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9780130358103

Statistics for Psychology

Statistics for Psychology
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  • ISBN-13: 9780130358103
  • ISBN: 013035810X
  • Edition: 3
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR

AUTHOR

Aron, Arthur, Aron, Elaine N.

SUMMARY

The heart of this book was written over a summer in a small apartment near the Place Saint Ferdinand, having been outlined in nearby cafes and on walks in the Bois de Boulogne. It is based on our 35 years of experience teaching, researching, and writing. We believe that the book we wrote is as different from the conventional lot of statistics texts as Paris is from Calcutta, yet still comfortable and stimulating to the long-suffering community of statistics instructors. Our approach was developed over three decades of successful teaching--successful not only in the sense that students have consistently rated the course (a statistics course, remember) as a highlight of their major, but also in the sense that students come back to us later saying, "I was light-years ahead of my fellow graduate students because of your course," or "Even though I don't do research, your course has really helped me read the journals in my field." The response to the first and second edition has been overwhelming. We have received hundreds of thank-you e-mails and letters from instructors (and from students themselves!) from all over the English-speaking world. Of course, we were also delighted by the enthusiastic review inContemporary Psychology(Bourgeois, 1997). In this third edition we have tried to maintain those things that have been especially appreciated, while reworking the book to take into account the feedback we have received, our own experiences, and advances and changes in the field. We have also added new pedagogical features to make the book even more accessible for students. However, before turning to the third edition, we want to reiterate what we said in the first edition about how this book from the beginning has been quite different from other statistics texts. A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE STATISTICS TEXT GENRE In the 1950s and 1960s statistics texts were dry, daunting, mathematical tomes that quickly left most students behind. In the 1970s, there was a revolution--in swept the intuitive approach, with much less emphasis on derivations, proofs, and mathematical foundations. The approach worked. Students became less afraid of statistics courses and found the material more accessible, even if not quite clear. The intuitive trend continued in the 1980s, adding in the 1990s some nicely straightforward writing. A few texts have now also begun to encourage students to use the computer to do statistical analyses. However, discussions of intuitive understandings are becoming briefer and briefer. The standard is a cursory overview of the key idea and sometimes the associated definitional formula for each technique. Then come the procedures and examples for actually doing the computation, using another "computational" formula. Even with all this streamlining, or perhaps because of it, at the end of the course most students cannot give a clear explanation of the logic behind the techniques they have learned. A few months later they can rarely carry out the procedures either. Most important, the three main purposes of the introductory statistics course ark, not accomplished: Students are not able to make sense of the results of psychology research articles, they are poorly prepared for further courses in statistics (where instructors must inevitably spend half the semester reteaching the introductory course), and the exposure to deep thinking that is supposed to justify the course's meeting general education requirements in the quantitative area has not occurred. WHAT WE HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY We continue to do what the best of the newer books are already doing well: emphasizing the intuitive, de-emphasizing the mathematical, and explaining everything in direct, simple language. But what we have done differs from these other books in 11 key respects. 1.The definitional formulas are brought to center stagebecause they provide a conAron, Arthur is the author of 'Statistics for Psychology', published 2002 under ISBN 9780130358103 and ISBN 013035810X.

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