THE ZEN
OF
EMPIRICAL RESEARCH

William D. Richards, Jr.

1998

Empirical Press
2476 Trinity
Vancouver, BC

(604) 251-3272
fax (604) 251-7073

ISBN 1-57273-245-8

The Zen of Empirical Research by Dr. William D. Richards is a friendly, accessible introduction to quantitative research methods and statistics for students — especially for those with an Arts background or limited mathematical experience.

This text begins by providing students with a grounding in the principles of science and with a practical understanding of how to develop precise, empirically testable questions. It clearly explains the most common statistical methods used to answer these questions, and presents a detailed discussion of experimental design, survey research and sampling methods.

Developed through classroom use and student input, this text is, above all, a student's text book. Its unique first person conversational approach, informal humor and every day examples make abstract concepts clear and statistics fun. The emphasis is always on understanding the logic behind statistics rather than on math, formulae, or rote problem solving, which ensures that students are able to apply the skills they've learned to answer real research problems.

The Zen of Empirical Research also features:

• a glossary of empirical, scientific, and statistical terms and concepts
• numerous Canadian, American, and international examples with detailed explanations
• step-by step guides for all major statistical tests
• a list of key concepts at the end of every chapter
• a large set of practice questions to help students master the material
• a summary table of statistical tests and the conditions for using them
• a web site (http://www.sfu.ca/~richards/zen.html) with answers to exercises and supporting material

The Zen of Empirical Research

William D. Richards

Contents
(Note: Chapters 1, 6, 8, and 13 available in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format)

Preface xv

"20 Ways to Prove Significance" xvii

 1. Science [pdf] 3 2. Conceptualizing 17 3. Operationalizing 23 4. Validity and reliability 29 5. Sampling 35

 6. Univariate descriptive statistics [pdf] 45 7. Distributions 59 8. The normal curve and samples: sampling distributions [pdf] 69 9. Inferential statistics: from samples to populations 75 10. Univariate inferential statistics 79

 11. Crosstabulation 87 12. Strength of relationships: Discrete data 93 13. Strength of relationships: Continuous data [pdf] 107 14. Regression 115

 15. Statistical significance 123 16. Chi-squared 127 17. z-test for differences between means 135 18. Tests for correlations 145 19. More mean differences: z, t, and F 151

 20. Experiments 163 21. Survey research 171

VI. Appendices

 A. Equations 189 B. Tables 193 C. Glossary[pdf] 215 D. Exercises[pdf] 233

 References 257 Index 259

(Note: Chapters 1, 6, 8, and 13 available in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format)

 "20 Ways to Prove Significance" Jennifer Auten, 12/97 (To the tune of Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover") I see the problem's still inside your heads when you look at me Isn't it easy when you think it logically? I'd like to help you with your struggle to reject the null . . . There must be twenty ways to prove significance. I say it's really not my habit to intrude, But Lord I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued But I repeat myself at the risk of being crude: There must be twenty ways to prove significance. Chorus Difference ‘tween the two means, Jean Is statistically significant, Kent The difference is real, Neil Ya gotta hear my speil: A difference this large, Marge, Ain't due to chance alone, Joan Can't be no fluke, Luke No coincidence, Vince. Reject that null, yeah gotta reject that null I say, it grieves me so to see you in such pain Wish there was something I could do to make you smile again You say you're glad I said that and "Would you please explain about the twenty ways?" I say, there's no reason to have to sleep on it tonight ‘Cuz right here and now I can show you the light And then you smile at me and you realize I'm probably right There must be twenty ways to accept the null There must be twenty ways to accept the null Chorus Difference ‘tween the two means, Jean Not statistically significant, Kent Easily due to chance alone, Joan Come on, hear my drone: Could be a fluke, Luke Probably coincidence, Vince. Those samples are odd, Todd, No, you can't reject that null! Yeah, reject that null Yeah, reject that null Yeah, reject that null There must be twenty ways . . . .

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Look at chapter or two of Zen of Empirical Research

Chapter 1

Chapter 6

Chapter 8

Chapter 13

Exercises

Glossary