Saturday, September 19, 2015

Essence of Statistical Tools for Filipino Psych Students

by Donnies Bendicio

During thesis writing, quizzes, or major exams, some students may find it hard to choose the appropriate statistical tools to utilize in interpreting their gathered data. There could be reasons, influences, and beliefs which hinder our achievement of knowing and utilizing these tools, as a skill needed in a research-oriented community. Of course, let's inculcate in our minds that this is one the keys to make our reasoning to be more rational and convincing - specially when we are presenting ideas.

A. Inferential Statistics (IS) are procedures that allow us to draw of conclusions and generalizations about the population on the basis of data gathered from a sample (De Jose, 2015).

For example, in our experimental psych course, where we are most likely interested to know the difference between interventions - let's say, we are interested about the 'Effect of Classical versus Rock Music on High School Students' Level of Aggression." If an instance, we are looking for the difference between the level of aggression between two randomized sample of HS students (i.e. Sample A is Classical Music and Sample B is Rock Music),  after the interventions, we will be utilizing T-test (for independent samples) to know if the interventions for sample A and sample B has difference, by calculating their scores via assessment tool for Aggression.

B. Descriptive Statistics are the tools we use when we are presenting or describing summarized data of quantitative information such as in graphs, average, frequency, percent, and simple correlations (De Jose, 2015).

It can be true that the field of Psychology here in the Philippines is still young. And, as this field of expertise develops we are responsible to make our community be aware of its essence, equipping our colleagues who also wanted help in its endeavor, and provide a deserving service for those individuals who are in need of its services. 

So, after sharing some of statistical tools that we use in our academic papers, it may not be enough to simply relying on knowing what are these statistical tools, or which is appropriate on a study we are analyzing. We believe that we also need to know about some software which are most used in analyzing the data. Namely, MS Excel and IBM SPSS are some of these tools. We believe that mastering these tools will enable us to interpret our study more efficiently, and enhancing our skill in research.

For us to be more competent, we need to equip ourselves with the relevant skills, such as good command with the stat software in facilitating of data analysis. With these skills, we will be enabling ourselves with the competencies that the research-oriented community has. As psychology students, this kind of competency is one of the essentials, as we practice to provide quality services. 

We should always keep in our minds that Philippine Psychology is composed of scientific inquiry in interpreting the phenomenon that existed since then, and this is our time to make our field of expertise be responsible of observing, analyzing, and influencing human tendencies towards a better community.