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25 (de) vizualizări8 paginistatistics in research

Apr 16, 2015

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statistics in research

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25 (de) vizualizări

statistics in research

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Statistics in Research

Scnles or MTRSUREMENT

Nominal Scale

Ordinal Scale

lnterval Scale

Ratio Scale

Tvprs or SrnrrsrrcAl Trcurureues

Describing the Data

Averages

Measures of Dispersion

Measures of Relationships

Comparing Groups

Sut"tmnRy

their data. If you collect memory test scores from 100 participants, you

have 100 numbers. Little useful information can be gleaned from 100 individual numbers; they need to be organ:;ed. It might be useful to know

what the highest and lowest scores are (the range), what the most common score is (the mode), or what the middle score is (the median). Certain

statistical tests can help determine if one group of participants scored significantly better on a test than another. The terrn "significantly" means

that the difference is of such a magnitude that it is unlikely to have

occurred by chance alone.

Statistics are used to make generalizations from a sample to an entire

63

('lt.t1rl1'1' l;,,,,,

ci.rn Lre us l.rr1laclly clcfirccJ

of the people in the world,

as all

Jr

living

organisnrr; ,r. ih" population

can be more narrowly

"":l-1il

defined-all_18- ,22?yiur-olds

or a'orin" psychor_

ogy majors at a particular

schSgl. Typically,'u ."r"urcher

the members of a target

cannot test a1 of

populatior-,. irrt"uj, itl

a smalr percentage of

population-a ru*pl" tf'th.

that

members-can te tested

il; sample is

the entire populatio.,

il":iil:::fr:r."'''.

the wom"r.,_fr"_tor

r.r,he"-ii*ffi

example, that tn" mur.,

lr-, the sample are taller

than

'riff

,f.;r[:Hit;TJHrJH**r*Ti*,*'*ji;

be that a char'acteristic

of our sampre

u" g;eralized to the popuration.

Let's assume that a ."r"ur.hu,

nur-.oii".r"a

*"

a memory experiment,

and the mnemonic (memo.,

,::l-llry") ;rr* performs bltt".

control group. perh-1ps the

than the

purucrpants in the

averase or 18 out or zo

*o.ir, undthe .."r.i#iilr'Jlit3:J:"-"r"#1.l

16 out of 20 v'ords. At

this foi;;

nor yer supporred the

alternative hypothesis thatinr,"-o.i.

instructions lead to bette

performance, even though

ts i, greater ,n"" 16. The ."r"urJnt"T::l

know that the

,h;;#"inu,

s,ample

of"purii.ipants in the

i?1il"#*:y#r,f,."::::,:.,'m[:lnthe.il;';:ilT;ff :]lJ?ff;

JJ:"#:ft :nft ::'i:T,",i,"Jffi ::.'ff#*[.

:Iffi

JTfi*'f*ff

introduction to some statistical

concepts' The purpose

is to familiariz yr" *iin

some of the terms and

orgu'iri'g and anaryzins d;;;

,iu,irr,.ully

ii:X'JT*,'l

so that you wiu

vour studies, t";#,tTiils;if, ,T:";:'lutt'u' r'o, encounter as part of

ScaTES oF T{easUREMENT

appropri",",."ir?ll, l?ffiXt"j-T Tt statistical to;l; ,r,1"-r, the most

ue'+**""o*.ln"ffi i,:r'Tii,"JH:,*i;Ji[il'iff

if

In psychorogy, researchers

assume that anything

3ff

t|3t"'ff

',l,r::fi*i{j

that exists_be it

;i:T,Tl':::,.,iJ,'"r"*r.,"rgr.,,;;:p,yihorogi.urconstruct,

ff trT*"ffi :'JJ:T*:,'il,",'J::T'1fr'"il.;'il,:H,il""H;:li;

rgsr) n",i"f r''w happy

measurement. It entails il;:l,.T:itr" ::J" H if,'iJ:: ry;i::

identifying a

quantifying the amount or

and

huppin"r, yo.r- u." experiencing.

The rules

\.

l{t.st..ll'r'll

b5

Ltst'cl in this example are that the number you assign to yotrr hirp1rir11.**

lnust be between l and 10, where l refers to a lack of happiness alrtl l0

rcferrs to an abundance of happiness.

can be mathematically manipulated-for instance, by adding a constant

or by taking the square root of each number-but still keep its primary

characteristics. Other systems are very intolerant of any mathematical

manipulation; adding a constant or taking the square root renders the

data meaningless. Measurement systems can be assigned to one of four

scales of measurement that vary by the level of mathematical manipulation they can tolerate. These four scales of measurement (also called levels of measurement) are the nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio scales.

