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Presentation 5B4. Design Principles for an Introductory Statistics Textbook for Psychology Students

Brian Greer (USA)


Presentation Abstract

The teaching of statistics to psychology students has been described as probably the biggest area of failure and frustration in most psychology departments. A major aspect of psychology is that it is an experimental science and, since variation is inherent in the object of its enquiry, techniques of inferential statistics are an essential tool. However, most students of psychology choose the subject because of humanistic rather than scientific values and relatively few become experimental psychologists. Few have a strong grounding in mathematics and beyond their technical weaknesses, many have a negative attitude towards mathematics. On the basis of more than thirty years experience teaching introductory statistics courses, I recently co-authored a text tailored to this population, in which we attempted to explain the rationale of simple statistical methods with minimal mathematics and maximal user-friendliness. In this paper I present and exemplify principles we followed in the design of this text.


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