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Statistics Done Wrong by Alex Reinhart

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Chapter 9. Researcher Freedom: Good Vibrations?

There’s a common misconception that statistics is boring and monotonous. Collect lots of data; plug numbers into Excel, SPSS, or R; and beat the software with a stick until it produces colorful charts and graphs. Done! All the statistician must do is enter some commands and read the results.

But one must choose which commands to use. Two researchers attempting to answer the same question can and often do perform entirely different statistical analyses. There are many decisions to make.

What do I measure?

  • This isn’t as obvious as it sounds. If I’m testing a psychiatric medication, I could use several different scales to measure symptoms: various brain function tests, reports from doctors, or all sorts ...

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