Nominal Scale

The nominal scale of measurement merely classifies objects or individuals as belonging to different categories. The order of the categories is

arbitrary and unimportant. Thus, participants might be categorized as

male or female, and the male category may be assigned the number 1 and

the female category assigned the number 2. These numbers say nothing

about the importance of one category as compared to the other. The numbers could just as well be 17.35 and29.46. Other examples of nominal

scales of measurement are numbers on basketball players' jerseys or the

numbers assigned by the Department of Motor Vehicles to the license

plates of cars. Numbers, when used in a nominal scale of measurement,

serve as'labels only', and provide no information on the magnitude or

amount of the charatteristic being measured.

Ordinal Scale

An ordinal scale differs from a nominal scale in that the order of the

categories is important. A grading system with the grades A, B, C, D, and

F is an ordinal scale. The order of the categories reflects a decrease in the

amount of the stuff being measured-in this case, knowledge. Note, however, that the distance between the categories is not necessarily equal.

Thus, the difference between one A and one B is not necessarily the same

as the difference between another A and another B. Similarly, the difference between any A and B is not necessarily the same as the difference

betweenaBandaC.

'Rank-order dataiis also measured on an ordinal scale. An observer

may rank-order participants according to attractiveness or a researcher

ask tasters to rank-order a number of crackers according to saltiness.

-rnay

iWhen your eyesight is tested and you are asked to choose which of twtl

lenses results in a clearer image,you are being asked to provide ordinirlf

,data. Again, when data are rank-ordered, a statement is beirrg r)I.)tlt',

about th{magnitude or amount of the characteristic being m('asurt'tl)l',rrr-'

the intervals between units need not be equivalent. If sevcn pt'o1rlt'.rrt.

(r(r

( lt,tlrlt'r. l,orrr.

I

the clifference

t5e sarn.. .s the c.litit,rt,rrct,

Lr.tween the second a'd the third.

The firsf and sec'ncl pcrsons may

b.t6

be very attractive,

yjrh- only the smalr"rt iilr"rence between them,

wrrirc

the third person might be ,.rbstuntially

less attractive than the

seconc,.

Interual Scale

The interval scale of measurement

is characterized

by equal units of

measurement throughout the scale.

Thus, measurements made with

an

interval scale provide information

about loth the order and the relative

quantity of the characteristic being ..,"ur.r.J.

r,r"..ral scales of measurement, however, do not have a true

zero value. A true zero means

that

none of the characteristic being

measu."d l".r,uins. Temperature

measurements in degrees Fahrenh.eit

or in d"gr"", Celsius (also called centigrade) correspond to interval scales.

ThE dlrtu.,." between degrees

is

equal over the full length of the

scale; the difference between

20" and

40o

is the same as that betri'een 40o

and 60". In.,"i,n". scale, however,

is

there

a true zero; zero simply represents

another tg".u.rr"

on the ,.u1", and nega_

tive numbers are potribl" and. meaningfJ point

there is no true zero

on these scales, it is inappropriate

to sa'y tnui+0. is twice as warm

as 20o.

;'In other words, ratios .ir,.roi be compuied with

intervar scale data.)

' There is a controversy among psychological

researchers regarding

interval and ordinal scaler i., ,"luJion"to

,atfig.

suppose

that a partici_

pant is asked to rate something

on a scare -itn pi.ti..,tu,

points,

such as 1 to 7 or 0 to 5. For exanipre,

u p"rro., might be asked ".a

the

folrow_

ing rating question:

very

2

3

4

dissatisfied

6'7

10

very satisfied

labels, but the middre numbers

sometimes

do not' The controversy arises

as to whether the ratings should

be consid-

what nu, ,r"rr"r been ascertained is

whether the scales that peopre use

in their heads have units oi

,rr".

If the gnits are equal it-t tir", the data

"qrrut

could be regarded as interval

data;

if

the;z are .r.,"qrur, the data should

u" ,"gurd"Jas ordinal data. This is

a

point of contention because interval

dala often permit the use of more

powbrful statistics than do ordinal data.

There is stilr no consensus about

the nature of rating scale data.

