## Description

This book covers the statistical functions most frequently used in scientific publications. This should not be considered a complete compendium of useful statistics, however. In other technological fields that you are likely already familiar with (e.g., word processing, spreadsheet calculations, presentation software), you have probably discovered that the “90/10 rule” applies: You can get 90% of your work done using only 10% of the functions available. For example, if you were to thoroughly explore each submenu of your word processor, you would likely discover more than 100 functions and options; however, in terms of actual productivity, 90% of the time, you are probably using only about 10% of them to get all of your work done (e.g., load, save, copy, delete, paste, font, tab, center, print, spell-check). Back to statistics: If you can master the statistical processes contained in this text, it is expected that this will arm you with what you need to effectively analyze the majority of your own data and confidently interpret the statistical publications of others.

This book is not about abstract statistical theory or the derivation or memorization of statistical formulas; rather, it is about *applied* statistics. This book is designed to provide you with practical answers to the following questions: (a) *What statistical test should I use for this kind of data?* (b) *How do I set up the data?* (c) *What parameters should I specify when ordering the test?* and (d) *How do I interpret the results?*

In terms of performing the actual statistical calculations, we will be using IBM^{®} SPSS^{®} *Statistics, an efficient statistical processing software package. This facilitates speed and accuracy when it comes to producing quality statistical results in the form of tables and graphs, but SPSS is not an automatic program. In the same way that your word processor does not write your papers for you, SPSS does not know what you want done with your data until you tell it. Fortunately, those instructions are issued through clear menus. Your job will be to learn what statistical procedure suits which circumstance, to configure the data properly, to order the appropriate tests, and to mindfully interpret the output reports.