Making Sense of Behavioral Statistics is appropriate for the first course in basic statistical methods applied to selected behavioral sciences at the undergraduate and master’s levels in both two- and four-year colleges and universities. Courses may be called Introduction to Behavioral Statistics, Behavioral Statistics, Psychological Statistics, Educational Statistics or similar titles, and are typically offered in departments of psychology, education, and educational psychology.
Making Sense of Behavioral Statistics helps students attain statistical literacy by achieving three broad goals: (1) Understand basic descriptive statistics, including how to present and use tables and graphs and the common measures of properties of distributions, (2) Fully appreciate how the process of inferring population characteristics from sample characteristics is based on the ability to compute probabilities of study outcomes, and (3) Understand the logic and interpretation of the four major inferential procedures in conventional statistical applications—hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, effect size estimation, and power. This book encourages learners to attain statistical literacy by treating all statistical concepts and procedures as logical and meaningful, particularly for students who are uncomfortable with or anxious about mathematics.
Making Sense of Behavioral Statistics is distinguished from its closely related variation called Understanding Behavioral Statistics by the use of the Normal distribution to introduce statistical inference. Making Sense of Behavioral Statistics follows the conventional approach of presenting the Normal distribution (Chapter 5) then using it to introduce inferential statistics (Chapters 6 and 7). Therefore, Making Sense of Behavioral Statistics is most appropriate for faculty who want to take a more traditional approach to developing topics in statistical inference.