Revisions: Excerpts

It is not an exaggeration to say that the boxed excerpts constitute the "lifeblood" of this book. I have included these tables, figures, and passages of text from published research reports to illustrate both good and not-so-good practices, to instruct via the words of others, and to demonstrate that contemporary researchers do, in fact, use the statistical procedures discussed in the textual portions of this book. A total of 674 excerpts appear in this edition, an increase of 15.4 percent over the number included in the previous edition. The vast majority of these excerpts are new, with only 34 being carried forward from the second edition. These numbers, I feel, legitimize the claim that this book contains an extensive array of materials that illustrate what contemporary researchers put into their research reports.

It should be noted that the 674 excerpts included here were not indiscriminately chosen. On the contrary, each one was carefully hand selected because of its ability to help others understand a concept or practice. Moreover, a concerted effort was made to select excerpts from a variety of disciplines. This was done so as to increase the reader's ability to cross disciplinary lines when reviewing research reports.

In contrast to those books that focus on a single discipline (with titles such as Statistics for Education or Research in Nursing), the manifest purpose here is to help readers feel more at ease when confronted by research claims that emanate from disciplines other than their own. (Clearly, the purpose of and issues related to a one-way ANOVA are the same regardless of whether the data come from psychology or ecology or epidemiology.) Unless people have the ability to decipher and critique research in a multidisciplinary fashion, they become easy targets for those who inadvertently or purposefully present research "evidence" that comes from studies characterized by ill-conceived questions, poor methodology, and sloppy statistical analysis.

(Click here to see two examples of excerpts.)

Copyright © 2012

Schuyler W. Huck
All rights reserved.

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