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Chapter 12: Statistics in Perspective

Activity 12.1: Statistical vs. Practical Significance


Activity 12.2: Appropriate Techniques
Activity 12.3: Interpret the Data
Activity 12.4: Collect Some Data

Activity 12.1:
Statistical vs. Practical Significance
In each of the following, discuss whether the result or relationship is likely to be
practically significant (PS), and then explain your reasoning.
1. A researcher finds that a particular relationship can occur by chance about 20 times in
100.
2. A researcher finds that students who use a new biology textbook recently purchased
by the school district scored an average of 20 percent higher on an end-of-the-course
examination.
3. A medical researcher finds that the use of a certain drug decreases the incidence of a
life-threatening drug among a group of senior citizens by 3 percent.
4. A small appliance store finds that advertising in the local neighborhood newspaper
increases her sales each week by 1 percent.
5. A new method of teaching five-year-olds how to tie their shoes results in their being
able to do so three weeks earlier than similar five-year-olds not taught this method.
6. A researcher finds that a correlation of .18 has only a 1 in 1,000 likelihood of
occurring by chance.

Activity 12.2:
Appropriate Techniques
Match the technique in Column A with the appropriate description from Column B
Column A
1. Effect size

Column B
a. A graphic way to show all of the
information about a group

2. Inferential statistics

b. An unusual score

3. Known groups

c. Takes into account the size of a


difference, regardless of whether it
is statistically significant

4. Scatterplot
5. Crossbreak table
6. Test of statistical significance
7. Outlier

d. Graphic technique for illustrating a


relationship between quantitative
variables within a single group
e. A means of assessing
generalizability

8. Confidence interval
f. Often a useful frame of reference to
use in interpreting the magnitude of
a difference between means of two
groups
g. Should be reported in addition to
(or instead of) significance levels
whenever possible
h. Sometimes may be insignificant in
any real or educational sense
i. A graphic used to illustrate
relationships among categorical
data

Activity 12.3:
Interpret the Data
Review Activity 11.5 and then respond to the following.
1. What does the difference in means tell you? _________________________________
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2. What does the t-test tell you? _____________________________________________
3. What other indexes might be useful? _______________________________________
4. What would they tell you? _______________________________________________
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Activity 12.4:
Collect Some Data
Imagine that you and a colleague conducted a study with two large random samples of
Swedes and Germans. You find a mean I.Q. difference of six points in favor of the
Swedes. Assume that this difference was statistically significant at the .05 level.
1. Give these hypothetical results to five friends or acquaintances and ask them what
they think this all means. Summarize the responses of each below.
Person #1 _______________________________________________________________
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Person #2 _______________________________________________________________
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Person #3 _______________________________________________________________
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Person #4 _______________________________________________________________
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Person #5 _______________________________________________________________
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2. Summarize similarities and differences between the responses and record what you
learned below.
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(Be sure to tell your participants afterward that these results are fake.)

Problem Sheet 12: Statistics in Perspective


1. My research question is:
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2. Are there changes in the statistics you indicated on Problem Sheets 10 or 11? If so,
explain:
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3. I would evaluate the magnitude of any relationship(s) I find by:
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