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VINE VOICEon 5 April 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Written by a psychology lecturer and a health psychologist this book is simply written, jargon free and best of all does NOT contain pages and pages of confusing looking data! Instead as is always the case with the "Dummies" series it sets out in plain English everything the new psychology student might need to know about statistics and interpreting them and it does so in a humorous and friendly way. It is a god send for any mathematically challenged psychology student who never wanted to be a mathematician anyway!

The book makes few assumptions but does assume that:

1. You have SPSS (software for collecting data) installed or access to it. (IMPORTANT: The book uses SPSS and shows how to use the software so if you don't have access it's not for you. However as SPSS is the mostly widely used programme for data collection within the social sciences it is likely that most, if not all psychology students will be able to access it via university libraries and remotely)

2. That you can work a computer

3. That you have a basic understanding of using numbers although the software listed above will do calculations for you.

The book is organised into six parts;

Describing Data;

This looks at statistics and data...the key concepts you need to grasp in order to succeed as a psychology student. You are a psychology student and not a mathematician, this chapter will ensure you understand enough without turning you into a math student. It also introduces SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) and walks the reader through the basics of using it.

Statistical Significance;

This looks at the important concepts which students need to know and understand when interpreting statistics. This section helps the student understand the difference between null and alternative hypotheses, the p-value and an affect size and statistical inference actually means. It also begins to address the testing of hypotheses and distribution.

Relationships between Variables

This section of the book deals with inferential statistics, the ones which examine relationships or associations between variables and includes correlations, regression and tests for categorical data. Each technique is explained clearly including what each is used for and when it should be used. Finally instructions are given for performing the necessary analysis in SPSS with guidance on interpreting subsequent output. There is also a useful guide towards writing up results in both the correct statistical format and plain English.

Analysing Independent Groups Research Designs;

This explains the inferential statistics which examine differences between teo or more independent groups. It explains what is involved in independent group design and then goes on to address each of the the most important statistical tests which are Independent t-test, Mann-Whtney test and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). For each technique a clear explanation is offered and instructions are given on how to perform the analysis in SPSS as well as how to interpret the subsequent results and write them up coherently.

Analysing Repeated Measures Research Designs

This section looks at inferential statistics which examine differences between two or more repeated measurements. It covers the Paired t-test, the Wilcoxen test and ANOVA and look at how they can bring statistical meaning to your research data.

The Part of Tens

Ah..no Dummies book would be complete without this section and this Dummy book is no exception! Hints and tips on how to avoid mistakes, how to write up your results in the most appropriate way and avoid the pitfalls often suffered by more experience researchers!

This book is a simple but comprehensive guide for new psychology students as they get to grips with their course and study. Yes we know you didn't want to know about Maths but fact is that unless you have some basic understanding of how numbers work then much of the future work will be a mystery to you. You don't have to be a mathematician, just understand enough about statistics to read and be able to critique research papers. Master this book and you might well find that you can write your own research paper AND avoid the pitfalls you will discover when critiquing the work of others. It will also ensure you get to grips as quickly as possible with the SPSS software so that you can begin using it to support your study.

As with all "Dummies" books this is highly recommended for it's target readership.
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on 3 February 2016
This is the best book ever for understanding statistics. It is so clearly wrote and the explains everything so well. The parts that explain how to write up the statistics in the correct format are a great addition. Don't know how I would have could through my psychology degree without this book. A lifeline to understand statistics!
Very much recommended for those who struggle with stats.
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VINE VOICEon 11 May 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
No surprises here. Another book from the Dummies stable, so the tried and tested format will be familiar to most of us. Nice unintimidating tone, user-friendly navigation, different types of information identified and quite of lot of screen-dumps.

This is a reference book, and although you could read it cover to cover, I tend to dip in and out as the need arises during my studies. One of the things that attracted me to it is its coverage of SPSS (a pretty much standard tool used in the study of psychology). I'd experienced a face-to-face tutorial a year ago that was supposed to introduce SPSS, which was very poorly delivered with the tutor managing to confuse all of the students and himself. Having pieced together the basics of it myself, I was pleased to find that this book manages to present the whole thing much more clearly. I now feel I have a reliable resource that I can call upon.

I struggled to attain numeracy, and continue to struggle to maintain it if I am not exercising it for a couple of weeks. So I do have to refresh my memory quite frequently. This dummy covers all of the bits needed by my course (and more) so will be kept at the ready. One small word of caution would be that you need to keep an eye on the conventions required by your own academic institution as there were some slight differences in the book from the standard way of doing things that I'll be marked against.
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VINE VOICEon 17 April 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I ordered this book as I often find myself having to explain to students what the point is of basic statistics and sometimes wishing I had a book I could suggest they go to read which explains statistical concepts at a very straightforward level.

Although it is fair to say that you will get most out of this book if you have SPSS, it is not compulsory to have it in order to get anything at all from it. If you are in a position to need this book anyway, there's a reasonable chance that you do in fact have access to SPSS in any case.