In

some research areas, ratings tend

to be t."uteJ cautiously and are

consiclered ordinal data. In otheiareas-such

as langrug" and memory studies,

where participants may be asked

to rate ho--fu-iliar a phrase is

or how

strong their feeling of knowing

is-ratings t"r,J to be treatecr as interval

data' The particuJai philosophi

or any paiti..,to,l are;r of study

best ascertained from prerriorrsresearch

J is p.ssiblv.

in that

area.

lt

b7

Ratio Scale

I'lrr, ratio scale of measurement provides information about tlrder; all

rrrrits,rrt,of cqLri-ll size throughoutthe scale, and there is a true zero verlue

tlr.rt ru'1-rrescr-rts an atbsence of the characteristic being measured. The true

z(,1'() itll1lws rrttios of values to be formed. Thus, a person who is S0-yearsoltl is tr,r,icc as olcl as a person who is 25. Age in years is a ratio scale. Each

vt'ar rcpresents the same amount of time no matter where it occurs on the

scalc; tlre year between 20 and 27 years of age is the same amount of time

.rs the verlr between 54 and 55.

Siersrchically from nominal to ratio. Staring with the ordinal scale, each

scale includes all the capabilities of the preceding scale plus something

r1ew. Thus, nominal scales are simply categorical, while ordinal scales are

categorical with the addition of ordering of the categories. Interval scales

of measurement involve ordered categories of equal size; in other words,

the intervals between numbers on the scale are equivalent throughout the

scale. Ratio scales also have equal intervals but, in addition, begin at a

true zero score that represents an absence of the characteristic being measured and allows for the computation of ratios.

The statistical techniques that are appropriate for one scale of measurement may not be appropriate for another. Therefore, the researcher

must be able to identify the scale of measurement being used, so that

appropriate statistical techniques can be applied. Sometimes, the inapproof a technique is subtle; at other times, it can be quite obvipiiut"t

-ous-and

"ts quite embarrassing to a researcher who lets an inappropriate

statistic slip by. For example, imagine that ten people are rank-ordered

according 1o height. In addition, information about the individuals'

weight in pounds and age in years is recorded. When instructing the comput& to ialculate arithmetic averages, the researcher absentmindedly

includes the height rankings along with the other variables. The computer calculates that the average age of the participants is 22.6,years, that

urr"ruge weight of the group is 155.6 pounds, and that the average

height is 5'5". Calculating an average of ordinal data, such as the height

,u.,kirrgr in this example, will yield little useful information. Meaningful

results will only be obtained by using the statistical technique appropriate to the data's scale of measurement.

ih"

measured?

('lt,tIrlt't' l].ttl'

a. The number of dollars in one's wallet.

b. The rated sweetness of a can of soda.

c. Whether one responds yes or no to a question.

d. Height measured in inches.

e. The gender of individuals.

*"wmeasulef

n"1:l:

I:

Having recognized the type of data collected, the researcher needs

also to consider the question that he or she wants to answer. You can't

tighten a screw with a hammer, and you can't answer one research question with a statistical test meant for a different question.

Let's consider three questions that a researcher might ask:

1. How can I describe the data?

2. To what degree are these two variables related to each other?

3. Do the participants in this group have different scores than the

participants in the other group?

These three questions require the use of different types of statistical techniques. The scale of measurement on which the data were collected determines more specifically which statistical tool to use.

When a researcher begins organizing a set of data, it can be very useful to determine typical characteristics of the different variables. The statistical techniques used for this task are aptly called descriptive statistics.

Usually, researchers use two types of descriptive statistics: a description

of the average score and a description of how spread out or close together

the data lie.

Averages

Perhaps the most commonly discussed characteristic of a data set is its

average. However, there are three different averages that can be calculated: the mode, the median, and the mean. Each provides somewhat dif-

collected will, in part, determine which average is most appropriate to use.

