Interpreting Basic Statistics : A Workbook Based on Excerpts from Journal Articles book cover
8th Edition

Interpreting Basic Statistics
A Workbook Based on Excerpts from Journal Articles

ISBN 9780415787932
Published August 28, 2017 by Routledge
244 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Interpreting Basic Statistics gives students valuable practice in interpreting statistical reporting as it actually appears in peer-reviewed journals.

New to the eighth edition: 

  • A broader array of basic statistical concepts is covered, especially to better reflect the New Statistics. 
  • Journal excerpts have been updated to reflect current styles in statistical reporting.
  • A stronger emphasis on data visualizations has been added.
  • The statistical exercises have been re-organized into units to facilitate ease of use and understanding.

About this book

Each of the 64 exercises gives a brief excerpt of statistical reporting from a published research article, and begins with guidelines for interpreting the statistics in the excerpt.

The questions on the excerpts promote learning by requiring students to

    • interpret information in tables and figures,
    • perform simple calculations to further their interpretations,
    • critique data-reporting techniques, and
    • evaluate procedures used to collect data.

Each exercise covers a limited number of statistics, making it easy to coordinate the exercises with lectures and a main textbook.

The questions in each exercise are divided into two parts: (1) Factual Questions and (2) Questions for Discussion. The factual questions require careful reading for details, while the discussion questions show that interpreting statistics is more than a mathematical exercise. These questions require students to apply good judgment as well as statistical reasoning in arriving at appropriate interpretations.

Table of Contents


Unit I. Basic Descriptions of the Data: Measurement and Frequency

Unit II. Describing the Data

Unit III. Displaying Data: Visualizing What is There

Unit IV. Finding Relationships: Association and Prediction

Unit V. Testing Predictions with Normal Distributions

Unit VI. Nonparametric Tests for Group Differences

Unit VII. Test Construction

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Keith S. Cox is a Clinical and Personality Psychologist. He teaches research methods and statistics at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, where he holds the rank of assistant professor. He uses research methods and statistics as he investigates posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and personality.


This introduction to reading and understanding statistics is very basic and easy to understand, but at the same time it is scientifically oriented, contemporary in outlook and forward looking in methodology. It points students in exactly the right direction, emphasizing meaningful interpretation of scientific results over recitation of cookbook formulas.  Students will come away with the tools they need for comprehending graphical analysis, effect size, and statistical power.  

Eric Turkheimer, PhD, Hugh Scott Hamilton Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia