Which Statistical Analysis Methods can be used in Psychology Research Paper?

As the name suggests, any scholarly piece of writing that describes any event, happening, or activity that belongs to the field of psychology is termed a psychology research paper.  The general format, the pattern of organisation, tone to address a situation, and tips for completing the writing phase of a psychology research paper are more or less the same ones needed for drafting a paper for other subjects. You may think then, what makes a psychology research paper different from others? Straightforwardly, theories, frameworks, models, and norms or beliefs that are an integral part of any psychology-related task make a psychology research paper different from others. Another most frequently asked question regarding psychology research papers is ‘are the statistical analysis methods used in other disciplines work equally well in the field of psychology?  Of course, basic statistics is for every subject. The following are some important statistical analysis method that one can use in psychology research papers:

Statistical analysis methods:

The selection of the right statistical analysis method can take your psychology research paper to the next level. However, a question that may arise here is ‘what are methods commonly used in statistical analysis?’ Reviewing the basics, statistical analysis is simply the process of the collection as well as interpretation of data that aims to unveil patterns and trends in a dataset. In this regard, the statistical analysis method is the set of rules and norms one uses to conduct an analysis statistically. 

Like other disciplines, psychological research can also be completed by using diversified research designs. For instance, if you want to know something about the current knowledge, attitude and practice of Alien Hand Syndrome- a rare psychological or mental disorder, you must devise a Likert scale questionnaire for collecting data in the numerical form. After collecting the responses, you can opt for any of the following statistical analysis methods:

Descriptive statistical analysis method:

The descriptive statistical analysis describes the basic features of data in a psychology research paper. It helps provide a summary for a better understanding of the research trends. With its simple visual graphics, it explains trends in almost every type of analysis of quantitative data. The descriptive statistical analysis itself is of four types: Measure of Frequency, Measure of Central Tendency, Measure of Dispersion of Variation, and Measure of Position. Let us briefly discuss them head to head:

1.1 Measure of Frequency:

The measure of frequency is simply the count of the number of times a value occurs in a dataset. It is most useful in psychology research papers for counting and timing tasks. Stated in another way, the measure of how many times something happens within a certain period of time is the basic statistical analysis task often performed in psychology research papers. Mostly it is used in research proposal part. If you are unaware about this method, you can get research proposal help.

1.2 Measure of Central Tendency

In distribution analysis, the measure of the central tendency is the act of estimating the center of the distribution curve. The central tendency can be found in three different ways: 

  • Mean: It is the most common value in the dataset. To calculate the mean, all you do is sum up all different values and divide by the total number of values in the dataset.
  • Median: The exact middle value of a dataset refers to its median.   
  • Mode: Mode is the most repeated value in a dataset.

1.3 Measure of Dispersion of variation

Dispersion of variation describes the spread of data. We can measure the dispersion of variation in a variety of ways, such as range, variance and standard deviation.

  • Standard deviation is the most commonly used method of measurement of the dispersion of variation. In a psychological research paper, the standard deviation is useful in explaining how far an individual response or value deviates from the mean.  
  • The range is the spread of data between the lowest and highest data. A psychology research paper helps in measuring the variability among the responses collected from different respondents.
  • Variance is the mean squared difference between the data points and the ‘center’ of distribution calculated via mean. In psychological statistics, the variation helps researchers to know how far a number is from the mean value. 

1.4 Measure of position

          The measure of position is the process of determining the position of a single value with respect to all remaining values. The most important methods of measuring the position include percentiles, standard scores and quartiles. 

Inferential statistical analysis method: 

The second most important statistical analysis method in a psychology research paper is inferential statistical analysis. It involves the use of several analytical tools to extract inferences about the selected population’s data. Moreover, the data analysed through inferential statistics is representative of the whole population. Like descriptive statistics, the inferential statistical analysis method can also be divided into major types:

2.1 Hypothesis testing:

The hypothesis testing is important for finding the relationship between two quantitative variables (dependent variables and independent variables). Hypothesis formulation by using assumptions, performing the statistical test, determining the p-value, making a decision based on the p-value, and drawing a real-world conclusion are some essential steps in hypothesis testing. 

2.2 Regression analysis:

Regression analysis is a type of inferential statistical analysis method used for finding the relationship between the dependent and independent variables in a psychological study. A number of variations have been reported in the regression analysis, such as linear regression, non-linear regression, and multiple regressions. 

  • Linear regression: It is used to find the value of one variable based on the value of other variables. Liner regression often expresses the relationship between the variables in the form of a straight line.
  • Non-linear regression: It is the type of regression analysis that uses a curve instead of a straight line to explain the relationship between variables.  
  • Multiple regressions:  The type of regression that psychologists use to explore the relationship between a single dependent and several independent variables is called multiple regressions. 

Final thoughts: 

Psychology research paper, like papers of other disciplines, needs proper analysis methods to sort and organise data. The statistical analysis methods common in psychology include the descriptive as well as inferential methods. The former aims to describe the basic features of the data, while the latter type explores the relationship between the variables involved in research. Examples of descriptive statistical methods in research include a measure of frequency, a measure of central tendency, a measure of distribution, and a measure of position. Concurrently, the types of inferential statistics include hypothesis testing and regression analysis.

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