Hello wonderful people of this forum!
I am fairly new to the forum and I am very glad I found it! It feels good to know there are people out going through the same difficulties.
My background is totally irrelevant, and through the master I only managed to get a very basic idea about statistics. I feel that I 've learn to do some basic stuff in Excel but I have no deeper understanding.
My university offers some basic courses. I plan to attend them but I understand that it takes a lot of personal effort too. I 've never hidden my weakness from my supervisors. They suggested that I should get some training on that too.
I want to start doing some preliminary studying by myself. Problem is I don't know where to begin from. During my PhD I will need to analyse amazing quantities of data, both numerical and responses from questionnaires. Every time I go through papers and I read something complicated I didn't even know it existed, I feel totally ignorant and inadequate!
Can anyone suggest where I start from? Any software worth learning? I would appreciate any information on online training or whatever you found useful yourself.
Thanks in advance!
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Don't worry. I think stats is pretty overwhelming for most of us :) It definately takes a lot of effort, or did for me, but once you get the knack the sense of achievement is amazing.
Do you know what programs you'll be using? Or which ones the department has access to? If you're in the social sciences then I imagine you'll be using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences). There are a lot of online tutorials that are pretty good but you'll probably need to work through them step by step. SPSS can take some getting used to but it has a lot of features that can be very useful - it's just a matter of finding them.
There are a few books I've used that have helped. Two of them are psychology based so I don't know how much use they'll be. 'Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology - Hugh Coolican' and 'An Introduction to Statistics in Psychology' - Howitt and Cramer. There's a third that I've used for advanced stats and is more theorectical but I've left my copy in the lab and I can't remember it's name.
This link might be helpful too:
I think it depends on what level of expertise you want to achieve. Try Wikipedia if you want to become an expert at a later stage. There are also good links at the bottom of most statistical estimation theories etc..
At package level like SPSS(which I never used) I assume you will gain expertise at the user interface level, like how to enter the data and what estimate you are interested in etc..Again, I am not SPSS expert so my knowledge at that package level is limited..
Thanks everybody for the replies! :-)
I am not in psychology, I am in a Science PhD. I ve read about SPSS in previous threads. Why is SPSS so popular? ( I am not a smartarse, honestly wondering). I found this list on wiki
but I kind of feel like someone trying to learn Autocad without knowing how to draw.
Wish I could tell more about my research but it would give my anonymity away! It could help you to give me more accurate advices.
I'd definately speak to your supervisor. I had to learn basic statistics (albeit for the most part unsuccessfully - when my sup who was teaching the course banged his head repeatedly on the desk I realised that I wasn't quite cut out for it lmao) but I know at our uni the maths dept offer MA modules that you can do as a PhD student even if you are in a different dept - a friend has done that as his need was greater than mine - I didn't even go there - me and numbers just don't mix ;-) So see what is available - the postgrad administrator in your future dept will be able to help you possibly more than your sup in that. I also very much like statisitics for dummies (yes seriously) it was far more easy to understand that the official - learn statisitics books - and gave me a bit of a grounding to begin to understand the more complex stuff. As I say, I've never gone much beyond the basics, I don't need that level of understanding, but your first port of call is to find out what software you'd most likely be using and what your uni offers in terms of taught courses for PhD students.
Thanks one more time for your interest!
I will ask my super again, I am just trying to avoid the "banging-on-the-desk" part in our discussion:-) , and being a little prepared.
When am I going to be an independent researcher? Right now I feel like a 5-year old crying for my mummy!
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