Understanding Social Science Statistics: A Spreadsheet Approach

Understanding Social Science Statistics: A Spreadsheet Approach

Understanding Social Science Statistics: A Spreadsheet Approach

Understanding Social Science Statistics: A Spreadsheet Approach

Excerpt

When sitting in statistics classes or when trying to read and understand statistical material, too many otherwise intelligent and capable students and researchers feel dumb. This book is intended as an antidote. It is designed to make you feel smart and competent. Its approach is conservative in that it attempts to identify and present the essentials of data analysis as developed by statisticians over the last 2 or 3 centuries. But the selection and organization of topics and the manner in which they are presented results from a radical rethinking of how basic statistics should be taught to students whose primary concern lies with social science research or clinical practice, and not with the formal, mathematical properties of statistical theory.

This book is designed to develop the reader's conceptual and practical understanding of basic data analysis. It is not a cookbook, although by reading the text and working through the exercises, readers will gain considerable practical knowledge and the ability to analyze data using multiple regression and the analysis of variance. I assume that your goal is basic statistical literacy -- the ability to understand and critique the statistical analyses others perform, and the ability to proceed knowledgeably with one's own data analyses. I also assume that readers are far more interested in the results and empirical implications of their analyses than in the formal properties of the statistics used -- and therefore will welcome the practical, intuitive approach to statistics taken here.

Three different kinds of audiences should find this book useful and appealing: beginning graduate students, seasoned researchers, and advanced undergraduates. The primary audience I had in mind when writing . . .

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