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Why Psychology Majors Study Statistics

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From the four articles, we can get the picture of the reasons why psychology undergraduate students need to study statistics. In Why Psych Majors Study Statistics, the first reason is that psychology majors require to conduct researches or experiments to prove certain findings. If there is no confirmable statistics or data took as references, the whole study or research will lose its credibility and science to a great extent. Further, we even could not make an educated decision from the research without any collected and convincing data. The second reason is for those who want to pursue further more in the future, to get master or postgraduate degree, as is known, they have to involve in those scientific and rigorous researches and make a thorough analysis in view of measurement and statistics. It is really thorny for those who want to avoid mathematics at first so they choose psychology as their major. What’s more, as a student of psychology, they would better master critical and analytic thinking skills. And these skills actually relate a lot to statistics, when students learn from those statistics, they will develop some practical skills invisibly. From another perspective, we, every student, will be a consumer or reader one day to evaluate the information or data given by some magazines or reports. But here comes a problem, we cannot ensure the accuracy and reliability of those data because there are some people who always exploit misleading statistics to meet their inappropriate needs. Hence, we should acquire some basic judgement and be acquainted with some international criteria in statistics so that we can learn more deeply and improve ourselves a lot.

Another reason is that in our daily life, we have to know when we should invite some authoritative statisticians to help us repair or analyze some complex data. Statistics is a really useful tool in our life not only in daily routine but also for future collaboration. When we read the article Why I Study Statistics, we know the author’s winding exploration for a factor analysis. He referenced many statistics books to study in a more scientific way. Eventually, he found that the problem with statistics is that it is hard. For many universities, the psychology departments have dead zones in factor analysis. In another word, they do not study much scope in statistics relevant to psychology. As a result, we still shoulder heavy responsibilities. In terms of statistics, analysis of variance, measurement issues and more advanced statistical methods are lacking. But nowadays, many universities offer semester or quarter-length courses on structural equation modeling, multilevel modeling and item responses theory. We witness that we have made a great progress.

According to the given article, Nobody Becomes a Psych Major to Study Statistics, there is a paradigm in psychology which can be applicable by statistics. And there is a pertinence between paradigms and measurement. Sometimes, researchers need to rate intelligence incorporating data and paradigms. As mentioned in the text, “Not only do paradigms shape the questions we ask, but also what we accept for evidence – our epistemology.” We can read more data to conclude many internal intercorrelation among different items, and even they seem to be different and various in theory. Nonetheless, the paradigm made by some scientists maybe wrong and we need to renew or update our paradigm by sufficient data. Knowledge is not inflexible, on the contrary, it is changeable as times and technology change.

To sum up, as far as I am concerned, statistics is a universal and necessary subject and also as a functional skill for us. In future pursuit, it will give us a lot and can be supplementary information in science. We cannot only rely on experiments or questionnaires but we should fully utilize those objective data to make a study of psychology. Fortunately, people gradually realize the importance of statistics. We would combine psychology and statistics completely in order that we can make more educated decisions. Also, psychology with data can be better computed into technological instruments and offer convenience for more psychologists to collect and extract data. For example, we can imagine that when a patient consults a psychologist, if there is a data base saved his history and every psychological and physical status, the treatment will be more effective and scientific. The electrocardiogram enlightens us and we can fully take advantage of data to monitor patients’ status, catering to the contemporary tendency. Only if we attach importance to statistics, its functions and significance, psychology will play much more role in human beings.

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