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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 6 December 2012
I bought this to help with a research module of my MSc.

The style of the writing is very accessible and would be great for anyone who didn't really get on with maths or stats at school. But equally, it doesn't patronise those of us who are comfortable with the numbers.

Book covers many areas of qualitative and quantitative methodologies and also gives coding for using SPSS.

Highly recommended!
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on 29 April 2017
It is a very good book and it explains statistics very well.
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on 7 January 2002
I have had to read many books to understand statistics at University. This is an excellent book for those beginning stats, in fact the best I've ever bought. The tables can be a bit difficult to read, however, it is explained in such easy terms, and is very humourous and well-written. It really made sense of stats for me
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on 18 January 2003
This is a pretty good introduction to statistics, especially for complete beginners. I had to buy it for a course, and at first wasn't too impressed with it, primarily because of the writing style. The author keeps the tone very light and says many jokes and funny things, which never bothered me. What did irritate me was that he also has a tendency to really "dumb-down" everything, to the point where you feel like it has been written for younger students, rather than university students (which I gather it sort of was).
However, I figured out after working my way through the course that the text is actually pretty good: it covers several statistical tests that other texts skip. Tests detailed include: binomial sign test, Chi-square, Wilcoxon matched pairs signed ranks, Mann-Whitney U, Wilcoxon rank sum, t test, Pearson's correlation, Spearman's rho, regression (including multiple), Kruskal-Wallis, Jonkheere trend, Friedman, Page trend, ANOVA (one-way, two-way, more-than-two-way, unrelated and related), MANOVA, ANCOVA. It also covers the design of experiments in detail. And the author really does make an effort to explain everything fully, for readers who have neither a statistical background nor even a strong maths background. It serves as a really good reference, even if reading it is a bit painful.
In short, I doubt this is the best statistics book out there, but it is the best statistics reference book I've seen yet. So I would recommend it if you are starting from scratch. But if you are comfortable with maths or even basic statistics, I wouldn't bother this book, as I'm sure you'll find it as irritating to read as I did.
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on 13 August 2011
The opening chapters in particular are very clear and effective, using humour and anecdote to lead the reader step by step into the deeper complexities of the subject. Sometimes he becomes a little irritatingly opinionated as to the right way to do things and the failings of other teachers, and he appears to have little sympathy for the avant-garde of qualitative research. The biggest problem, though, is that proofreading seems to have fallen off in my edition (2009), with some sloppy punctuation and inaccurate cross-references. I feel that his explanatory zeal rather runs out of steam when it comes to the nitty-gritty of statistical tests.
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on 27 March 2009
This is an excellent book for A level GCE and degree level Psychology - and probably for other subjects as well. It provides clear descriptions and explanations of methods for a wide variety of research, quantitative and qualitative. Examples are given and these are helpful for the struggling student. Rather than being a 'dry' book, Coolican manages to inject some humour and keep the interest going, even for students who are reluctant to get involved with statistics and other aspects of research. This is the best book I have found for this subject; it is very helpful.
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on 9 August 2009
Psychology students are too often terrified of the more rigorous elements in their discipline: the business of design, measurement, assessment, statistical testing and interpretation.

Hugh Coolican's work is pitched at precisely the right level: Not so basic as to be patronising, not so elevated as to be impenetrable. His language is splendid: he presents rigorous concepts clearly yet light-heartedly, holds the reader's hand from first principles and rationales for the various approaches, methods and techniques involved in good research to the use of SPSS (command by command) and the interpretation of outcomes. Refreshingly, his section on qualitative and mixed methods is strong and very rationally assessed, an element that is too often missing from other books on research methods.

Along the way students have an opportunity to check their own understanding through intelligently organised and presented self-test questions.

As a Psychology teacher as well as postgraduate student I can recommend this book without any reservation at all; it belongs in every serious Psychology student's bookcase.
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on 29 October 2011
While this book is an easy read, and will suit those of a less numerical disposition, it won't suit everyone. I am not overly numerical in my thinking, but even I thought the "writing for novices" style was overdone. How dumb does he think people reading this book will be? He appears to assume a primary school level of maths ability. It was almost like the author was talking down to me in a condescending way at times.

In relation, there was too much repetition of key points, and too many examples of those points. I would often understand a point in the first sentence, which is a credit to Coolican's explanatory style, but 3 paragraphs and two example-boxes later I am still reading the same thing and thinking "Alright! i get it already!". Not being concise enough was a big downfall here, as it is in many books, which could be attributed to authors thinking more of the page-count than the readers time.

However, the ease of reading and the "sympathetic" style made it possible to grasp the key points without going back and reading them again.

I don't appreciate doing the exercises at the end of the chapters, only to come to the answers and read "there is no answer to this question", which just means the author couldn't be bothered with one. If you think it's a worthy question, then you must be able to produce a worthy answer, even if it's one possible answer from many, or a general or ambigious one.
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on 30 January 2001
Used as a coursebook or introductory reading, the book gives you an idea of quantitative statistics in psychology. The examples are easy to follow and the whole book is well structured and layouted. Cooligan also does a sidestep to qualitative statistics.
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on 10 July 2008
This has everything you need to get your head round research methods. One tiny criticism - it good do with a bit of colour to cheer the pages up.
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