But just in case you don't, you should still find the explanations very accessible and clearly laid out. For me, it's been a breath for fresh air, and for the first time I feel I have a book on statistics that is pitched at the beginner. I always advise my students to write their assignments as if they are going to be read by someone who doesn't understand anything about the topic, and this is exactly what the authors have done.
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on 1 September 2014
Fantastic book written in simple and understandable language. Enables you to go back over basics with very clear descriptions. It not only explains the formulae, but also gives a description as to why and when which formula is needed and the difference between similar formula and phenomena. It also contains screenshots and guided, clear instructions on how to carry out various statistics using SPSS. Amazing for first year psychology BSc and no doubt will be using as a refresher throughout my degree.
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on 10 March 2015
Excellent ! As a first year undergrad, my introduction to statistics left me feeling like I was learning another language (something else I'm no too good at!) which was overwhelming to say the least. An academic suggested I buy this book, so that I could absorb the nuts and bolts of stats without being bogged down with the more complex stuff. The book does just that, there are practical examples given to accompany most of the concepts/methods covered which is very helpful. Its not a sit down and read from cover to cover book, but if you've been left befuddled by something, turning to this book to revisit the topic in plain English is super helpful. There are also screen shots and brief guides for using SPSS which accompany each section which is also useful. I would definitely recommend this book, it's become my go to book when I've needed clarification on anything. If I know that Im going to be thrown by the complexity of my university text, ill read the dummies section on that topic as grounding, so that I have an understanding before taking on more challenging reading on the subject...The perfect stats companion :)
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on 10 January 2016
This book, has helped me out phenomenally. I really struggled to get to grips with statistics, however this book has a really simple step by step guides as well as easy to understand explanations that actually increase how much you can improve statistics. As a current 2nd Year Psychology student I cannot rave about this book enough.
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VINE VOICEon 6 May 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I found this book very well written, clear, informative and well indexed.

It is possible to jump into the middle of a chapter and quickly pick up what is happening. Even if a concept has only just been explained in section A and you then move onto section B, at the start of section B it will note that the concept was just explained in section A - I didn't find this annoying, but rather reassuring that if I returned back to the book at a later date it would be easy for me to pull together the ideas being covered.

This is a general rule of the book - when a concept is referenced the authors ensure that where it is covered in the book is included within the text, so it is easy to jump back to the relevant section and remind yourself if you had forgotten what the concept was about.

In addition the index was very full and easy to use - any concept was covered there as well, and if that wasn't enough, the table of contents is very clear too, so just in terms of navigation I don't see how the book could be better.

The examples too were very straight forward - simple and easy to understand. I wasn't sure if they were real, I guess they weren't as there were no references to the original experiment, so I don't really know if women have better memories than men (one example) or students who revise get better grades (it seems likely), but better to have simple examples that can be understood even if they are made up, than real overly complex examples.

The book makes regular reference of SPSS, the Statistical Software Program for the Social Sciences. The software is not included and there are no download details, but a quick Google revealed that IBM (who licence the software now) do provide a trial version if needed. The details on how to use the software were clear with lots of screenshots, but of course these can get out of date. The software used in the book is for the 2009 version, so later versions of the software may not quite match up.

One thing that might have been handy would have been access to data files for the examples - so when an example is covered the user did not have to provide the data that was being analysed themselves, but could just have downloaded the examples from the publisher's website, but that didn't seem too much of a limitation.

One other niggle was that a few of the software tables displayed were a little small - there was plenty more room on the page for a larger version of the table, but for some reason they put on a screenshot that covered about half the page, resulting in quite small tables to try and read - some people may need to magnify them to see what is there. There is a webpage to give feedback on the book, and I intend to pass this information back to the publishers.

These quibbles aside, I found the book clear and enjoyable, the mathematics behind the topics was explained clearly and it wasn't necessary to really have any previous mathematical knowledge, it was all covered from pretty much first principles.

The "Dummies" format of icons, cartoons, key concepts etc worked well for this subject, and I would definitely recommend it for anyone wanting a good understanding of statistics - not just for psychology but for any work in the Social Sciences, or just a broad knowledge of statistics.
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on 21 May 2015
Fantastic book for people who are new to studying statistics! Written in simple, easy to understand language and laid out in an accessible way. Also includes how to use SPSS. Only downside is that it is not that detailed but is great as a starter book to help you gain basic understanding and then move on to a more advanced text book.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First of all let it be said that this book is not for Dummies. It is for perfectly OK psychology degree students who don't like the statistics part of their course. That's most of the universe! I loved the way this book first explained each concept in down to earth English without using mathematical formulae and then related this to the output from the SPSS software. This is exactly what students need, right up to Master's level. However, it must be said that A-level students don't need this book. It would scare the living day lights out of them. Give it to them as a gift if they get on an undergraduate course!
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