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12: Descriptive Statistics
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- 12.1: Describing Single Variables
- Descriptive statistics refers to a set of techniques for summarizing and displaying data. Let us assume here that the data are quantitative and consist of scores on one or more variables for each of several study participants. Although in most cases the primary research question will be about one or more statistical relationships between variables, it is also important to describe each variable individually.
- 12.2: Describing Statistical Relationships
- Most interesting research questions in psychology are about statistical relationships between variables. In this section, we revisit the two basic forms of statistical relationship introduced earlier in the book—differences between groups or conditions and relationships between quantitative variables—and we consider how to describe them in more detail.
- 12.3: Expressing Your Results
- Once you have conducted your descriptive statistical analyses, you will need to present them to others. In this section, we focus on presenting descriptive statistical results in writing, in graphs, and in tables—following American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines for written research reports. These principles can be adapted easily to other presentation formats such as posters and slide show presentations.
- 12.4: Conducting Your Analyses
- Even when you understand the statistics involved, analyzing data can be a complicated process. The “raw” (unanalyzed) data might take several different forms and there might even be missing, incorrect, or just “suspicious” responses that must be dealt with. In this section, we consider some practical advice to make this process as organized and efficient as possible.
- 12.5: Descriptive Statistics (Summary)
- Key Takeaways and Exercises for the chapter on Descriptive Statistics.