Do you need statistics to understand your data?

(This is the redo version, guess it would be so much worse 😦  )

Here we go, another question, ”Do you need statistics to understand your data?”

What is Data?
Data is……

-individual facts, statistics, or items of information. Example: These data represent the results of our analyses. Data are entered by terminal for immediate processing by the computer.
-a body of facts; information.Example: Additional data is available from the president of the firm.
Data also refers to quantitative or qualitative attributes of a variable/set of variables.
Back to the topic…

Do you need statistics to understand your data?
With the first-hand data of your research/study, it is possible that you could still understand roughly what is the actual outcome.For instance, a product satisfaction survey received 130 replies that 82 participants out of 130 participants were satisfy with the product, so from this stage we could still tell that quite a lot(over a half) of participants were happy with the product,without doing any further statistical test or find out the % rate. 

However, when it comes to psychology data-analysis, without the ‘help’ of statistics it would become hard to analysis and interpret the results. WHY? Many psychology studies usually would have testing hypothesis (enable both experimenters/viewers to understand what is the study about and testing on.) For example, we have done a mini psychology project during A-Level, we have a jar of marbles and went around the college to ask student to guess how many marbles were there, with the condition of we ‘made-up’ some random numbers on the record sheet and the real participants could easily see the ‘previous answers’. We were testing whatever participants would affected by the ‘made-up’ answer. The testing hypothesis was H1 = the participants were affected by the ‘made-up’ answer. And the null hypothesis was H0 = the participants were not affected by it. We got two set of data, one group was done with the ‘made-up’ answer and the other group was done in normal condition. Then we used a statistical test(ANOVA test)[I cannot remember t clearly but should be ANOVA 🙂 ]to analyze it, the p was set p = 0.05(Critical Value = 5 %). It was significant that participants were affected by the ‘previous answer’ at the level of 5%.(The participants were affected by the ‘previous answer’ and it was significant too.) Without the statistical test, we might still be able to tell that participants were affected in the ‘made-up’ condition however it was not reliable, not presentable and it would not be significant.

In conclusion, we do need statistics to understand the data more in depth. Without the statistical data we could not be able draw out a reliable result. Having a valid statistical data would be supportive to the research.

(Please feel free to comment, discuss or debate again. It is a re-do version and I could not recall many important parts that I wrote in the first one, it is really depressing:'( I could feel its so much worse than the original one and its a hard topic to me too. But I tried my best to do the best I could in the 1/2 hours or less to finish it off :/ )

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4 Responses to Do you need statistics to understand your data?

  1. re3ecca says:

    I like this blog. The example you used was very interesting and especially relevant since it was from personal experience. I agree that you needed to use statistics to understand that specific data, it would be interesting to see you discuss if you needed statistics to understand other types of data though, such as qualitative or nominal data. I also like that you defined data very clearly. Not sure why you had to redo it, but this version is still good I think – even though I haven’t seen the original!

  2. psucc2 says:

    Hello! Don’t worry about your blog, I think it’s fine 🙂 First of all, your introduction is very descriptive and engaging… especially with the use of the dictionary definition as well. I think you have understood the topic very well as you have considered both sides of the argument, where in some research further statistical analysis is not always necessary to draw conclusions from the data. A lot of blogs I have read have failed to highlight this as well, so well done!
    However, I see your main focus is on the need for statistics and I enjoyed reading about the real life application of psychology and statistics in your example. This tells like a story while highlighting the importance of statistics and how they were used to find the significance of your results. I think the only suggestions I would make for this blog to be improved is to have elaborated further on the importance of the type of data and how it is not always necessary to use statistics. And also, to provide a broader picture possibly link to some published psychological research and how statistics are used to express research findings.
    Other than that, this is a good blog entry 🙂

  3. psuc15 says:

    I think the fact that you incorporated the dictionaries wording of what data is was very useful to give a clear idea of what we are dealing with. On the other hand I think you need to involve what you believe data is as a psychology student also maybe even comparing the two images.
    Involving the satisfaction survey was a great method in highlighting that not all data needs a statistical background to interpret the results. Presenting which product was being represented in the survey could have been a helpful suggestion to identify your point in a clearer manor. A potential YouTube link to an advert of the product or even a link to the evidence from the survey would have supported your view and provided the evidence to support your clear research background knowledge.
    The personal touch of using an experiment from previous years in which you carried out personally, highlights the true use of statistical methods to Psychologists and incorporated your clear understand not only the procedures but the purpose of this. In contrast I would suggest using an established conformity study to just add more validity to your argument such as Asch or Milgram.
    Asch’s conformity study (1951) highlights the impact other people have on our judgements in a simple line experiment whereby the participants had to indicate which line the subject correctly matched too. Through socially conforming to the wrong answer, 32% of participants answered incorrectly despite being aware of the correct answer but still chose to conform rather than present the correct response.

    Information on Asch’s Conformity study can be found at the link below:
    http://www.simplypsychology.org/asch-conformity.html

    You have clearly had some complications with your blog and being on a deadline cannot of helped. I think you have gave a valid argument into the blog title through incorporating personal experience into your blog however I would suggest using some form of knowledgeable research just to empathise your point more accurately. Overall a good read and I look forward to reading more.

  4. You can clearly see from intro that the blog was written very fast, however I liked it very much. The most, I liked that you used personal expririonce, and described it very clearly. But try to explain a bit more about the test (short description), so readers from “outside” would understand what Anova test do 😀 Also, try to use more study , how “psuc15” suggested, more examples of any studies/experiments conducted by other researches. Try also to mention other side of the argument, like:not always we need statistics, if we can present the data im more “pleasurable” for the eye style. And also, the example with mean legs in the world :1.99999 (read on one of our group student blogs)? – THAT IS THE PROBLEM OF STATS IN UNDERSTANDING THE DATA!!!

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