# Staistics for Research with a Guide to SPSS – 3rd Ed, by George Argyrous

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Clive Sims
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Argyrous, George. Statistics for Research with a Guide to SPSS. (3rd Ed.) (2011). London. Sage. Reviewer: Clive Sims

This is a book that I wish I’d had on two occasions in my life; the first when I started

statistics as a psychology undergraduate and the second, many years later, when I

embarked upon a research degree in counselling psychology. The author provides a

logical introduction to applied statistics and research methodology, clearly and

carefully linking the two. After demonstrating each relevant statistical technique ‘by hand’,

using well-chosen examples from both the health and the social sciences, he

then demonstrates how it can be carried out using SPSS. This enables the reader to

understand the underlying rationale behind the use of any particular statistic rather than

simply following an SPSS ‘cook-book’. The reader is guided from the use of graphs and

tables in descriptive statistics through to advanced topics such as statistical power. There is

also a companion website containing additional resources both for the lecturer and for the

student.

Statistics for Research consists of 28 chapters divided into 7 parts. There is also an

Appendix of useful statistical tables, a list of key equations and a glossary of terms,

invaluable to the student. Each chapter builds logically and progressively on the previous

one and most have consolidating exercises at the end. A useful feature is a list of learning

objectives at the beginning of the chapter which act as signposts for the reader. Each

chapter is individual & self-contained and can be read separately however each also builds

upon the previous ones within the relevant part. The 7 parts can also be read separately

although, again, they are part of a logical learning progression. The part headings give a

guide to their contents. They are, 1) An Introduction to Statistical Analysis; 2) Descriptive

Statistics: Graphs and Tables; 3) Descriptive Statistics: Numerical Measures; 4) Inferential

Statistics: Tests for a Mean; 5) Inferential Statistics: Tests for Frequency Distributions; 6)

Inferential Statistics: Other Tests of Significance; 7) Advanced topics. Within each part there

are several chapters covering the topic in sufficient depth for the reader to understand the

underlying principles, followed by a section on how SPSS 19 can carry out the operations,

including screen shots of commands and outputs to provide extra clarity.

http://www.uk.sagepub.com/argyrous3/home.htm

For those without access to SPSS the author provides a list of alternatives including

comprehensive commercial programs, free comprehensive programs and calculation pages

for specific statistical analyses. Sadly not all the free programs remain free but they do

provide a useful alternative to the costly commercial packages.

George Argyrous has written a statistics and research methods book that covers the

areas most frequently encountered by researchers, both at undergraduate and post-

everything. Besides being a comprehensive introduction for the tyro researcher it is an

excellent reference for those of us with years of experience. Indeed, like myself I am sure

that any experienced researcher will find precious nuggets of new information to be mined

from this book. Above all it is well written and a pleasure to read, not qualities one usually

associates with statistics text-books.

Summary

Statistics for Research with a Guide to SPSS, 3rd Ed, by George Argyrous is an exceptionally

well-presented introduction to research methods and the consequent statistical analysis

which will be invaluable to those embarking on quantitative research in the social and

health sciences for the first time as well as to more experienced researchers. Apart from a

few minor editorial errors it has been a pleasure to read and the accompanying exercises

have brought me up to scratch in some areas where my knowledge had become rusty. The

book is accompanied by a companion website which provides valuable additional material

both for the student and the lecturer. I can thoroughly recommend this book.

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