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Statistics in

psychology
Describing and analyzing the
data
Process of research in 1
A research question based on previous
research aim and hypothesis
(experiment)
Choice of method to test hypothesis
(Experiment)
Data collection
Process of research in 2
Describe results (descriptive stats)
Analyze results in experiments we want
to know the probability that results are due
to manipulation of IV (inferential stats)
Interpret results
Discuss results in the light of previous
studies
Outline possible future areas of research
Data
Raw data (what comes out of data collection)

Levels of measurement of data:
Nominal: discrete categories e.g. the number of
people who helped or not
Ordinal: Measurements that can be ranked or put in
position but intervals unknown she came in first, he
came second etc.
Interval and ratio: measurements based on scales
temperature (interval) and time in seconds (ratio)

Descriptive statistics
Not all stats can be applied to all levels of
data

Mode : most frequent score (nominal data)
Median: middle value when scores are
placed in rank order (ordinal data)
Mean: average value of all scores (interval
and ratio data)
Descriptive stats: Measures of
dispersion
Range (difference between smallest and
largest): easy to calculate but problem if
there are outliers.
Standard deviation: the average amount
of all scores deviation from the mean (the
larger the SD the more spread out the
scores) can be used if data is interval.
Graphical representations

Bar graphs show data for selected
categories, e.g. Two different conditions in
experiment.
Histogram: shows data for all categories.
Frequency polygon: a line graph similar to
histogram but allows two sets of data to be
shown on the same graph.
Box-and-whisker graph shows distribution
of data in quartiles.
Site with easy intro to graph
creation
http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/
Inferential statistics
Used to draw inferences on the basis of
the data.
Statistical tests (significance tests) the
probability that results are due to chance.
If less than or equal to 5% (.05) chance
that results due to chance statistically
significant results accept research
hypothesis
Statistical tests used in IA
Non-parametric tests since the data does not
meet the requirements for a parametric test
Wilcoxon (when we are testing a difference
between two conditions, the design is repeated
measures and the collected data is interval (or at
least ordinal)).
Mann-Whitney U test (when we are testing a
difference between two conditions, the design is
independent design and the collected data is
interval (or at least ordinal)).
Interpretation of statistical test
How did the results of the statistical test
match the prediction of the hypothesis?
Which research hypothesis should be
accepted the null hypothesis or the
research hypothesis?
Significance level? For example p .01