Let's'consider a researcher who has collected data on people's weight

measured in pounds; hair color categortzed according to 10 shades ranging from light to dark; and eye color labeled as blue, green, brown, or

other. This researcher has measured data on three different scales of measurement: ratio, ordinal, and nominal, respectively. When describing the

ll

(r(l

tlillt't't'trl

researcher will neecl t(l Ltst'it

t,yt,col0rs Of thc participa,.-t,r,.:h"

weight'

participants' average

statistic tharn whe|r a"r..iUing the

.f. describe the eye colo* of ih" p*ti.ipunts, tie researcher w.ttltl

freas the score that occurs most

use thc mode. The mode is defined

would

brown

had brown eyes,

quently. Thus, if most of the purai.ipunts

data will have two scores that

of

set

a

be the modal eye color. somelimes

to be

tn tnut case, the distribution is said

tie for occurring most frequentlf

tied for occurring most frequently'

bimodal. If three or more scores are

the distribution is said to be multimodal'

scale of meanui, color. is measured. on an ordinal

In our

are

".;;i;;

that the ten shades of hair color

surement, since we have no evidence

equallydistantfromeachother'Todescribeaveragehaircolor,the

or perhaps bgth'

the median'

researcher could use the mode'

The median is defined as the middle

The median is especially useful

below which 50% of the scores fall'

because

of other scores in

it pro.lt"rltr-,ror.r,ation about the distribution hair categorv' then

hai h.air in categories 8 to 10' and

we know that half of the participants

*":;;[ffi;;i;;;"t

thattheotherhalfoftheparticipantshadhair'incategoriesltoS.

to describe the participants' average

Finally, orrr."r"urcher will'want

weight.Theresearchercouldusethemodeorthemedianhere,orthe

mean is the arithmetic average

researche,,,r";;;h ro.rr" the mean. The

in

is calculated by adding uP the scores

of the scores in a distribution;-it

the number oj scores'

the distribution and dividing by'*or1-commonly

tIP:. of average, in

The mean is probuury tn.

"-r".1It is difficult to write

very manipuiablef

part because it islmathematically

but it is

calculate the mode or median'

to

how

a formula that describes

the

dividing

and

adding a set of scores

not difficult to write a formula for

embedded

be

can

the mean

by the number of scores. Because oflhis,

sum

its limitations' scores that are inordiThe mean d.oes, however, have

are given as much weight as every

nately large or small (called outliers)

which will

ahi, can aflect the mean score'

other score in the distributiorr,

For

and deflated if the outlier is small'

be inflated if the outlier i, turg"

mean

The

scores rs 82' 88' 84' 86' and 20'

example, suppose a set-of "*.u'i

in the

scores

people

four of the five

".u1lud

of these ,.or"i ts T2,although

20, deflated the mean'

gOs. The inordinately small score, the outliet

using means' Nevwhen

iot ini' ptoblem

Researchers need to watch o.ri

ertheless,themeanisstillaverypopularaverage'Themeancanbeused

witlr

scales."It is sometimes used

with data measured on intervur u.,a ratio

witlr

usccl

be

scales), but it cannot

numerical ordinal data (suc;;r;;;G

on a nominal scale'

rank-order data or d'ata measured

ways of describirrg tlre .tr,t't.ltgt'

The mode, median, and mean ale

tenu'" often tutt"d measures of central

score among a set of data' rn"f

'/lt

('lr,r1rl1,1. l,'orrr.

t. c.lescribc thc sc()r.s ilr tlrt,[rritlr.ll..f

brtir.)(alth.rrgh the m'de

tlrt,tiistrinot be in the midcirt,,at

ar).

";;

rec o rds th e ge n d e r

of th e

: ir, ffi.f

r

;G:fi

j#

".:

il' ;:

:l' :f, J l.1

type of car (Ford, chevroret yrazda,ua.j,

,

the speed at which the"car

drives through the rot (measured

"na

with a ,radargun

in mph).

a. For each type of data measured,

what wourd be an appropriate

age to carcurate (mode,

aver_

median, and/or

b' one driver travered through

the

higher than any other

1r'u.*

by this one score?

mean)?

mph

.fp'" or average would be

most

wh;;

lO.cted

Another.,:p^*"* .n*?:::,:11.

", ;"

to the.avi*r"

describe this

;." spread outf statistics that

--"";;s of dispersion.

Measures of Dispersion

Although they can be used

with nominal and ordin aI

of dispersion are uged p.i-urity

data,measures

with r"i"r""i or ratio data.

