure of association between the exposure and disease.