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Behavioral statistics textbooks: Source of myths and misconceptions?


Book: 
The Second International Conference on Teaching Statistics, 1986
Authors: 
Brewer, J. K.
Editors: 
Davidson, R., & Swift, J.
Category: 
Pages: 
127-131
Year: 
1986
Publisher: 
The Second International Committee on Teaching Statistics
Place: 
Victoria, B.C.
Abstract: 

Numerous writers have argued quite forcefully that users of statistics in the behavioral sciences have been guilty of misunderstanding and misapplying even the most rudimentary concepts and procedures of applied statistics. Why is this the case when almost rudimentary concepts and procedures of applied statistics. Why is this the case when almost every university and college in America has several departments teaching applied statistics courses in the behavioral sciences? We are quick to hold researchers responsible for statistical abuses, but it may well be that researchers are only parroting what they have read or been taught. Since the most common element in almost all teaching of behavioral statistics is the textbook, could it not be that the textbook is a source of statistical "myths and misconceptions" so often denounced as misleading and inappropriate? A conceivable source of statistical misconceptions and errors occurring in the published literature, theses, and dissertations is the behavioral statistics textbook. To illustrate the nature and extent of myths and misconceptions found in some of the best-selling introductory behavioral statistics textbooks is the purpose of this paper.