Statistics are important to the forensic scientist because they provide a means to quantitate uncertainty, to summarize large amounts of data into understandable terms, and to make decisions based on these summaries in the presence of uncertainty and variation. Statistics provide a means for forensic scientists to convey the significance of DNA testing results. When comparing the DNA profiles obtained from forensic evidence to that from a known individual, statistics can be used to assess the significance of an association.
Upon successful completion of this unit of instruction, the student shall be able to do the following:
- Describe the importance and use of statistics and probability to the field of forensic science
- Use at least one of the accepted statistical approaches to evaluate DNA data
- Describe how DNA population databases are constructed and used
Click here to watch a video on statistical probabilities presented by Greggory LaBerge.
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