"-"ur.r."";i;rrp"rsion

The most straightiorward

is the range. The

ffil?#::;r",T.H:,:r"?,;::re varues r;J;,"s in a discrete data set or

tinu ous dis trlb u ti on. In

u d ir..:? :J::"1,

:

: ::i:l

sible' such as the numu"r

;:1.

rr times J r"-ote offfwomen

pregnant; as they say, you

have been

."":t_b::

isn't' In a contirr.ro* distribution

either is or

set, lt*""oinant--she

fractionstf scores are possibre, she

such

peopre i" u-'u*pre; ror

,h" ;;;;"

is very

d bv subtracting the r';;;;.ore

tn" nigh",;

rrom

**rl

"f":

ffii:,l|'fi-?:t

,;;;

;;;J:lt#r#il-

lrt' Itolt' oI

St.t t ist

rt'lr

'l'lrt'rarrge tt'lls lts ovcr lrow rri.lny scores thc data arc sprearcl, btrt it titrcs

not give Lts any information about how the scores are distributed over the

range. lt is limited because it relies on only two scores from the entire distriL'rtrtion. But it does provide us with some useful information about the spread

of the scores and it is appropriate for use with ordinal, interval, and ratio data.

A more commonly used measure of dispersion is the standard deviation. The standard deviation may be thought of as expressing the average

distance that the scores in a set of data fall from the mean. For example,

imagine that the mean score on an exam was74.If the class all performed

about the same, the scores might range from 67 to 81; this set of data

would have a relatively small standard deviation, and the average distance from the mean of 74 would be fairly small. On the other hand, if the

members of the class performed less consistently-if some did very well,

but others did quite poorly, perhaps with scores ranging from 47 to 100the standard deviation would be quite large; the average distance from

the mean of 74 would be fairly big.

The standard deviation and its counterpart, the variance (the standard deviation squared), are probably the most commonly used measures

of dispersion. They are used individually and also are embedded within

other more complex formulas. To calculate a standard deviation or variance, you need to know the mean. Because we typically calculate a mean

with data measured on interval or ratio scales, standard deviation and

variance are not appropriate for use with nominal data.

Learning to calculate standard deviation and variance is not necessary for the purposes of this book (although it is presented in appendix

A). The underlying concept-the notion of how spread out or clustered

the data are-is important, however, especially in research where two or

more groups of data are being compared. This issue will be discussed a

little later in the chapter.

;ill.n

+1

will include both the highest

value and the

202_110+1=98

Ifl;fple

from the lightest to the heaviest

The weather report includes information about the normal temperature for the day. Suppose that today the temperature is l0 degrees above

normal. To determine if today is a very strange day or not especially

to know the standard deviation. lf we learn that the standard deviation is l5 degrees, what might we conclude about how normal

or abnormal the weather is today? lf the standard deviation is 5 degrees,

what d":.

about today's w3af3r?

strange, we need

:h1: :yBest

Measures of Relationships

Often a researcher will want to know more than the averttgr' .rrrr1

degree of dispersion for different variables. Sometimes, the reseirrclrcr'

7?

w.rrrts to leirrrr how nruch two variables are rcl;rtet1 to orrt..lnotht'r. lrr tlris

cilse, thc rcsearrcher would want to calculate a correlation. A crlrrclrrtion is

ir measure of the degree of relationship between two variables. For exam-

midterm exam and the grades received on that exam, a correlation could

be calculated between the hours studied and the midterm grade. We

might find that those with higher midterm grades tended to study more

hours, while those with lower midterm grades tended to study for fewer

hours. This is described as a positive correlation. With a positive correlation, an increase in one variable is accompanied by an increase in the

other variable. With a negative correlation, by contrast, an increase in one

variable is accompanied by u decrease in the other variable. A possible

negative correlation might occur between the number of hours spent

watching television the night before an exam and the scores on the exam.

As the number of hours of viewing increase, the exam scores decrease.

A mathematical formula is used to calculate a correlation coefficient,

and the resulting number will be somewhere between -1.00 and +1.00.

The closer the number is to either +1.00 or -1.00, the stronger the relationship between the variables is. The closer the number is to 0.00, the

weaker the correlation is. Thus, +.85 represents a relatively strong positive correlation, but +.03 represents a weak positive correlation. Similarly,

-.9L represents a strong negative correlation, but -.12 represents a relatively weak negative correlation. The strength of the relationship is represented by the absolute value of the correlation coefficient. The direction of

the relationship is represented by the sign of the correlation coefficient.

Therefore, -.91. represents a stronger corcelation than does +.85.

A particular type of graph called a scattergram is used to demonstrate the relationship between two variables. The two variables (typically

called the x and the y variables) are plotted on the same graph. The r variable is plotted along the horizontal x-axis, and the y variable is plotted

along the vertical y-axis. Figure 4.1 is a scattergram of the hypothetical

data for number of hours studied and midterm exam scores.

