This book has been designed to help two specific types of people. One of these is the "consumer" who is on the receiving end of the summaries prepared by applied researchers. The second type of person who will benefit from reading this book is the "doer" of research. First, let's consider the consumer. This individual needs to become a more discerning consumer of research findings and researcher claims. Even if he/she doesn't read technical journals, he/she can't avoid encountering--in the newspaper, on TV, over the Internet--research studies that have been summarized "for popular consumption." While some of the studies prompting these summaries are well-designed, others are badly flawed.
People cannot be competent consumers of what they read or hear unless they can both understand and evaluate the summaries forced upon them. Consumers should acquire the skills needed to protect themselves from overzealous or improperly trained researchers whose work leads to exaggeration, false "discoveries," and unjustified claims of "significance." READING STATISTICS AND RESEARCH can help consumers acquire these important skills.
Now, let's consider the doer of research. This individual also should be able to evaluate others' research reports critically. This is the case because almost every research project is supposed to be built upon a foundation of knowledge gleaned from previous studies. Clearly, if a current researcher cannot differentiate legitimate from unjustified research conclusions, his/her own investigation may well be doomed from the outset because it is pointed in the wrong direction or grounded in a research base made of sand.
If applied researchers can more adequately critique the studies cited within their own literature reviews, they also will apply such knowledge to their own investigations. The result will be better designed studies containing more appropriate statistical analyses leading to more justifiable conclusions and claims. READING STATISTICS AND RESEARCH can help researchers bring about these desirable ends.
Copyright © 2012
Schuyler W. Huck