Interpreting Quantitative Data
- David Byrne - University of Durham, UK
This refreshing and accessible book provides students with a novel and useful resource for doing quantitative research. It offers students a guide on how to: interpret the complex reality of the social world; achieve effective measurement; understand the use of official statistics; use social surveys; understand probability and quantitative reasoning; interpret measurements; apply linear modelling; understand simulation and neural nets; and integrate quantitative and qualitative modelling in the research process.
Jargon-free and written with the needs of students in mind, the book will be required reading for students interested in using quantitative research methods.
Very interesting read and useful for improving skills in quantitative methods.
A very interesting book for those who want to specialise in qualitative data analysis.
This is a good book on interpreting, rather than simply creating, statistics. It raises awareness of the difficulties in interpreting data when, for example, variables have been deleted or, at a more advanced level, structural equation modeling has been used. A very useful reference work for people who need to work with statistics at all levels.
This is a useful text but rather too detailed for undergraduate students. I will, however, recommend it as supplementary reading to Masters' Level students.
David Byrne's book provides a useful theoretical/descriptive approach to the subject, usefully bridging the gap between the nuts and bolts stage of doing statistics and the way the "knowledge" is subsequently (ab)used in society. While some students will dismiss statistics out of hand (through terror of maths, usually), those who do get hooked, on the other hand, often become seduced by the seemingly awesome and indisputable importance of their "objective" numerical outputs. This book should convince both camps that numbers can indeed tell us useful things about the world, but that without a solid interpretation they are fairly worthless.
There is probably too much detail here for my introductory course in quantitative research, but particularly the first six chapters contain much material that is useful for this level. The chapters are of manageable size and contain pertinent examples from the social sciences.
I shall recommend this for a Masters programme, rather than the undergraduate programme I initially thought to use it with. The style and philosophy of the text is more suited to those students applying statistics to Sport at M-level
This is a really useful and interesting application of quantitative methods that I have recommended to my students. Given the general focus of the course on social research perspectives I cannot recommend it as essential reading as it only covers a couple of lectures / seminars. For those students wanting to explore quantitative data further through their MA's I have no hesitation in recommending this as both accessible and thought-provoking.