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Giving Up On Statistics Homework After Only A Couple Of Tries Is Not A Way Out

If you want to succeed in anything, you will need to learn to persevere, even when it seems like everything is going wrong. The same basic principle holds with statistics. So, how can we overcome our problems?

Identify Your Variables

Statistics is a tool to help you understand how phenomena change under various different conditions. In an experiment, there are typically variables that are fixed, or that we as experimenters try to hold constant. The most crucial variables are independent variables, or those which we manipulate experimentally, and dependent variables; that which might or might not change under the different experimental conditions. Dependent variable is the one we are really interested in, as this will tell us whether the manipulation of the independent variable brought about a change.

Method

In order to find the right method for the data that you have, you have to think of how many different independent and dependent variables you have, and how many levels each independent variable has (e.g. if you manipulate temperature, and use three different temperatures, those correspond to three levels). You also need to formulate some facts about the sample you used for your experiment; if you tested people, did all people complete all conditions in your experiment, or did you split participants in half? This information will be crucial in choosing the best method for analysing your results.

Consult Material (identify)

The best way to find the statistical method you’re interested in is to consult a good statistics textbook and find the method you’re looking for by comparing the set of variables of your data to the sets of variables described for various statistical methods in the book. When you find a description of data that seems to fit the kind of data you’re working with, this is how you know that the same statistical method will also work for your data.

Get to Know Your Statistics Software

A lot of statistics analysis can be easily done via software. Find out if your course recommends you to use particular statistics software for analysing your data. If you are unclear about how to find a particular statistical method in the software you’re using, consult textbooks on this particular software or you can find an online guide that will help you use this software for your purposes.

Statistics is hard, there is no getting around that. But there is no getting around by giving up; you must learn the correct approach, once and for all!

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