Chapter 5: Analysing the Data Part II : Inferential Statistics

# Step 3: Calculating the Test Statistic

At this point we come to the point that tends to frighten many students! Even though the calculation of the test statistic is only a small part of the hypothesis testing procedure, which in turn is a relatively small part of the research procedure, many students are overcome with feelings of dread at this point! Perhaps, long-buried anxieties and memories of classrooms and repetitive maths problems are quickly stirred! Fortunately, these days we have all sorts of electromechanical aids to take the difficulty and fear out of this part. In particular, a good calculator, and the access to a computer has relieved students and purveyors of statistics the tediousness of number-crunching. (The trade-off has been, however, that students are now expected to understand a greater variety of test procedures!#?!).

The next Chapter in this booklet is devoted to the procedures and calculations we think are useful in providing a good range of solutions to analysis problems. Statistics is an ever-growing field and often there will be situations that are not covered in these sections and for which you will have to consult a more advanced text. But we expect the parametric and nonparametric analogues contained herein to be sufficient for the great majority of situations you are likely to cover in undergraduate research problems.

This unit is reliant on the Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software to carry out most of the calculations for us. We only need to calculate a few things that SPSS does not give us. So, we have done away almost completely with the need to calculate by hand. Presumably then we should not have any maths anxiety students any more!