Each point on figure 4.1 represents the two scores for each person. To

calculate a correlation there must be pairs of scores generated by one set

of participants, not two separate sets of scores generated by separate sets

of participants. Notice that the points tend to form a pattern from the

lower left corner to the upper right corner. This lower left to upper right

pattern is hn indication of a positive correlation. For a negatiue correlation,

the points show a pattern from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Furthermore, the more closely the points fall along a straight line, the

stronger the correlation between the two variables. Figure 4.2 presents

several scattergrams representing positive and negative correlations of

various strengths.

Several types of correlations can be calculated. The two most common are Pearson's product-moment correlation (more often called Pearple,

( 'lt,tPlct' lrotrt'

Sttl],S r,) arrcl

73

Grcc,k synrbtll

which the Corresponding

Spcarrmirn,S rlrtl (ftlr

being correlated are mea-

both variables are meascales. when one or

*,io

,.

()n

interv.i

strrccl

if the variables are rank-ordered'

scale,

()n

an

can be calcusured

"rp"".lu[y

'rdinal

Oi^.i correlation coefficients

;;p-p;iu,".

an

,t,o.i,

Spearma,.,,,

variable is measured on

is 7,). l,c.rrs.r.,s

lated for situatrorrr"lun"r-r,

Figure

4.1

and numbers

exam scores

q"i:t of midterm

the exam

l6

t)

!oo

>\.

;E

oi

O!,

-0c

c0)

)uD

30 45 50

t>

Figure 4.2

Scattergrams rePresenting

strengths and directions

cor

(e) No correlation

('lt,tpl1'1. l,'prrl.

76

Table

4.1

for Different

Scales of Measurement

,,..r.ilrrJl

Scales of Measurement

Statistical

Technique

Nominal

l. Averages

Ordinal

lnterval

mode

mode, median

Ratio

mode, median,

mode, median,

2. Measures of

dispersion

3. Correlations

eQhi)

Spearman's

coefficient

4. Single group

compared to

population

5. Two separate

grouPs

72 Goodness-- 72 cooanessof-Fit

72 Tolb

of-Fit

x2 Tol

mean

mean

range, s.d.,"

variance

range, s.d.,

variance

Pearson's r

Pearson's r

z-test, single_

z-test,

sample

single_

sample

Wilcoxon's

Wilcoxon's

rank-sum,

rank-sum,

72 Tol

5. Three or more

grouPs

72 Tol

7. One group

72 Tol

72 Tol, independent-samples t

ANOVA,

ANOVA,

Kruskal-Wallis

Kruskal-Wallis

Mann-Whitney

U, dependent-

tested twice

a

Standard

77 turt of independence

a"ui".ioi---

samples

Mann-Whitney

U, dependentsamples t

SurvuvlARy

Researchers use statistics

to herp them test their

hypotheses. often, sta_

tistics are used to generalize

the rer,rlt, from u ,umpt"

to a larger population.

\Mhich type oi statisticar

t".t",r-,iq.r" i, .rrJ d"p"r,d,

on ttre scale of mea_

suremn! on which the

data ur" .br".t"d. D;;;

measured on a nominal

scale are classified in

different lategories. order

is not important for nomi_

nal data, but it is for autu

mear.*"a

o;;;;

scale of measurement.

data mehsured on an interval

The

",.

scale "" ,.,;uJ;rl"",

are also ordered but, in

addition, the units of measutu."r-,,.*"

"f equal

throughout the scale. The

scale of measurement

ratio

is much like the *d;;i;.Ilu,

true zero, which indicates

that it includes a

"r,."pt

of the construct

being measured.

The scale of measu.u-"-ilor

";;;;-ount

the

data anJthe questioriueing

by the researcher determi"u

asked

*^ut

when describin g dut?,.d;;.tp*e statistical technique should be used.

statistics are used. These

ages and measures

include aver_

of disperri"".

lt

77

'l'hcrc irrc thrce ways tcl mcasure an averagc: thc moclr', tltt'rttt'tli,rrr,

ancl thc mean. The mode is the most frequent score; the mediartr is tltt't'r'tt

tral scclre; and the mean is the arithmetic average of the data set.

