Understanding and Using Statistics in Psychology takes the fear out of psychological statistics to help students understand why statistics are carried out, how to choose the best test, how to carry out the tests, and then perform the analysis in SPSS. Emphasizing the place of statistical analysis in the process of conducting research, from design to report writing, this accessible and straightforward guide takes a non-technical approach, encouraging the reader to understand why a particular test is being used and what the results mean in the context of a psychological study. The focus is on meaning and understanding rather than numerical calculation.

Thinking Some More about Statistics

Thinking some more about statistics

What's in This Chapter?

  • Problems with significance tests
  • Power analysis
  • Meta-analysis
  • Bayesian analysis

Key Terms

Bayesian statistics

confidence intervals

effect size



null hypothesis

power analysis

prosecutor's fallacy



significance tests

type I error

type II error


We've called this chapter ‘Thinking some more about statistics’. You might be surprised by that. In fact you might be thinking that we've just spent almost a whole book doing quite a lot of thinking about statistics, and now you are saying that we have to think more? In the book, we've been thinking about how to do statistics and, in particular, we've been interested in calculating p-values. What we've been thinking about less is why we do statistical analysis (and calculate p-values), and what those analyses (and p-values) mean.

So, here's what we're going to ...

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