Social Statistics

Society, Statistics (and some sermons)

Social Statistics - Society, Statistics (and some sermons)

Learning statistics

Learning statistics is never easy. The basic idea, however, is simple: as we look around us we find that things vary (temperature, the height of children, life expectancies, crime rates, earnings, water quality, etc.). Some of that variation is due to chance; it is improbable that everything would be exactly the same. Some of it is because we haven’t measured things as well as we might hope to. And some of it has other substantively interesting causes that we are interested in exploring or determining (does exposure to certain pesticides damage people’s health?, for example). The art of statistics might be defined as the task of creating credible evidence for policy analysis, for science, for social debate, and so forth in the face of all the variations that surround us.

If you’re not convinced that Stats can be interesting, then watch the following video with Professor Hans Rosling, which may inspire you. After it, I have listed some resources that may help you with your learning (and, of course, I also recommend this book!)

Statistics learning videos at the Khan Academy

Statistics: an intuitive introduction, from the University of Nottingham

Statstutor, primarily developed by developed by staff from Loughborough and Coventry Universities

Statistical Resources for Social Sciences at the DeSTRESS project

… and there is plenty of other material out there to draw upon too!