# Basic Statistics for Social Research: Step-By-Step Calculations and Computer Techniques Using Minitab

## Synopsis

This introduction to statistics using the program Minitab explains when to apply and how to calculate and interpret a wide range of statistical procedures commonly used in the social sciences.

## Excerpt

Statistics play a vital role in the description of the results of empirical research in the social sciences. Consequently, an understanding of the way in which such data have been analysed is essential to be able to evaluate those results fully and critically. A knowledge of statistics is also necessary for running our own statistical analyses. This book describes when to apply, how to calculate and how to interpret a comprehensive selection of statistical tests used in the social sciences, ranging from chi-square and the t test to analysis of covariance and multiple regression. It shows how to calculate these tests by hand as well as with the aid of a computer program called Minitab. The widespread availability of computers and programs for carrying out statistics means that statistics can now be more efficiently and accurately computed with these means. Minitab was chosen because it has an extensive variety of statistical procedures, is considered easy to learn and, as a consequence, is widely taught and used in the social sciences.

However, in order to understand what these tests involve it is still necessary to work out the computations by hand. To make the calculations easier the examples employ small sets of data consisting of small numbers. The same set of data is often used to illustrate more than one test so that the results of different tests can be compared and less time is spent on introducing new examples. Where possible, important statistical points have been illustrated with worked numerical examples. Statistical symbols have been kept to a minimum so that there is less need to remember what these symbols represent. Exercises at the end of chapters (together with the answers at the back of the book) enable readers to test their understanding of the computational steps involved in the tests described, as well as providing additional examples of data and their statistical analysis. Once readers have learned how to operate Minitab, they can generate their own exercises and assess their knowledge by comparing their answers with those produced by Minitab. This book contains information which is not present in many other introductory statistical textbooks. Where this occurs, a reference is given for further information or for an additional explanation chosen to be as nontechnical as possible. If the examples use variables . . .

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