Doing Psychological Research: Gathering and Analysing Data

By Nicky Hayes | Go to book overview

17
Two-sample tests

Sign test
Chi-square
Wilcoxon sign
Mann-Whitney U
Related t test
Independent t test

The previous two chapters were concerned with descriptive statistics – statistics which simply describe the data which have been obtained, without making any particular inferences about them. In the final three chapters, we will be looking at inferential statistics. Inferential statistics allow us to go beyond the data that we have actually obtained, to infer things about the population that the data have come from. They let us make judgements about whether the distinctive patterns or characteristics in our scores are important, or whether they are just likely to be an artefact, which has happened because of sampling errors or problems with methodology.

As we saw in Chapter 14, these judgements are assessments of probability. We can't be absolutely certain about our conclusions, because there is always room for chance or for sampling errors. We can't rule these out altogether: it is always possible that we may have drawn our sample of research participants from a particularly unusual section of the population, so that they are not representative of their population at all. So there is always some level of uncertainty in our conclusions. When we carry out inferential tests, we become able to put a figure to that uncertainty – to state just what the odds are that our results have happened as a result of sampling error. We can't rule out uncertainty altogether. But we can be pretty exact about how uncertain we are!

In this chapter we will be looking at the kind of statistics we use when we have two or more sets of scores, and we want to know whether they are significantly different. This situation happens surprisingly often in psychological research. It can happen because we have

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Doing Psychological Research: Gathering and Analysing Data
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures ix
  • List of Tables xi
  • List of Worked Examples xiii
  • List of Formulae xiv
  • Introduction xv
  • Acknowledgements xix
  • 1: Approaches to Psychological Research 1
  • Part I - Gathering Data 15
  • 2: Gathering Data for Psychological Research 17
  • 3: Experiments 35
  • 4: Observational Studies 55
  • 5: questionnaire Studies 70
  • 6: Psychometrics 91
  • 7: Interviews 113
  • 8: Case Studies and Ethnography 131
  • 9: Analysing Documents 147
  • Part II - Making Sense of Data 165
  • 10: Introducing Qualitative Analysis 167
  • 11: Grounded Approaches to Qualitative Research 183
  • 12: Conversations, Discourse and Images 201
  • 13: Protocol Analysis and Other Techniques 220
  • 14: Introducing Quantitative Analysis 239
  • 15: Numbers as Descriptive Statistics 257
  • 16: Descriptive Statistics in Visual Images 278
  • 17: Two-Sample Tests 303
  • 18: Correlation and Regression 331
  • 19: Analysis of Variance 349
  • Glossary 366
  • Statistical Tables 379
  • References 387
  • Index 392
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