Chapter 1. Introduction to Statistics and Research. Going Forward. Your goals in this chapter are to learn: The logic of research and the purpose of statistical procedures What a relationship between scores is When and why descriptive and inferential statistical procedures are used
Introduction to Statistics and Research
Your goals in this chapter are to learn:
Learning About Statistics
Statistics help make sense of data in four ways:
The Logic of Research
The goal of behavioral research is to understand the “laws of nature” that apply to the behaviors of living organisms.
A variable is anything that can produce two or more different scores. Some common variables in behavioral research are:
The two categories of variables are:
In a relationship, as the scores on one variable change, the scores on the other variable change in a consistent manner.
Simple relationships have one of two patterns. If we call one variable X and the other variable Y, then
Example: The more you drive distracted, the more likely it is you will have an accident (Pattern 1).
When essentially the same set of Y scores are paired with every X score, a relationship does not exist.
In an experiment, the researcher actively changes or manipulates one variable and then measures participants’ scores on another variable to see if a relationship is produced.
The dependent variable is the variable measuring a behavior or attribute of participants we expect will be influenced by the independent variable.
Identify the independent variable, the conditions of the independent variable, and the dependent variable for the following study:
The effect of an intensive summer school college preparatory program (compared to no program) on the GPAs of at-risk freshmen students.
In a correlational study,the researcher measures participants’ scores on two variables and then determines whether a relationship exists.
The Characteristics of Scores
The kind of information scores convey depends on the scale of measurement used. There are four types of measurement scales:
Any variable also may be either continuous or discrete.
For each of the following variables, indicate (1) the measurement scale and (2) whether it is continuous or discrete:
The number of tickets sold to an event
Your flavor preferences in soft drinks