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Real World Research 3e
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I teach statistics in biological sciences and so I am used to teaching statistics from a very rigorous view-point. Everything on experimental design comes from Fisher, Cox and Box. Methods are all quantitative. All of the data is assumed to come from experiments using controls and we assume a solid theoretical framework where we are applying the strict scientific method of hypothesis, fair test (by controlled experiment) and either rejection or failure to reject the null hypothesis.

The problem with this approach and why Real World Research is something different is that reality makes most cases of hypothesis based research impossible, especially in biology although to a lesser extent in physics and chemistry where mathematical idealisations are easier to impose. Biology is a mess and it seem to be trying to follow physics into being more rigorous and hypothesis based when the subject cannot be. At the molecular level there are some instances of simple rules but not many and there are often more exceptions than rules. So a realistic approach as favoured by the book and which is used in the social sciences has merit. It does not pretend to be aloof and objective. It fits with the "suck it and see" approach that my old physics teacher liked to promote.

There are weaknesses of this approach and there are many statistics pedants who will disagree with the ideas from this book. But there is nothing worse than a beautiful theory that does not actually fit real world data, no matter how clever it is. So I think it should be read more widely along with the "Fisherian" and Bayesian approaches. They all have something to add to each other, they complement each other rather than contradict one another.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2009
I bought this book prior to my exam in methods, and it was of great help to me. Seller was very professional, good communication and i reseaved the book just few days after buying it. Thumbs up!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 October 2014
Very well laid out and comprehensive reference book for research in social sciences. There are more "chatty" books out there but this is serious without being dry. It's certainly readable although you are more likely to use it for reference. It takes you logically through all stages of the research process - from formulating your question, literature review skills and project design and implementation as well as presentation. A really helpful book that is already well-thumbed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2010
This is just what i needed and it is very useful. Came just as described. Would use again.
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on 15 May 2013
The book is very comprehensive and very useful for post graduate students (like me). It is also very accessible - searching the kindle version is amazing anf helped me locate and understand all these inaccessible research terminologies. I wish there is more examples though particularly in relation to the research topic. Plus
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on 8 March 2014
Go no further if you are starting your MA. The language used and the general guidance is excellent. It provides you with references to other work that helps you through the research and gets you to question your motives for the research. Excellent, wish I had it at the beginning of my course and not during my dissertation.
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on 27 July 2012
This is a well-written, intelligent and, most importantly, usable textbook. I'm using it for an education project, but it could be used for many other applied disciplines. Highly recommended.
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on 29 October 2013
Boring sometimes, but you could not expect better by an educational book addressed to wannabe professionals of the field. Definitely the right book to start with real world research
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on 1 January 2014
An excellent informative book. This was to help me with my masters dissertation methodology and was brilliantly helpful. It will also be excellent for all other degree levels.
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on 27 April 2013
I found some chapters much more useful than others. However, easily accesable with logical and easy to follow examples which cover key aspects to my dissertatation research.
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