Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
Fabulous and simple to understand
on 5 April 2013
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;
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.
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.