Shiken: JALT Testing & Evaluation SIG Newsletter

Vol. 8. No. 1 Mar. 2004. (p. 9-10) [ISSN 1881-5537]

PDF Version

by Robert C. Gardner (2001)ISBN: 013028324

New York: McGraw-Hill

This is a fine statistical manual for people attempting psychological research with little or no background in quantitative analyses. Clearly designed for novice quantitative researchers, this informative and humorous text starts with a basic introduction to statistics and ends with a discussion on factor analysis.

This 307 page text consists of eleven chapters — plus appendix references, an author index, and a subject index. Each chapter starts off with a table of topics for quick reference that gives readers a good overview of what each chapter covers. Designed to give psychology students a textbook that demonstrates how to work with SPSS, this text helps them comprehend and interpret the output and go through basic calculation procedures (p. ix). One thing that makes this work so concise, clear-cut and easy-to-follow is that when lengthy explanations are required to elucidate a point, readers are referred to other sources.

Aspiring researchers must not only understand statistics to conduct to quantitative research, but also understand how to manipulate of the statistical software and interpret the analysis. Gardner appreciates these hurdles and provides instructions which are progressive and coherent.

Each topic begins with a summary of the historical background relating to the construction of a particular analysis. This is provided to give an understanding how analytic procedures are interrelated and have evolved over time (p. x). Too many novice researchers think of these as sudden occurrences. The text provides an explanation of an analysis' components demonstrating its' purpose and explaining what the particular examination is intended to reveal.

The

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Gardner writes in a simple straightforward manner, though the information conveyed in the text is sometimes dense. He reveals a profound knowledge of the subject as shown in this paragraph:

Generally, when a significantGardner, like most good teachers, knows how to maintain the reader's interest. His self-effacing British humour ("quills were no longer used in those days " (p. 2)) is delightful. His background information such asF-ratio is obtained, researcher in interested in making comparisons of means. In a two-factor analysis of variance, such comparisons can involve either main effect of interaction means. Comparisons of means make use of one of three basic statistics. Tests such as the Tukey Honesty Significant Difference, the Newman-Keuls test, and Duncan's New Multiple Range test make use of a statistic that take the form ofq. Tests such as the Least-Significant Difference, The Dunn Bonferronit, and Dunnett's Comparison with a control condition are based on thet-statistic, while Scheffé'sSstatistic makes use of theF-ratio. (p. 146)

Psychological Statistics Using SPSS for Windows does not pretend to be a comprehensive book on statistics. Advanced topics such as Structural Equation Modelling are not discussed. However, this book provides a foundation for novice or intermediate quantitative researchers to build on and begin the more advanced analyses. This is a well-written introductory book, by a scholar who clearly understands his subject and wants to pass on this knowledge. I highly recommend this book.

Reviewed by Parrill L. Stribling

NEWSLETTER: Topic IndexAuthor IndexTitle IndexDate Index

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HTML: http://jalt.org/test/str_4.htm / PDF: http://jalt.org/test/PDF/Stribling4.pdf

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