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Statistics and Its Role in Psychological Research

Chow, Siu L. (2002) Statistics and Its Role in Psychological Research. (In Press)

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Abstract

How one may use descriptive statistics to give a succinct description of research data is first discussed. The probability basis of inferential statistics, namely, the random sampling distribution of the test statistic, is then introduced. The said sampling distribution is used to introduced the null-hypothesis significance-testing procedure (NHSTP). The emphasis on 'procedure' serves to highlight the fact that significance tests are about data, not about the substantive hypothesis. The distinction is made between (a) the statistical alternative hypothesis (H1) and the substantive hypothesis, (b) using NHSTP to test whether or not chance is responsible for the data and using the embeddding conditional propositions to corroborate the theory. NHSTP serves to supply the minor premise for the theory-corroboration procedure. Some conceptual difficulties with effect-size, statistical power and meta-analysis are also discusse

Item Type:Other
Keywords:conditional probability, confidence-interval, correlation, statistics, effect size, regression, statistical power, statistical significance, Type I error, Type II error
Subjects:Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Philosophy > Philosophy of Science
ID Code:2782
Deposited By:Chow, Dr. Siu L.
Deposited On:21 Feb 2003
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

References in Article

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Chow, S. L. (1998). A précis of "Statistical Significance: Rationale, Validity and Utility." Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 21, 169-194.

Cohen, J. (1987). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (revised edition). New York: Academic Press.

Meehl, P. E. (1967). Theory testing in psychology and physics: A methodological paradox. Philosophy of science, 34, 103-115.

Siegel, S. (1956). Nonparametric statistics for the behavioral sciences. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Wilkinson, L., and Task Force on Statistical Inference, APA Board of Scientific Affairs. (1999). Statistical methods in psychology journals: Guidelines and explanations. American Psychologist, 54(8), 594-604.

Winer, B. J. (1962). Statistical principles in experimental design. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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