Measures of dispersion provide information about how clusterecj

together or spread out the data are in a distribution. The range describes

the number of score values the data are spread across. The variance and

standard deviation provide information about the average distance the

scores fall from the mean.

A researcher might also ask if two variables are related to each other.

This question is answered by calculating a correlation coefficient. The correlation coefficient is a number between -1.00 and +1.00. The closer the

coefficient is to either -1.00 or +1.00, the stronger the correlation is. The

negative and positive signs indicate whether the variables are changing

in the same direction (a positive correlation) or in opposite directions (a

negative correlation).

Finally, a researcher may wish to compare sets of scores in order to

determine if an independent variable had an effect on a dependent variable. A number of statistical techniques can be used to look for this difference. The appropriate technique depends on a number of factors, such as

the number of groups being compared and the scale of measurement on

which the data were collected.

If data at the ratio or interval level were collected, the statistical techniques that look for differences between groups have the same underlying logic. A difference between groups is considered to exist when the

variation among the scores between the groups is considerably greater

than the variation among the scores ruithin the group.

When data are measured on ordinal or nominal scales, other statistical techniques can be used; these tend to be less powerful than those used

for data on ratio and interval scales, though.

Statistical techniques are necessary to test research hypotheses once

data have been collected. Knowledge of this field is essential for research

psychologists.

analysis of variance (ANOVA) median

mode

between-groups variance

multimodal

negative correlation

nominal scale

nonparametric tests

ordinal scale

outliers

bimodal

correlation

descriptive statistics

error variance

interval scale

mean

measurement

measures of central

parameter

tendency

measures of dispersion

parametric tests

population

7tl

('lr,rpl1,1.;;.,,,,

I

l)( )si

ti

v('

t'or-r.r,la t iorr

standard cleviatiorr

raltgc

f-test

variance

ratio scale

sample

scattergram

within-group variance

ExpncrsEs

of variables corresponding to

each of the scales of

::""ri1"L*t"ples

,:^I;?Xr;^er measures height in

' ^

b' rf a researcher

might be

pgople to the categories

wnlt

"";.;;;;might be calculated?

y^"tgnt in pounds, what measures of dis_

persion could be calculated?

disper_

Ifj"'::ff;.i:i:i:1,#J"Tr-"isht

ji.1,'.tliy;ffj'.Xil,"T,

4. Which correlation is stron

"

ger:

either

wh a t * u,,,", or d i sp _

"?

er

"

:

;id;;;:

_.g7or +.55?

Provide an exampre other

than the one in the chapter.

6' A researcher studying the

effect of a speed-reading

course on reading

times compares the s'cores

of a grorf'rh; has taken the

course with

those of a control group'

The resear.h". finds that

the ratio of the variation between the groups

to the variation

the group is equal to

2'76' A colleag'" do", a

simila*trly-u.a-irt,i'

rir-,a,

a ratio of between_

groups variatiol to within-group

variation of 7.32.which ratio

likely to suggest a signifi.uit

is more

aiir"rence between reading

groups?

ANswERs To CorucEpT

euESTroNs AND

Oon-NuMB ERED ExERCriEs

Note: There w'l often be more

than one correct answer for

these questions. Consurt

each

-ith yo,rr instructor about your own answers. of

Concept euestion 4.1

a. ratio

b. ordinal or interval

c. nominal

d. ratio

e. nominal

ordinal

f.

a

lrc

7q

a. Irc>r gender, the mode; for the number in the car, the median trtrcl/or

mode; for the type of car, the mode; for the speed, the mean, mediatt,

and/or mode.

b. The mean.

Concept Question 4.3

If the standard deviation is 15, a day that is 10 degrees above the normal temperature is not an unusually warm day; however, if the standard

deviation is 5, a day that is 10 degrees above the normal temperature is

twice the average distance from the mean (roughly), and thus is an

unusually warm day.

Exercises

for five types of cookies, class rank. Interval: degrees Fahrenheit,

money in your checking account (assuming you can overdraw). Ratio:

loudness in decibels, miles per gallon. There are of course any number

of other correct answers.

3. a. range, standard deviation, and variance

b. range, standard deviation, and variance

c. range

5. A positive correlation describes a relationship in which two variables

change together in the same direction. For example, if the number of

violent crimes increases as crowding increases, that would be a positive correlation. A negative correlation describes a relationship in

which two variables change together in opposite directions. For

instance, if weight gained increases as the amount of exercise

decreases, that would be a negative correlation.

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